Cleaning With Food

Cleaning With Food

The secret cleaning supplies in your pantry

Words by Ashley Locke

Illustrations by Jane Collins

You can spend some serious money buying cleaning supplies. But did you know that some of the most effective household cleaners can be found on your countertop or in your pantry? That’s right—instead of cleaning your plate, you can clean with your plate! Here’s how food can keep your home squeaky clean.


  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto light wood or plastic cutting boards to help remove stains. Let the juice sit on the surface for about 20 minutes before rinsing it. 
  • Clean and deodorize your garbage disposal by tossing orange peels into it.


Olive Oil:

  • Keep your measuring cups and spoons clean from sticky substances such as honey by rubbing them with olive oil before using them.

Baking Soda:

  • If you have crusty casserole dishes or roasting pans, sprinkle baking soda on them and let them sit for five minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up to get rid of odors.


  • Keep your coffee maker or tea kettle clean by brewing a mixture of water and vinegar. Afterward, rinse them with water.
  • Fix a clogged drain by mixing half acup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar, then pour it down the drain. Let it sit for 5 minutes before following the mixture with hot water. 


  • If you spill grease on fabric or upholstery, sprinkle it with enough cornmeal to cover the area. Let it sit for half an hour to absorb the grease, then vacuum it up. 


  • Repair light scratches in wood furniture or floors by rubbing a walnut on them. The natural oils in the nut help repair the scratch.