When the new era of 1800s changed to the 1900s keeping a clean place was even more of a chore than today’s standards. Our cleaning forefathers figured out a few tricks still extremely helpful today. Many common kitchen items which you’d probably only consider good for cooking with can actually be used as an effective cleaning tool.
Several of the tasty citrus foods we enjoy with breakfast or in our adult beverages - lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits are nature’s own cleaning agents. Another amazing discovery of the turn of the century was Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda). Now many of these practical cleaning methods might sound like Snake Oil, but none-the-less these are tried and true ways to clean the home and save you from purchasing high-priced cleaning chemicals.
Double Bonus - these DIY cleaning tips are organic and non-toxic.
Multi-Purpose Cleaner (only three to four weeks required)
Using either orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime peels (or mix them all together for a citrus explosion). Get some canning jars or one-two quart jars with a lip. Fill them bad boys three-quarters full of citrus peels, pour white vinegar and screw the lid on tight. Place your citrus concoction in safe storage area to dwell for three-to-four weeks. Now it’s not required but for best results shake jar daily for about 30 seconds. Once the three-to-four dwell time is over strain out the peels and transfer the infused vinegar to a spray bottle.
Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner (in under five minutes)
Combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a spray bottle. This germ killing’ spray works on kitchen surfaces including tile and chrome.
Mop with Water and Vinegar
White Vinegar might be smelly, but It’ll clean most all floors you typically mop. Add water and a few drops of white vinegar to your mopping bucket. (Want a little more shine to the floor add a little baby oil).
Lemon Sensed Stain Lifter (Hard Surfaces Simple Solution)
Who needs a magic eraser when you have lemons and baking soda? Have some red stains and some questionable spots on the cabinets? Wet the spot with water, drip some lemon juice on it and wait for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle baking soda and pull out a abrasive sponge or scrub brush and scrub the area clean.
Another method is to make a stain removing paste. Mix water, baking soda and lemon juice together. Rum the paste on the stain. Let it dwell on the spot for at least 5 minutes. Scrub area clean with an abrasive sponge and water. (The paste works well on kitchen cabinets).
Stain Removing Powder
if you’re a fan of abrasive cleaning powders similar to “Comet” this is the DIY cleaner for you. Make your own powdered citrus cleanser by mixing 1/4 cup grated citrus peels (a fine cheese grater works well) with 1 cup baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, and 1/8 cup borax in a canning jar (pro-DIY tip get a plastic lid you can poke holes into, kind of like a large salt shaker), Stir and shake to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle the mixture on porcelain, hard surfaces and stains, scrub with a soft moist brush or sponge, then wipe clean with a wet cloth.
Clean and Refresh Soft Surfaces
Similar to stain removing powder grab a bowl or canning jar (most DIY projects seem to require an endless supply of canning jars). by combining 3 teaspoons grated citrus peels, 2 cups baking soda, and 1 cup borax in a bowl. Stir well and let the mixture sit until all moisture has dried. Sprinkle on dirty carpets and rugs. With each use, give it a few minutes to absorb odors and dirt, then vacuum well.
Dynamic Grease-Busting Duo
In the context of great pairing, cookies and milk, cheese and wine, soda and pizza, baking soda and white vinegar needs to rank as the best cleaner chemistry has ever birthed. Pour ½ cup baking soda into a clogged drain and follow it with ½ cup white vinegar. In reality this measurement can be eye-balled. This powerful cleaning duo works on area covered in grease stovetops, ovens, cooking sheets, pots and pans, etc..
Simple Kitchen Cleaner
Lime and the Coconut helps with an upset stomach, lime and salt cuts through grease on stovetops and kitchen counters! To work the magic, sprinkle the area liberally with salt. Squeeze the juice from a lime over the salt, using as many fruits as necessary to thoroughly wet the area. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then scrub with a rag or scrubber sponge. Wipe clean with paper towels or a damp cloth.
Banana + Silver = Shine
Not only are banana peels a comedy goldmine for slapstick but a handy tool for shining silver. Dap a few drops of water on the inside peel of the banana blend until it forms a paste. Rub the paste onto the silver with a soft cloth (for best results use a microfiber cloth) and then rinse your silverware thoroughly. Make sure the silverware is completely dry before putting them away.
Hate Banana but still want the Shine
For those who are adamantly opposed to bananas - Dip the cut side of a lemon (or lime) wedge into a bowl of salt. Rub firmly over the metal surface, let sit for a few minutes, and then polish vigorously with a soft cloth (recommend microfiber cloth). Polishing the silverware like this comes with a bonus citrus smell.
Make Thy Porcelain Throne Shine
Hard water and soap residue can be a real pain (in product and time) to clean. Cut a lemon (or lime) in half, sprinkle some sea salt on it and rub the juice on faucets and porcelain surfaces, dry with a soft cloth for a streak-free shine.
Polish Wooden Furniture
Combining 1 cup lemon juice, 2 cups olive oil, and a half cup finely chopped citrus peel in a canning jar. Shake it like a shake weight to combine and alakazam you have furniture polish. To use, dip a microfiber cloth in the mixture and wipe down wooden surfaces. Buff dry with a clean rag.
Stink Be Gone (Cleaning the Garbage Disposal)
Ever notice a funky smell coming from your kitchen sink? Most likely its debris (old food, grease and grime) stuck inside the kitchen garbage disposal. Here’s four remedies for nuking the old disposal with citrus.
⁃ Drop a handful of citrus peels down the disposal along with a three or four ice cubes and run it until all of these are gone.
⁃ Cut a lemon in half, shove in garbage disposal and grind (with water running) for 10 seconds.
⁃ Freeze lemon and orange peels in ice cube trays with vinegar or water and throw these in and grind for 10 seconds.
⁃ Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in and then 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes before running the water and the disposal.
Microwave Oven Cleaner
Slice up a couple of lemon or limes into wedges. Drop them wedges in a microwave-safe bowl filled with water. Nuke on high for about three minutes, then let stand for 10 minutes. The steam and citrus juice will loosen all the caked-on bits inside the microwave, so all you need to do is wipe with a clean cloth.
Get behind me moth
The smell of moth balls is awful and toxic if you ever get the munchies and try chewing on one. Stud an orange all over with whole cloves and hang in the closet. After a few days your clothes have lovely citrus smell, and all the moths are gone. Option 2 - hang cinnamon sticks.