As domestic cleaners we have marketed basically every cleaning product going and despite the fact that a lot of them share ingredients, they are often marketed as being specific to certain items or purposes and you can therefore be easily tricked into buying a lot of cleaning products for one room when one could do the job just as well. On the other hand, you might not have to shell out for any cleaning products at all. It’s remarkable the multiple properties that your average cupboard contents can have and, some of your condiments and baking supplies could be just as comfortable in the house clean as they are on the dining room table.
Vinegar: It has a strong smell but surely that’s why we like it on our food. The strong taste is what makes it really give those chips a kick but did you know that vinegar is remarkably useful for breaking down limescale too? Limescale builds up around your taps and plug holes mostly and it can be a bit of a nightmare to get rid of. Vinegar cuts right through it and can leave your plumbing sparkling like new. Soak some paper towels in vinegar and then wrap them round your taps or round the edge of your plug hole and leave them for a few hours. Give it a quick wipe and a rinse when you come back to dispose of the kitchen towel and you should be very impressed with the results.
Salt: It’s a wonder you’ll have anything left to season your chips with after you’ve finished your kitchen cleaning for the week because salt can be incredibly useful as a cleaning product too. Salt’s ability to absorb moisture is why it can be so dehydrating but it also means it can be used on liquid stains – even those as stubborn as red wine (as long as you really layer the salt on there and give hours and hours in which to absorb all the moisture from the carpet) You then just have to hoover it up and you’re left with a practically new carpet.
Olive Oil: Particularly useful for polishing and shining purposes, you can pour or rub a little olive oil onto a cloth and rub it into your wooden or stainless steel furniture items and you can get a beautiful shine on your home furnishings.
Mayonnaise: Mayo is one of the best substances for getting rid of oil, grease and watermarks. Whether there are rings on your tables, tar sticking to your car or crayon marks from your children creating interesting if uncreative marks on your chairs then you can make them disappear by just covering them with mayonnaise, or peanut butter, leaving them for a few hours or overnight if you have the time to and then wiping both the mayonnaise and the offending mark away in the morning. Vaseline works just as well for watermarks on wood.
The multiple functions of all of these products were discovered by people using scientific knowledge and experimentation to work out the other ways that they could get the very best from these everyday items so perhaps you could do the same thing. I’m not suggesting that you go smearing the contents of your cupboards all over the kitchen – that would lead to a much more extended episode of domestic cleaning than you were probably anticipating.