7 Ways To Use Food — That Don't Involve Eating

7 Ways To Use Food — That Don't Involve Eating

Abby Stone
Feb 2, 2011

It seems like many of you were intrigued to learn how to clean the toilet with Kool Aid (Coca-Cola and Alka-Seltzer also work!). It sounds hare-brained — but it works! While we've all been admonished to keep food in the kitchen and out of the rest of the house, it turns out that stuff we'd normally eat can nourish your home in unexpected ways. Curious? Try these food fixes.

  • Bread: The staff of life can find a place on your home's cleaning staff as well. Try cleaning a old painting that you picked up at the flea market. Have kids? Usually kids and wallpaper don't mix but once you know the trick to using bread to clean your wallpaper, you can decorate your home to your heart's content.
  • Citrus: A squeeze of lemon can brighten up your food, Mexican beer's unthinkable without a slice of lime, and what's a morning without orange juice? That same pep makes citrus fruits a natural in your home.
  • Vanilla Extract: The sweet perfume of vanilla adds a complex layer to even chocolate desserts. It's also great, and certainly unexpected, in savory dishes. Just as unexpected? This unusual use for the extract.
  • Salt: You wouldn't think of cooking without a pinch of salt. It works even in sweet things (if you're a chocoholic and haven't tried dark chocolate sprinkled with a little coarse salt, don't wait another minute). It's just as versatile when used around the house.
  • Tea: A nice cuppa warms you up on cold day, the iced version cools you down when the weather's sweltering. It's soothing aroma can impart a wonderful smell to your small home, but it also works to clean and deodorize it.
  • Ketchup: You wouldn't think of having a hamburger without it. If you've got brass hardware or copper pots, it's just as necessary for keeping them clean. It also works wonders on silver.
  • Peanut Butter: As American as apple pie, this pantry staple is also good for removing gum from furniture, clothing and bedding (if your item's too big togo in the freezer). Also good for removing that sticky label residue from pretty jars that you hope to find a second use for (Just rub it on and then wash.)

Image: Bethany Nauert from Warren & Mimi's Highly Personal Architectural Home

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