Cleaning Products Masquerading as Food and Drink

howtogreencleanersAlthough we all love and appreciate the end result of a clean house, and there are those that truly love to clean, for many of us, it is time-consuming.  When you tack on the added expense and time of refilling and maintaining traditional cleaners, cleaning becomes a chore indeed.

Did you know that your cupboard is already stocked with numerous cleaning ingredients? Save yourself some cash and a trip to the store and try out some of these homemade wonders. In addition to being cost-effective, these cleaners are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.


Is there a more multi-purpose, inexpensive, non-toxic cleaner out there? Probably not. Vinegar is so good (and so cheap) it is widely used in restaurants and some other commercial establishments for cleaning of tables and other surfaces. There are several kinds of vinegar available, but distilled white vinegar is the best for household cleaning.

Vinegar and water in a spray bottle is a great multi-purpose cleaner, and can be used on almost anything (including windows).  Use a slightly stronger vinegar to water ratio in your mop bucket to clean all floor types.

Combine 1tbsp vinegar with 2tbsp salt to make a paste to shine up chrome sinks and faucets.

A bowl of vinegar placed in the middle of the room can be effective for removing odours that waft in a room.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is your best pantry weapon against common household odours.

Leave a slightly open pack of baking soda in your fridge to absorb food odours that linger.

Unpleasant smell emanating from your pipes? Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in the pipe and around the drain. Pour an equally generous amount of vinegar on it and watch the really cool chemical reaction. The two together fizz and pop and are very good at disintegrating whatever is causing the odour in your pipe. Let sit for 10 or 15 minutes, and rinse well with water.

The same mixture and process is good to clean the tub in your washing machine as well, if musty odours appear.

Corn Starch

Corn starch is great for thickening gravy, but did you also know it can be quite effective at getting stains out?

Sprinkle corn starch on the affected area and blot the stain out (rubbing will grind the stain into the fabric or carpet).

Do you have loads of stuffed animals that are “well-loved” and in need of a bath? Sprinkle them with corn starch and seal them in a Ziploc bag. Let them sit for a while, and then shake them out. This freshens these stuffies up, and Teddy will appreciate missing the spin cycle in the washing machine.


Boil a pot of water and steep half a dozen tea bags (use orange pekoe or black tea). Let it sit for a few minutes, so that it is strong.  Pour the tea mixture into your mop bucket and dilute with more water.

This mixture is a great cleaner/shiner for hardwood floors. Be careful though; it can cause discolouration on some flooring types- like laminate.

Vodka (and not for happy hour)

Mix Vodka in a spray bottle, well-diluted with water. Spray all over your shower stall and scrub away. This little concoction is very effective in removing soap scum.

Grapefruit and Salt

Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle generously with salt. The grapefruit and the sizzling salt become a very effective scrubber to clean the tub. Make sure to squeeze the grapefruit while you are using it, so that juice comes out and intensifies the cleaning experience.