A great household product can sometimes be proven to do more than what it claims; in fact many items found in a kitchen can do much more. Beginning with vinegar, the distilled white vinegar is popular among pickling foods such as tomatoes, eggs, cucumbers, etc. It’s also used in salad recipes, salsa’s and dips, but its household uses have given this product thumbs up by a variety of industries. It cleans coffee pots, ballpoint ink stains, blinds, carpet and furniture stains, not to mention revitalizing woods and outdoor bricks. When using vinegar for cleaning, it’s important to use equal parts of water. When using it to clean silver, it uses ½ cup vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda…then soaking for 2-3 hrs., afterwards…rinse in cold water and be amazed! It also cleans and deodorizes your microwaves, lunch boxes and more.

One of the most popular items found in kitchens today are coffee grounds. Coffee has come a long way; it’s not just for consumption anymore. It has several uses in a garden, but you must first dry out the grounds on a baking sheet, then it may be spread over flower beds which thrive from acidic plants, like azaleas and hydrangeas, while turning into rich compost. It may also be used as insect repellent, placing grounds on top of anthills and anywhere there might be ant problems. Grounds are also used in marinades for grilling, chocolate cakes and as a flavorful meat tenderizer. On another note, you can place used grounds in a zip lock bag to get rid of your old unused pills you may have lying around in medicine cabinets; a great way of disposing them.

Reynolds foil is another product that has more than one use; it will clean tarnish off silver…same goes for silverware, spokes and rims on bicycles. What I didn’t know was it can be used to soften your bag of brown sugar; this sugar always gets hard once the package is opened.

Corn starch has a multitude of uses as well; it’s not just for cooking. For those with oily skin, it can be applied with a facial brush to help prevent breakouts. It can also be used for underarm deodorant, insect bites and relieves sunburn when applied with a combination of water. DIY’s site uses cornstarch to remove oil stains, blood stains and is even used for detangling unruly hair. For those with furry pets, it too will remove sticky stuff from their hair. If you are one to plant vegetables in spring, you can keep worms and caterpillars away by dusting your crops; it’s harmful to their respiratory tract. However, if you enjoy finger paints…then there’s a simple recipe for that; food coloring, water and corn starch is the way to go, while having hours of fun on any budget.

You can find lists online for many items found around your kitchen, from DIY uses to Readers Digest, Consumer Reports and more. Instead of purchasing cleaning products which have harmful chemicals, one should consider using baking soda, cornstarch or other items you might have in your home; check it out on the web and put it to the test. Too many things go to waste in our cupboards…we should try and utilize those things versus throwing them away. Less harmful chemicals around your home and being less wasteful can only help our planet…not to mention your pocket book.

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