Skip the heavy-duty chemicals. House cleaning comes naturally when you use lemons, bananas and other fruits and vegetables – plus one very talented sauce.
These eight grocery store superheroes can help you with natural house cleaning by polishing metal, removing stains and scratches, and shining surfaces as well as any household cleaning product you can buy. Plus they are organic and cost a lot less money.
1. Onions remove baked-on food
Scrub a gunky pot with an slice of raw onion, or a paste of crushed onion and water, to get all that grease and grime out. It gives your metal cutlery a new shine, too. If a pot is burned black, simmer a little vinegar, water and slices of onions over very low fire for about 20 minutes in the pot. This loosens the baked-on food, and makes it easier to scrub away.
2. Uncooked rice water cleans lacquer furniture
This Asian staple is a multi-purpose marvel: Swish some uncooked ice grains with warm water and detergent around the inside of your vase, grinder and hard-to-reach vessels – the rice works as a brilliant scouring pad. (Bored with eating white rice? Try these deliciously healthy rice alternatives.).
If you have precious lacquer furniture or ornaments, an old tip is to wipe it clean with the cloudy starch water you get after washing rice. The starch in the water helps renew the lacquer surface, which is made from a special tree sap.
3. Walnuts remove scratches in wood
File under “Who knew?”: Walnuts can repair shallow nicks and scratches on your wood furniture. Simply rub a walnut, with the shell removed, on the affected area in a circular motion. The natural oils in the walnuts will seep into the wood, masking the damage.
4. Make lemon natural house cleaning spray
When life hands you lemons, use them to clean. The mildly mildly acidic properties of lemons or limes means the juice easily cuts through grease and grime on your kitchen appliances and countertops. Lemon juice or lime juice also acts as a disinfectant. Zap half a lemon or lime in a shallow bowl of water to deodorise your microwave.
Try this recipe to make your own natural lemon cleanser. You can also use limes:
- In a small glass or metal bowl, combine 1/4 Cup white vinegar, 2 Tablespoons baking soda with 4 Cups of hot water
- Squeeze in juice from half a lemon or lime. Optional: You can also cut up the lemon rind and drop it in, for more lemon scent.
- Stir well to dissolve the baking soda. Allow to cool.
- Transfer lemon cleaner into a spray bottle or squeeze bottle and label. You must keep this organic lemon cleaner in the fridge, because it contains no preservatives or chemicals.
5. Banana peels for natural house cleaning
If cartoon villains knew the myriad uses of banana peels, they wouldn’t just be leaving them all over the place. Rub the white inside part of the peel on ink-stained fabric spots and watch the ink magically disappear.
Blend banana peels to create a paste to shine your silverware or polish your jewelry. You can also shine your shoes with the inside of the banana peel; it contains potassium, a primary ingredient of shoe polish, as well as natural oils. Rub it on, then buff it off.
6. Raw potatoes shine up your silver
The oxalic acid in potatoes is the cleaning agent found in commercial cleaners. This makes raw potatoes a great natural alternative cleaner when you want to clean your cookware and other kitchen appliances. Simply rub a slice of raw, uncooked potato against dirty or tarnished spots. It’s even better if your potato is a little too old to eat, with green spots on the skin – the green spots come from oxalic acid!
7. Cucumbers are a natural house cleaner for steel
Cucumbers don’t just make great DIY face masks – you can also use cucumber slices to polish any stainless steel products for a streak-free shine. Or spray the mirrors in your bathroom with water and cucumber juice to keep them fog-proof through even the steamiest of showers.
8. Mayonnaise removes water rings in wood
This fish and chips sidekick is more than just delish. Mayonnaise can also reduce water ring damage on wood furniture. Cover the ring with mayo. Let it sit for a few hours, or overnight. Then buff the stain to remove it. If your tot is sticking stickers all over the furniture, or you want to remove price stickers from jars, rub mayo over the stickers. The oil in the mayonnaise is what’s working here.
Then make yourself one heck of a giant sandwich for a job well done.
Originally by Pinky Chng, April 2017 / Last updated by Brooke Glassberg August 2021