Cleaning with Food

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Real Cooking contributor Victoria Coulter makes household cleaning products from ordinary food items. She is also involved with the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization devoted to heritage processes and authentic foodways.

Cleaning Suggestions:


  • All-purpose cleaner: mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar (white distilled vinegar is best). Not recommended on marble surfaces.
  • As a fabric softener or disinfectant: breaks down soap scum; use 1/3 cup lemon juice, 2/3 cup vinegar and 1 cup water. You can add 5 - 6 drops of lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract to disinfect. Lavender is a natural disinfectant. 

Baking Soda

  • Slow or clogged drain: pour 1 cup baking soda into the drain, add 1 cup of vinegar, then follow this with 1 kettle full of boiling water.
  • Copper or brass polisher: Cut lemon in half, sprinkle with baking soda or salt and rub it all over.
  • Stain remover: use baking soda and water to create a paste and rub on stains on sink


  • To clean silver: use salt and lemon, rub silver item, then  rinse with hot soapy water and 
  • To clean stainless steel or oven - use lemon or vinegar and baking soda, spray water and scrape.


Music break: Three Old Maids by the Peter Chester Group