With store-bought cleaning supplies selling out in supermarkets and online, many of us are trying to conserve our cleaning products. Reserve your disinfecting wipes and sprays for the high-touch surfaces in your home—like the doorknobs, countertops, and faucet handles—then use supplies you likely already have around the house to clean everything from the microwave to cast iron skillets. Simple supplies like lemons, salt, apple cider vinegar, a potato, and even toothpaste can double as effective household cleaning products. Here are just a few ways you can clean your kitchen using these basic household staples.
1. Clean Your Microwave With a Lemon
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, and a few lemon slices. Add a small wooden spoon or toothpick so the mixture won’t boil over. Place the bowl in the microwave and set on high for one to two minutes. The steam will help loosen dried sauce splatters and spills.
Carefully remove the bowl (it will be hot). Then, use a sponge to wipe down the walls of the microwave, and wash the turntable in warm, soapy water before replacing.
2. Scrub a Cast Iron Skillet With Salt
To clean that rusty cast iron skillet you’ve been neglecting, sprinkle a layer of salt in the pan. Cut a potato in half, then place it cut-side-down in the pan, and scrub in a circular motion. The salt and potato will combine to form a paste that will scrub away the rust. When all of the rust is gone, rinse and dry the skillet.
Time to reseason the cast iron: Rub a thin, even layer of vegetable oil or shortening onto the skillet. Place it upside down on a rack in the oven, with a tin foil-lined baking sheet below to catch any drips. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
3. Polish Silver With Toothpaste
To make silver or silver-plated utensils or serveware look shiny and new, rub the surface with white, non-gel toothpaste. Use a soft toothbrush dipped in water or a damp cloth to rub the toothpaste in a circular motion until the tarnish starts to come off. Once all of the tarnish disappears, rinse the item and dry it thoroughly.