11 Foods That Double As Cleaning Products

10/25/2014 08:00 am ET | Updated Feb 18, 2015
  • Renee Jacques Associate Viral Content Editor, The Huffington Post

Ketchup is delicious, sure, but did you know that it's also effective at polishing copper? Yea, bet you find it a little less appetizing now. But ketchup isn't the only condiment or food that has dual purposes. In fact, many of the things you eat all the time have uses other than just keeping you satiated.

Here are 11 foods that do double-duty as cleaning products. You should always remember these, if for no other reason than they will save you money.

1. Banana peels can polish silver

bananasilver

Don't throw away that banana peel just yet. If your prized silverware collection is starting to get a bit tarnished, just rub the inside of a banana peel along the tarnished parts on your silver and it will help them look as good as new.

2. Cucumber peels can remove marks on walls and tables

cucumber

According to Saudia Davis, the founder and CEO of Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, cucumbers are extremely versatile cleaning products. The peels can remove marks on countertops and walls; and if you want a non-foggy bathroom mirror when you get out of the shower, just rub cucumber peel on it before you start the water.

3. Use ketchup to brighten up your copper pots and pans

ketchup

All you've got to do is dab some of ketchup on a cloth on whatever copper item you have that needs some polishing, and let it sit for five to thirty minutes. The acids in the condiment will remove the tarnish.

4. A raw onion will clean your dirty grill grates

onion

The folks over at The Kitchn report that if you run half of a raw onion against your grill grates with the cut side down, it will work to remove all the grease and leftover grit on the grill. Your best option is to heat up your grill first to help burn off any attached food or grime, then add the onion to the end of a large fork and go at it.

5. Use walnuts to remove scratches on wood furniture

walnut

Here's how it works: You peel the walnut from its shell and rub the nut part along the scratch. Then, run your finger over the scratch to help penetrate the oils. Let it sit for five minutes. Finally, use a soft cloth to buffer the area, and voila! Hopefully you now have a scratch-free piece of wood.

6. Your regular table salt will help remove a red wine stain

salt

Next time someone accidentally spills their glass of red on your brand new white couch, immediately grab the table salt in the kitchen. Ingrid Johnson, Professor and Assistant Chairperson of Textile Development and Marketing at Fashion Institute Of Technology (FIT), recently told The Huffington Post that table salt is "the first and easiest thing to do" since it will absorb the wine.

7. A slice of white bread will help pick up little pieces of broken glass

bread

The answer to picking up all those annoying little shards of glass is devastatingly simple: Grab a piece of Wonder Bread, dampen it, and dab it on all the little pieces.

8. Rice will clean your coffee grinder

rice

This little trick, provided by Food52, works for spice grinders, as well. Take some uncooked rice and put it in your grinder. Grind it up until it becomes dust. When you remove that dust, it will also remove any coffee bean or spice fragments left in your grinder. Then you can just clean off the rest of it with a damp cloth.

9. Olive oil will remove sap

oliveoil

Perhaps one of your kids brushed up against some sap while playing outside and then sat on the couch, and now... well... there's sap on your couch. Grab the olive oil. Real Simple says when you dab a tablespoon of it on a cloth and rub it on the affected area, it should loosen up that sap in no time.

10. Cornmeal will remove grease stains on fabric

cornmeal

A pantry staple can remove that dreaded pizza stain. Just cover the stain entirely will cornmeal and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once you vacuum the cornmeal away, the stain should be absorbed. Then all you have to do is clean the fabric as your normally would.

11. Use Coca-Cola to clean your toilet bowl

coketoilet

The acids in Coca-Cola will help remove any toilet bowl stains, apparently. So, grab a can and pour the whole thing into your toilet. Let the soda sit in there and do its magic for an hour. Then scrub the bowl and flush. Your toilet should be sparkling clean after.

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