When you open your kitchen cupboards or fridge, you probably are looking for something to eat and not wondering about the household uses for food. But did you know, the very food in those cupboards and fridges actually do have more functions than merely feeding you? In these days when we need to save money, use less chemicals or save time and space, it’s interesting to know there are some household uses for food. Here are some.
1. Baking Soda to Brighten Washing
Baking soda or powder is one of those commodities that will feature more than once in this list of household uses for food. Put some baking soda in with your laundry and it will make your whites appear much whiter!
2. Coffee to Scrub Dishes
To avoid scratching your dishes, secure a dish cloth around a handful of coffee granules with a rubber band. You can then use it in place of a sponge to scrub your crockery and pans without worrying about scratching.
3. Green Tea to Clean the Microwave
Cleaning the microwave generally appears on lists like these and various food alternatives to chemical products are often touted as good microwave cleaners. Green tea is one of those alternatives. Steep some green tea leaves in boiling water and when cooled, use it with a sponge to clean your microwave. You can use it inside and out.
4. Vinegar to Remove Stains
One of the most versatile foods with alternative uses is vinegar. You can use vinegar to remove the tannin stained insides of mugs and cups. Just add vinegar and some baking soda (or cream of tartar), leave overnight and wash them in the morning; they’ll look as good as new.
5. Baking Soda as an Oven Cleaner
Similar to the microwave suggestion, you can clean your oven using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. It’s much cheaper than using expensive cleaners!
6. Olive Oil to Fix Squeaky Hinges
How annoying is it that you have a squeaky hinge and you have to buy a can of oil only to use it once and then it sits in the basement or garage for the next 10 years? Reach instead for the olive oil. It’s a cheap, odor-free and efficient lubricant.
7. Ketchup as Polish
I find some of these household uses for food a bit scary, because if they can do these things then what are they doing to our insides? Apparently, you can polish your kitchen pots and saucepans using ketchup – it will remove any stains and discolored areas.
8. Coffee to Remove Odors
When your chopping board gets smelly from garlic, chili et al, you can soak it in coffee to remove the odor.
9. Turmeric to Deter Pests
Ants dislike turmeric, so if you find yourself battling ants you can use turmeric instead of insect killer.
10. Bay Leaves to Repel Bugs
Foods with alternative uses can also join forces with other foodstuffs. Bay leaves can deter bugs like weevils and silverfish making homes among your dry goods like flours and lentils.
11. Vinegar to Soften Fabric
White vinegar does the same job as fabric conditioner, other than adding in those “all natural aromas” which are in fact all chemically produced.
12. Olive Oil to Free Zippers
I’ve already mentioned that olive oil is one of the foods with uses around the home and here’s another. If the zippers on clothes are stuck, use some olive oil to grease the teeth – it should pull as good as new.
13. Lemons to Clean Porcelain
Cut a lemon in half, rub it in some coarse salt and then use it to clean a variety of things – porcelain, pots and pans and your sink. Cheap and easy, and uses up the leftover lemons you have.
14. Bread to Pick up Broken Glass
One of the handy household uses for food that isn’t widely known is using bread to pick up broken glass. Use a slice to wipe areas where the glass broke and it will pick up the tiny fragments you might not be able to see.
15. Vinegar to Clean Windows
Use old newspapers soaked in some vinegar to clean your windows and mirrors if you want a streak-free finish.
16. Olive Oil is a Leather Preserver
Rub a few drops of olive oil into leather shoes, handbags, jackets and even baseball mitts to preserve the leather and keep it nice and supple.
17. Vinegar for Everything
Vinegar is indeed a heavyweight when it comes to alternative uses for food. Thanks to its degreasing and antiseptic properties, just mixing it with water makes it an excellent all-purpose cleaner that can be used on countertops, sinks and floors .
18. Corn Starch to De-grease
Even our pets can benefit from multi-tasking foods. Washing your dog’s coat using corn starch will remove the grease and leave their coat nice and shiny after you brush it out.
19. Tea Bags for Dogs
I love this suggestion because along with slices of cucumber, us girls have been known to use used tea bags to soothe puffy eyes. So, it seems logical that if your dog’s eyes have tearstains, you can use some soaked tea bags to freshen them up. (Now all I need is someone to tell me how to get the dog to lie still with tea bags on his eyes!)
20. Cooking Spray to Repel Wasps
I wouldn’t recommend doing this in the house because you don’t really want to be spraying cooking oil around, but it’s a great suggestion for picnics and alfresco eating. If you’re plagued by a wasp or fly, squirt it with some cooking oil from a spray bottle. The oil clogs their wings and inhibits their ability to fly.
I have to say I’m yet to be convinced by all these household uses for food, but I have collected these tips from various sources who are genuinely thought of as “experts.” I guess you can only try and discover for yourself. Do you have any tips to share?