Food for house cleaning?
Oh yes indeed – Let me tell you what our grannies did before all these expensive products were invented. I hope you like my money saving tips…
I love using food products to clean the house it’s better for your wallet, the environment and I think it’s probably healthier. Have a quick read of these ideas – I hope you find them useful.



  1. Lemons
    The king of house cleaning foods and useful for so much.
    Make up a batch of sieved lemon juice put it in a spray bottle and use it to clean shower walls and tiles. Simply spray it on leave it a while to dissolve the soap scum and rinse down with cold water. If you have any stubborn bits rub them directly with half a lemon.
    The glass in showers is also perfect for the lemon treatment.
    Spray, leave for a minute then rinse down.
    You can also use a cut lemon to really clean up the metal taps, simply rub, rinse and finish with a micro cloth for a perfect shine.
    When you have finished cleaning the bathroom rub the kitchen sink with the half lemons and then put them down the waste disposal system with plenty of water to really wash that out too.
  2. Salt
    Think of salt as an abrasive in your cleaning regime. You can treat mildew in a bathroom by mixing lemon juice and salt into a paste and rubbing it on with a cut lemon. As usual rinse with warm water afterwards.
    Salt is useful in the laundry too – add it in with your usual load to really brighten the colours in your clothes.
    By the way this has nothing to do with food but I can’t resist putting it in here as it will save you a fortune I promise. They sell long blocks of washing soap in old fashioned Indian shops and if you grate two tablespoons of this and use it in your washing machine instead of laundry liquid it will last about six months and its costs me £1.50 a block!
    (Put the gratings straight in the drum with your washing and do not use too much otherwise your clothes will be streaky and you will have to re-wash them)
  3. Vinegar
    Diluted vinegar is fantastic to mop ceramic and lino floors but never use it on wood or anything waxed. Put about half a cupful in a bucket with warm water and away you go….
    I think by far the easiest way to clean a microwave is to put 50% water and 50% vinegar in a soup bowl and heat it up. The steam produced allows you to simply wipe all the stains and splatters that have built up.
    Before you leave the kitchen put half a cupful of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher as it really adds a sparkle to your glassware.
    A 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle can be used to clean windows, pictures and venetian blinds.
    And finally don’t forget your kettle. Every month empty the kettle and pour about one inch of vinegar in. Leave it to stand for a few hours or overnight. Wipe it out and you will find that all the calcium build up is removed. Boil the kettle a few times and throw the water away before using it again.
  4. Cola
    This one is a bit scary. I put cola down the toilets and leave it overnight to remove limescale and it works a treat. Just a little reminder to clean your teeth after drinking sugary drinks eh!
  5. Baking Soda
    I use this mixture in the bath mainly. I make a paste out of baking soda and white vinegar and use it to scrub the scum ring off the bathtub. Rinse well afterwards.
  6. Rice
    I use dry rice to clean out blenders and grinders when I have been processing dry spices. Just put a handful of dry rice in the blender and blend. It takes away the smell and is much better than washing as coffee grinders have a tendency to rust.
  7. Bread
    Using bread is by far the safest and easiest way to pick up broken glass from the floor.
  8. Potatoes
    To revitalise any graters grate a potato in on them and rinse.
  9. Onions
    There is nothing better than half an onion to really get in to clean every nook and cranny of a BBQ grill. If possible then put the grate in the dishwasher or rinse well on the lawn.
  10. Walnuts
    Brilliant to use on wooden furniture when you have a mark or scuff on it. Rub a walnut half on and the mark looks so much better.
    And finally …… So one item that challenges me in this natural cleaning routine is dishwasher tablets. I have tried lots of ways to make them myself but never actually succeeded in making anything I am happy with. Have you found anything that works?



Carole Mason

Food and Travel - Author of Mae's Ancient Thai Food

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Carole Mason

If you would like to work with me or try my food please get in touch with me at carole@carolemason.co.uk