In addition to their culinary purposes, common pantry items like rice and baking soda have a plethora of uses outside the kitchen. Many shelf-stable food products can be easily repurposed to remove stains, polish furniture, and even keep bugs away. These helpful tips will take your household chores to the next level. Here are eight pantry staples with unexpected uses around the house.
Use Sugar to Lessen Grass Stains
Pesky grass stains can be a nuisance to remove, but using a bit of sugar can help get rid of those blemishes. Form a paste by adding warm water to sugar, then apply that mixture to the stain and let it sit for an hour. Throw your clothing in the wash and the sugar should help break down the carbohydrates and proteins contained within the grass stain. When you remove the item from the washing machine, be sure to check that the stain is gone, and if not, repeat the process. If you don’t, you may regret it, as running a stained piece of clothing through the dryer may potentially cause the stain to set permanently.
Polish Wooden Furniture With Olive Oil
Wooden furniture can wear down over time, but you can restore some of its vibrancy using olive oil. Just take some olive oil and mix it with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Then use a soft cloth to slowly apply the mixture to whatever wooden furniture needs livening up. The acids help clean while the oils nourish the wood, and before you know it, the furniture will be gleaming like the day it was first purchased.
Use Baking Soda as Toothpaste
Baking soda isn’t just a key component in cake making, but can also keep your teeth pearly white. If you run out of toothpaste, there’s no need to run out to the drugstore. Instead, just head to the pantry and grab a container of baking soda and mix it with water into a paste. Two-thirds of a cup of baking soda will produce a tube’s worth of toothpaste, but a tablespoon will be plenty for a single brush. This homemade toothpaste may not taste as minty fresh as storebought toothpaste, but it works wonders in a pinch. Plus, brushing teeth with baking soda actually reduces bacteria and plaque. It also produces whitening effects, as using baking soda makes your mouth less acidic.
Clean Your Copper With Ketchup
Much like olive oil can be used to clean wood, ketchup is a great tool for keeping copper clean. Ketchup contains both vinegar and tomatoes, both of which are acidic and make great cleaning tools on their own. If you’ve got a piece of jewelry or a copper pot that’s developed too much tarnish, coat the item with ketchup and let it sit. After some time you can clean off the ketchup and the copper item will look good as new. You can also add coarseness to the mix by throwing in some salt, which can be helpful in removing extra gritty bits of copper tarnish.
Light Candles With Uncooked Spaghetti
If you’ve got a candle sitting at the bottom of a tall, thin jar, you may be wondering how to reach the wick to light it, especially if you only have normal-sized matches or a short lighter. Grab some dry spaghetti from the pantry instead, which works beautifully as an extra-long matchstick. With caution, light the piece of spaghetti on the stove or using a lighter. Then take the flaming piece of pasta and carefully use it to light whatever candles you so choose.
Keep Bugs Away With Lemon
Lemons have countless purposes around the house. They’re great for adding shine to metal surfaces, removing odors from the refrigerator, and are even handy as an insect repellent. Using potent chemicals to kill bugs around the house isn’t always the safest option, but lemons are a natural way to combat pests. Squirt lemon juice along your window sill, door frame, or anywhere that bugs may get in. The acidity will keep those pesky critters away, leaving your house bug free.
Use Mayonnaise to Wipe Away Water Rings
Water stains on wooden furniture are an eyesore, but if you act fast, then mayonnaise is the perfect solution. While old stains are set in and hard to remove, fresh rings can be prevented if you apply a layer of mayonnaise as soon as possible. After leaving the mayo on the water ring overnight, wipe the spot clean and the stain will be gone. One reason mayonnaise is so effective is that it contains vinegar and lemon juice, both of which are useful cleaning tools in themselves. Furthermore, the fat and oils from the mayo will help nourish the wood, keeping it looking fresh and stain-free.
Rub Honey on Cuts
Honey is one of the best at-home remedies for healing wounds. When applied, the acidity of the honey encourages the blood to release oxygen, which promotes healing. Furthermore, the sugar in honey draws water out of those damaged skin areas, thus reducing swelling. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and can be useful in preventing infection. In order to cut down on the mess, apply honey to a gauze or dressing before applying it to the skin, as doing so will make the process less sticky.
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