Surprising Household Cleaners
Cooking Oil as Shoe Polish
Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt, then apply a small drop of oil to a soft cloth and rub the surface to remove scuff marks.
Lemonade Kool-Aid as Dishwasher Cleaner
Clean lime deposits and iron stains inside the dishwasher by pouring a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid (the only flavor that works) into the detergent cup and running the (empty) dishwasher. The citric acid in the mix wipes out stains; you don't have to.
Watch the video to see this tip in action.
Mesh Vegetable Bag as Dish Scrubber
Repurpose the bag that held your potatoes to remove caked-on food from dishes. Wad the mesh into a ball, add soap and water, and scrub away.
Lint Roller as Lamp Shade Duster
Run the roller up and down the outside of the lamp shade to get rid of small particles that shouldn't be there. Ah, the satisfaction of knowing that every surface in your living room will pass the white-glove test.
Lemon as Cutting Board Cleaner
To remove tough food stains from light wood and plastic cutting boards, slice a lemon in half, squeeze onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. The best part? You'll have a house that smells like a lemon grove rather than chemicals.
Baking Soda as Silver Polish
To polish silver: Wash items, then place on aluminum foil in the bottom of a pot. Add a baking-soda solution (¼ cup soda, a few teaspoons salt, 1 quart boiling water) and cover for a few seconds. The result? A chemical reaction that gets the black off the gravy boat.
Salt as Egg Cleanup
Sop up a spilled egg by sprinkling salt over the mess. Wait two minutes and wipe it up.
Coaster as Drip Catcher
Catch the sticky stuff from bottles and jars in cupboards. No more shelves that require a full wipe-down after every spoonful of honey, slather of jam, or glug of olive oil.
Cooking Oil as Adhesive Remover
Apply cooking oil to the sticker using a paper towel or a soft cloth, rub firmly, then rinse with warm soapy water. (If the adhesive is stubborn, use a dab of toothpaste along with the oil.)
Car Wax as Sink Polish
Polish faucets, sinks, tile, even shower doors with Turtle Wax, which leaves behind a protective barrier against water and soap buildup, so your hard-earned sparkle will last past the next tooth-brushing.
Newspaper as Food-Container Deodorizer
Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a plastic container that has developed a funk, and let it sit overnight. By morning the paper will have absorbed the offending smell.