Great Uses for Household Items

Each year, we spend a lot of money on specialty products to remove stains, freshen the air or remove pests and pesky weeds. We’re also rinsing these chemical based products down our drains, polluting more than we need to. Here are some great uses for chemical free items you have around the house!


  • We all know about vinegar’s prowess in the glass cleaning department. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and wipe down your glass.
  • Vinegar will also kill weeds and grass when poured on them undiluted.
  • Put a cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and run it empty. This will get rid of funky smells.
  • A dab of vinegar will stop insect stings and bug bites from itching.

Baking Soda:

  • Baking soda is a scratchless scouring powder. Mix it with water to scrub.
  • Use 1/2 cup of baking soda in your laundry to neutralize the ph. This will boost the power of your normal laundry detergent.
  • Add baking soda to the litter box to help absorb odors.


Borax can be harmful if ingested full strength, but borax and baking soda’s uses are fairly interchangeable. Borax does something that baking soda cannot, though. Mix a 50/50 powder of borax and sugar. Place it out of reach of children and pets, but where you might have cockroaches. They will go for the sugar and carry the borax back to the nest and kill off these critters!


  • Sprinkle salt on grease flare ups while barbecuing. This will dampen the flames without cooling your fire. I wish I had known this on the 4th!
  • Liberally sprinkle salt on wine or ink stains and let it dry. Rinse out or vacuum up. The salt will have absorbed the stain.

Lemon Juice:

  • Clean your cutting boards with lemon juice. It will disinfect and brighten them.
  • Simmer lemon peels in a pot for a wonderful air freshener.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice in the white load is a natural whitener and stop you from using chlorine bleach.
  • Use lemon juice on a sponge to remove all sorts of stains (sweat, berries, wine, oil, etc.) from fabric. Rinse well with water.

Put them all together!

  • Making various pastes from combining the above ingredients will clean just about anything. Be careful with lemon juice, as it will definitely whiten, especially if it is exposed to the sun.
  • Lemon juice and salt paste for mildew in the bathroom.
  • Vinegar and baking soda for the toilet.
  • Salt, flour and vinegar will make a paste you can let sit on copper or brass for an hour and then buff off.
  • Salt and lemon juice paste can be rubbed on rust stains. Let it dry, then buff, buff, buff!
  • Use a 50/50 combo of vinegar and water, then add lemon juice. Put it in a spray bottle and shake well. You now have an all purpose cleaner that kills bacteria and smells better than straight vinegar. Lemon juice will last a couple of weeks and try to keep it refrigerated. Otherwise, use lemon essential oil.

Share your ingenious ideas for household products in the comments!