Whether you're ready to tackle a messy job and find you're out of your favorite cleaner or simply trying to rely on cleaners that are less demanding on the environment, here are 14 surprising household items that you probably have on hand.
01 of 14
- Polish bathroom faucets and hardware.
- Get rid of shower door soap scum.
- Prevent mirrors from fogging up.
- Scrub away build-up on curling irons and hair straighteners.
- Make leather and vinyl shoes scuff free.
- Shine silver jewelry.
- Make piano keys sparkle.
- Save a cell phone screen by buffing away light scratches.
02 of 14
- Polish aluminum, chrome, stainless steel, and copper.
- Remove stains from marble countertops.
- Clean coffee makers and tea kettles.
- Remove food stains from plastic containers and dishes.
- Kill bacteria and odors on wooden cutting boards.
- Get rid of yellow underarm stains on clothes.
- Whiten white laundry.
- Remove rust and mildew stains on clothes.
- Mix with olive oil to make a great furniture polish.
- Make glass vases, windows, and mirrors sparkle.
03 of 14
- Quiet a squeaky door hinge.
- Remove labels from glass jars.
- Make wooden furniture gleam.
- Restore leather furniture, handbags, and shoes.
- Polish away streaks on stainless steel appliances.
- Get rid of tree sap, bird droppings, and dead bugs without damaging the paint on your car.
- Mix with baking soda to scrub away soap scum on shower stalls.
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Continue to 5 of 14 below.
- Shine silver, copper, and brass cookware and jewelry.
- Neutralize skunk odor on human and animal hair and skin.
- After washing your car, give it a quick shine with ketchup and a good buffing.
05 of 14
- Sprinkle grounds inside and outside to keep away unwanted pests.
- Deodorize the garbage disposal with just a tablespoon of grounds.
- Boost the growth of acid-loving plants like azaleas, blueberries, and roses.
- Get rid of onion odor on hands and cutting boards.
06 of 14
- Add a shine to hardwood floors with a tea solution.
- Get rid of refrigerator and cooking odors with dry tea bags.
- Freshen and clean the inside of a microwave with wet or dry tea bags.
- Steep away toilet bowl stains.
- Use brewed unsweetened tea to make mirrors and windows sparkle.
- Absorb odors in stinky shoes with dry tea bags.
07 of 14
- Whiten white clothes with hydrogen peroxide as a less harsh alternative to chlorine bleach.
- Remove blood, berry, dye stains, and mildew odors from clothes.
- Disinfect a clothes washer by adding one cup to an empty washer and run a hot water wash cycle.
08 of 14
Continue to 9 of 14 below.
- Absorb grease stains on clothes, carpet, and upholstery.
- Polish silver with a water and cornstarch paste.
- Freshen and remove stains from stuffed animals.
- Make rubber gloves more comfortable and keep them fresh smelling.
- Remove oil stains from concrete.
- Clean glass cooktops with a paste made from one part water and two parts cornstarch.
- Freshen mattresses and pillows.
09 of 14
- Remove ink stains from fabrics and leather surfaces.
- Clean washer and dryer door latches so they operate smoothly.
- Kill bacteria and clean cell phones, keyboards, and remote controls.
- Cut through hairspray buildup on mirrors.
- Make bathroom sinks and faucets shine and kill bacteria. No need to rinse, the alcohol simply evaporates.
- Quickly defrost icy windows with a quick spritz.
10 of 14
- Scrub cast iron cookware with a paste of olive oil and salt. Rinse in hot water and dry well.
- Remove paint from hands and even window glass with a bit of oil followed by soap or window cleaner.
- Lighten scratches on leather furniture with a drop of oil on a cotton swab. Buff with a soft cloth.
- Shine stainless steel with a bit of oil, then buff with a soft cloth.
- Create a great furniture polish with two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice.
- Make patent leather shoes sparkle with a drop of olive oil and a quick cloth shine.
- Unstick a zipper with a drop on a cotton swab rubbed along the zipper teeth.
11 of 14
- Sprinkle on a small cooking fire to quickly prevent a more serious disaster.
- Scrub away soap scum on shower stalls that could easily scratch with harsher cleaners.
- Remove tough odors like sweat, mildew, and perfume from laundry.
- Soften fabrics naturally by removing soil and detergent residue by adding one cup baking soda to the rinse cycle.
- Make your iron glide smoothly by removing gunk from the iron's soleplate.
- Mix equal parts baking soda and distilled white vinegar to clean a garbage disposal. You'll love the bubbling action!
12 of 14
Continue to 13 of 14 below.
- Brighten white clothes and cut through tough odors by adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Lighten or erase hem lines after altering clothes by dabbing fabric with vinegar before ironing.
- Cut through grease on countertops, cooktops, and small appliances.
- Spritz on weeds as a natural weed killer.
- Clean away residue from inside an empty dishwasher by adding one cup of vinegar to a bowl and running a wash cycle.
- Safely remove a bumper sticker by soaking it in vinegar.
13 of 14
14 of 14
- Use when reheating food plates and bowls to prevent splatters inside the microwave.
- Leave windows and mirrors lint-free by using a filter to clean glass.
- Keep china dishware scratch free by placing a filter between each plate or cup.
- Save wine drinkers from broken cork by using a coffee filter to strain the wine.
- Make gardening easier by placing a coffee filter in the bottom of a planter to stop soil from escaping the drain holes.