No need to scope out fancy cleaning products to keep your home in top shape. There are many natural cleaning products right in your kitchen cabinets that can be used to clean a wide variety of items, often more efficiently and effectively than with store-bought cleaning products. (Although this is the best all-purpose cleaner you can buy).
Top Pantry Cleaning Products
- Vinegar. Vinegar has a wide variety of uses. Clean your washer by pouring white vinegar into an empty machine, then running on the clean or hot cycle. Decalcify your coffeemaker by filling the water reservoir with half water, half white vinegar, then running a full cycle. Spray diluted vinegar on carpet stains and blot clean. Since vinegar is acidic, it easily cleans alkaline carpet stains such as wine and pet urine. But don’t use it on acidic stains, such as ketchup. It won’t work, and can make the stain harder to remove.
- Baking soda. Baking soda is essential for baking, but it is also a versatile cleaning product. Set a dish of baking soda in your microwave, when it’s not in use, to absorb odors, such as those from popcorn or bacon. To clean and freshen your garbage disposal, mix a quarter-cup baking soda with a quarter-cup lemon juice, then scrape the paste inside. Leave for five minutes, then rinse with cold water for 60 seconds.
- Kosher salt. Use this abrasive pantry item to scrub items clean. Dampen your cast-iron pans, especially those with baked-on food, then sprinkle some salt in the bottoms. Scrub, rinse and dry. Dampen greasy stove grates, then wipe with a mixture of water, baking soda and salt to remove food remnants and oils. Rinse clean.
- Olive oil. Prepare a 2-to-1 mixture of regular olive oil (not virgin) and lemon juice to create a furniture polish for finished woods. Apply to your pieces with a lint-free, soft cloth. You can add a few drops of essential oil to give this “polish” a pleasant scent.
- Cream of Tartar. Use this product, found in the spice aisle, to brighten items such as grout, stained dishes and cups and stainless steel appliances. First, mix some cream of tartar with a little water or lemon juice to make a paste, then apply with a sponge or scrub brush. Rinse, dry and you’re done.