The uses for a lemon really are endless, and they stretch far beyond squeezing onto your hair for natural highlights. Not only does a mixture of lemon juice and salt clean stainless steel, even removing rust, but it loosens lime scale build up too. Chucking a lemon into your garbage disposal will rid your kitchen of nasty odors, while wiping the interior of your refrigerator with a lemon will keep that fresh and fragrant too, likewise the dishwasher and the oven.
We’ve heard that in some states Highway Patrol carry gallon bottle of Coca Cola to clean the roads after a particularly bloody accident. While we can’t confirm this to be true or not it does make sense. Cola (brand or otherwise) is a fantastic cleanser. Rust spots rubbed with tin foil dipped in cola magically scrub away, stained clothes can be cleaned by adding a can to your washer and it even cleans out the toilet a treat if left to sit in the bowl for an hour.
No eco-home is complete without a stockpile of white vinegar, the long time magical solution to all of your cleaning woes. Not just for shaking onto your fries, vinegar has a hundred and one homely uses. Undiluted distilled white vinegar will clean and deodorize counter tops as well as any brand cleaner; it will clear within minutes the glass door of a cooker, get rid of lime scale deposits in a kettle or on a tap, remove stains from your coffee cups and prevent glassware from becoming scratched. As a natural deodorizer, white vinegar is invaluable in cleaning out your Tupperware, lunchboxes and salad crispers, all of which hang on to smells, while it can also discourage fruit flies and ants if you leave a small saucer out near to a problem area.
Second only to white vinegar for its multitude of uses, a lowly pack of baking soda could be your savior in the kitchen and not only when your cakes won’t rise. Non-toxic and cheap, baking soda is an affordable alternative to many kitchen cleaners on the market, offering more cleaning power than even the harshest chemical formulations. While baking soda is well known to clean work surfaces and oven tops when wiped over with a damp cloth, less well known is that a small bowl of baking soda in a fridge, waste bin or cupboard will combat odors, that it will remove scuff marks from a tile or linoleum floor or that, if left overnight, a solution of baking powder and water can lift dried on food from cookware.
Less well known but just as miraculous as lemon, vinegar and co, borax has for many years been a fixture in the cleaning arsenal of the thrifty housekeeper. Many of its uses – cleaning counters and ovens, ridding cups of stains and deodorizing the dishwasher – it has in common with others on this list but borax makes for really exciting results when added to your laundry, softening water, doubling the capability of your washing powder and killing fungus.