10 Food Ingredients You Can Use for Cleaning (Part II)

by emilysmaids - May 31, 2022

Square - 10 Food Ingredients You Can Use for Cleaning Part II

We’re back with part II! We have more ingredients you can use for cleaning. Our last article mentioned five ingredients and their incredible uses for cleaning, and now we’re here to bring five more.

Many products that you can use for cleaning are already in your pantry or in your fridge. And if you missed Part I, don’t worry! Let’s read a quick recap first.

Quick Recap from Part I About Using Food Ingredients for Cleaning

More and more people have started to use food for cleaning over time. Ingredients are almost always not pH neutral: they are either acid or alkaline. When used properly, this allows them to be used for different surfaces with multiple purposes: cleaning, degreasing, disinfecting, and deodorizing. 

Part I describes the cleaning properties of five products from your pantry: salt, vodka, lemon juice, vinegar, and coconut.

Salt is a terrific cleaner, for example. It is affordable, you can buy it in bulk, and it’s useful for absorbing moisture and oil, plus removing grease. It is commonly used for cleaning cast irons, for example.

Vodka, believe it or not, is also used for cleaning. Thanks to its alcohol concentration, it is perfect for killing many different types of bacteria. Mixed with other products it is an effective all-purpose cleaner.

Lemon juice is another acidic agent that is capable of removing bacteria and grease, especially when combined with hot water. It is also great for removing odors, which makes it the perfect cleaning agent for deodorizing microwaves and fridges.

Vinegar is another popular ingredient for cleaning: it’s versatile, effective, and safe to use. It is safe enough that, right after you use it for cleaning, you can use it for dressing a salad! You can use it for killing bacteria on pretty much all surfaces. It is perfect for tile floors and walls, as well as laminate countertops. This makes it the ideal cleaning ally for your kitchen and bathroom. Plus, you can use vinegar as a fabric softener and deodorizer as well.

Last but not least, coconut oil is used often in the personal care industry. In the cleaning field, you can use it to remove sticky labels, remove water stains, and for moisturizing different surfaces.

Now that you’ve read this quick recap of our previous article, it’s time to learn about 5 more ingredients you can use for cleaning!

Cleaning With Lemon and Essential Oils

Olive Oil: Great for Cooking, Great for Cleaning

Olive oil is a delicious, healthy ingredient that enhances any dish it’s in. But did you know it also works as a cleaning agent? Like coconut oil, it has moisturizing properties, and you can use it to remove grease.

It is ideal for delicate surfaces, especially those that come from live beings such as wood. Because they need to maintain certain conditions of temperature and humidity, any noticeable change will make them lose their natural balance. This can come from natural environment changes, for example. Dallas is known for having noticeable changes in humidity, going from 40% to 85% on the same day.

The point is, if you’re not careful, wood can show cracks or scuffs with time. If it happens, they will need some added moisturizing.

You can mix three parts olive oil with one part distilled white vinegar. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil for an extra refreshing, clean fragrance. Test in a small area first and then, if the material reacted favorably, apply to the entire surface, using a microfiber cloth.

Make sure you don’t go overboard because the material might end up too oily and unpleasant to the touch. 

As for removing grease, this is ideal for stainless steel because it won’t cause staining, because olive oil is pretty much pH neutral. It’s not acid enough to cause a stain or decoloring in your stainless-steel products. This includes anything from countertops to appliances and silverware, even light fixtures!

Similar to coconut oil, you can use this for removing sticky labels as well. Just place a few drops of olive oil on the paper label and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Remember we mentioned salt for cleaning cast iron pans? You can mix coarse salt with olive oil to get rid of stubborn residues.

Olive Oil Ingredients for Cleaning

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a compound that is commonly found as a powder. Besides being a great ingredient for cooking and baking, it is also one of the most popular ingredients that people use for cleaning.

First of all, it is a harmless chemical compound, and that is something you don’t see very often. It is only slightly alkaline, and it is perfectly fine for pretty much all surfaces, including sensitive ones such as granite or marble.

Second, it is effective for removing odors, dissolving dirt and grease, and overall cleaning and maintaining surfaces.

Baking soda is pretty much the perfect companion for many other cleaning products as well. It is one of the very few products that you can mix safely with bleach, for example.

Because it is powder, that property is also useful on its own because it can be combined with liquids (e.g., lemon juice, vinegar, even dish soap).

We have many guides on the use of baking soda as a cleaning agent, such as for Cleaning Your Bathroom and your Kitchen Items, and even your Couch.

Cleaning With Baking Soda and a Toothbrush

Orange Peels: Using Fruits as Ingredients for Cleaning

We previously mentioned in our article about Fruits and Vegetables For Cleaning that Orange peels are great as an ingredient for all-purpose cleaners. This is particularly great if you are (or want to be) part of the zero-waste movement, which aims to reduce the waste you produce.

For example, you can leave orange peels in a mason jar filled halfway with vinegar (either white or apple cider). Vinegar extracts oils of oranges which will add degreasing power and create an all-purpose cleaner. This creates a product with both degreasing and disinfecting properties. This is perfect for wood surfaces because they will be moisturized and smell great afterward.

You can also fill a small plate with orange peels and two tablespoons of salt and place it in the fridge. This is great for absorbing odors. Salt is able to absorb moisture, while orange peels slowly release a pleasant fragrance to balance out the odor in your fridge.

Peel Oranges Mix for Cleaning

Corn Starch

Corn starch or cornflour is another versatile ingredient in your kitchen, and it is frequently used to thicken soups or sauces. But did you know it can be used for cleaning as well?

Cornstarch is able to remove different types of stains, grease, and odors.

For example, if you have grease stains on your clothing, you can apply a big scoop of cornstarch and let it sit for 12 hours. This will give it plenty of time for cornstarch to absorb grease. You can wash normally afterward to remove residues.

You can use this trick for cleaning carpet floors as well, and particularly for removing stains or odors. In this case, you should sprinkle cornstarch on the carpet for 30 minutes and then vacuum.

Cornstarch is useful for cleaning cooktops as well as kitchen utensils, mainly pots, and pans. It is effective but it’s non-abrasive, which makes it safe for your items. In this case, you can mix one-part water with two parts of cornstarch. This will create a paste that you can leave on your surfaces so that it softens grease and burned-on food. 

Ketchup: One of The Unexpected Ingredients for Cleaning

Who would’ve thought that ketchup is capable of cleaning surfaces? The power of ketchup comes from tomatoes. This brings citric acid which is a powerful cleaner and degreaser. Ketchup has vinegar, too, which adds even more to its acidity levels.

Ketchup is perfect for removing tarnish from pots and other utensils. The best part is that it works for both copper and stainless-steel items.  You can leave it for as long as you want (as long as you try it in a small area first, of course). Don’t forget to wipe and rinse with plenty of water.

You can remove rust spots from cast iron pans as well. Cast iron pans do not get along with humidity, and they can rust with time.

In this case, it’s pretty much the same procedure: cover the rust spots with some ketchup and wipe clean after letting it sit for a few hours.


Voilà! There you have it, five more food ingredients that you can use for cleaning. All of these ingredients are affordable, and you can even buy them in bulk to have plenty of it if you want to use them both as a food ingredient and as a cleaning agent.

As a rule of thumb, remember to test any cleaning agents on a small area first, and you can even combine or test different cleaning products one after the other until you reach the desired results.

Remember that you can contact our professional cleaning service if you need help with taking care of your home and giving you extra time to spend with your family.

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