These tips are simple, easy to use and quick! Not only will you have most of the products you need already on hand, you’ll save space and money. Rather than buying chemical rich store bought products, running to the store in a pinch, or buying something new, just check your pantry for some easy, DIY home and kitchen tricks.
- To make a killer ant powder- mix together 1 tablespoon powdered clove and 1 tablespoon powdered cayenne pepper with 1 cup of Borax powder. Sprinkle in problem areas such as corners and thresholds that are clean and dry.
- I know it is crazy but my great grandmother used this technique to clean the wall paper in her 1920’s home. Some wallpaper can be cleaned by rubbing it with soft bread. (And, to be honest, I really don’t know why it works, I just know it does.)
- A real broom, not plastic or synthetic- the sturdy old fashioned kind, can last years if properly handled. To make a broom last, slip old nylons over the bristles. This keeps all of the straw together, helps pick up and move finer particles and makes pick up faster. To give the bottom bristles form again, put a rubber band around the bottom for a couple of days, then remove it and the bristles should all be straighter and compact again. (don’t sweep with the rubber band on the broom)
- To clean decorative candles, use a clean cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. This will help remove dust, hair and other particles, and give the candle the original glossy shine.
- To help candles burn longer, more evenly, and decrease wax drippings, keep them in the freezer for a few hours before use.
- Save the scrubbing! For really stuck on food to enamelware or casserole dishes – fill the dish with boiling water and a teaspoon of baking soda; let it sit for 1-2 hours then clean like normal. Not only is baking soda a mild abrasive, it also helps to break up food particles.
- Always be prepared for kids in the kitchen by keeping a lower drawer, or a box on a lower kitchen shelf, full of children’s toys. That way, it just takes a little effort to entertain young children while in the kitchen. Some of the best toys are those with the kitchen in mind- plastic fruit, measuring cups, a manual fruit press, and wooden kitchen utensils, anything that is child safe but teaches them about the kitchen.
- A small fire extinguisher is a great investment for your home! It’s an insurance policy people. All fire extinguishers are wicked simple to operate and can be taught to teenagers and adults of all ages. Keeping more than one fire extinguisher in the house is never a bad idea. Stash one in the attic, basement, a workshop, office or garage and, of course, the kitchen. Every now and then, have your local fire station check that your extinguishers are operating properly and up to date. (I bought the two I have at yard sales, recycled! I had them both checked at the fire house and now they are stored in my kitchen and the workshop. There is also a company in my town that will fix broken extinguishers. They are very handy when you like recycling things.)
- Want to make your glass sparkle from the dishwasher just like in the television commercials? Try throwing a few drops of ammonia into the dishwasher during the rinse cycle to help make your glassware sparkle. Just add it to the rinse compartment.
- A simple trick for picking up broken glass is a damp paper towel! Press it over the small fragments lightly with your hand (it picks up all the small pieces that might slip through the broom) then just throw away the whole paper towel, shards and all, in the garbage.
- Dried, ground, carrot tops make a great salt substitute for all of your salt needs in cooking and baking. Use carrots, from the garden or organic store bought, with the greens still attached. Just save the green tops, dry them (like other tender herbs), grind to powder and use in place of salt.
- Make used store bought jars, or used home canning jars, smell like new again! To remove the odors from used glass jars and bottles- wash them with hot water and a mild detergent, than soak them in hot water and a little powdered mustard. Let the bottle, or jar, stand for a few hours before rewashing it.
- An open can, or muslin bag, of coffee grounds can eliminate the musty smell of closet, basements or the refrigerator. Patience, this takes a little bit of time.
- No make-up remover? Use vegetable oil and a soft cloth, to softly remove the make-up, then rinse your face with a mild astringent or cleanser and pat dry.
- Want to remove grease, and spills, from the inside of your oven? While it is off, place a pan with 1 pint of hot water and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. Let the mixture sit overnight, then sponge the grease and grim off in the morning. This works well in a microwave too.
- Don’t let fresh greens go to waste! Keep a small sponge in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. The sponge will absorb excess water, and moisture, helping prevent the spoilage of your greens. Just make sure to wash and dry the sponge every 3 to 4 weeks.
- Remove the smell of garlic or onions from your hands! Rub them with a paste of baking soda and water, then rinse it off and wash like normal. The smell will be gone!
- To clean your stainless steel appliances, use white vinegar on a soft cloth- no abrasives needed.
- Next to water, my number two drink is coffee. This means scrubbing, a lot of, coffee stains off of ceramic cups, no more! To remove coffee or tea stains from ceramic cups use a paste of salt and vinegar, and lightly scrub with a cloth. Works in no time, with less work.
- Faithful, homemade, window cleaner that helps keep windows clean and shiny without streaking! In 1 quart of water, add 1 tablespoon of ammonia and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, fill a spray bottle and use just like the blue stuff.
Cleaning your kitchen, and home, doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or full of chemicals. Usually, all you need is a little help, and advice, to get you started and soon you are seeing ever day items and ingredients as the answer to all kinds of household situations.
Your turn! If you have any tips, tricks or hacks for the home or kitchen, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you’ve got!