Foods That Are Actually Great To Clean With

Cleaning doesn't have to be a chore, and it certainly doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to get your house squeaky clean, either. Whether you're trying to save money or reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your home, the kitchen can be a resourceful place to find top-quality cleaning supplies. You'll still have to do laundry and clean the bathroom, but hopefully the tips below will make these jobs just a little bit easier.


Coffee really is one of the best parts of waking up, and it may also be the best part of your cleaning routine. The trusty grounds can be a potent deodorizer for both your hands (no more garlic smell!) as well as the funky freezer.  


Honestly if it wasn't for the little packets that come with take-out I wouldn't even have ketchup in my house. But after hearing about its cleaning abilities, I may have to start stocking up on this common condiment. A Huffington Post article shows that the acidity in your standard table ketchup is gentle, yet powerful enough to clean all your copper, whether it's fixtures, a teapot or pans. And according to Good Housekeeping, ketchup can also be effective in bringing out the shine in your car.


This go-to seasoning is known for its scrubbing properties. The abrasive nature of the salt makes it ideal for cleaning cast iron pans, as detailed in this article from Bon Appétit. But salt is just as powerful outside of the kitchen. Reader's Digest has compiled a list of over 60 ways to clean with salt around the house. Not only does its absorbing properties make it the perfect sneaker deodorizer, it can keep windows frost-free and even help unclog the drain.


Sugar probably isn't the first item you think of when you want a cleaner. You're probably conjuring up images of a sticky mess that will also have to be cleaned, but hear me out. Sugar is actually an innovative way to remove grass stains from clothes. It's also abrasive enough to cut through grease and grime after a long day of working on your car or gardening.


You may have heard whispers that a can of Coca-cola can be used to make the commode sparkling clean, and you know what? It does. CNet dishes out Coke's other wizardry including stripping away rust and making coins look almost new. It's tough on stains, but it does make you wonder what it's doing to your insides, right?  


The scent of fresh lemon is an instant mood-booster, and the powerful punch of the sunny citrus fruit is also ideal for cleaning. From brightening a load of white laundry to deodorizing the garbage disposal, lemons are so much more than an accent for iced tea.


The humble, fatty walnut isn't a multi-purpose cleaner but, it is one of the coolest. Anyone with wooden tabletops or floors knows that scratches are inevitable. But did you know that the easiest, and fastest, way to make the scratches disappear is with a walnut? Rubbing the shelled nut over the wood allows the natural oil to seep into the wood, essentially "filling" it in. Neat, huh?


The next time you decide to have a vodka and soda, keep the bottle around and do a little cleaning, too. Chrome, glass and porcelain will shine like the sun if you use a little elbow grease and vodka. Better Homes & Gardens has a long list of uses for vodka instead of adding ice, including making a spray to deodorize underarm odors and eliminate stains on clothes.


I knew cleaning with vinegar had finally made it when my mom, the most in-depth cleaner I've ever known, started swapping out her standard cleaning supplies for the potent liquid. Not only is everything squeaky clean, she isn't ingesting all those smelly chemicals anymore. Make your own citrus vinegar all-purpose cleaner, like this one from The Kitchn, or my personal favorite, the vinegar weed killer. This stuff is a gardener's dream and makes weeding less back-breaking and something I now enjoy. For a list of over 150 uses for vinegar around the house, check out this list from Reader's Digest.

Baking soda

Where there's vinegar, there's baking soda. Not just for making volcanoes erupt, but for actually cleaning. One of the most useful ways I've used baking soda is to clean tarnished jewelry, including my treasured sterling silver from Tiffany's. Gentle, chemical-free, and inexpensive. Baking soda is also helpful for deodorizing the musty smell in laundry and brightening each load, as detailed on The Spruce. For more ideas from cleaning the grill to washing produce without soap, this list of uses for baking soda from All You has you covered.

Coconut oil

Is there anything coconut oil can't do? It's been touted for nearly everything, and now household cleaner can be added to the list. For how to use coconut oil as a stain remover and furniture polish, check out this article from Mother Earth Living. If you're still looking for ways to get the most out of your jar of coconut oil, the Today Show has 50 more ways to use coconut oil, as well as printable lists with ideas for every room in the house.