In your pantry: Spring cleaning with items from the kitchen

03/01/2011 2:32 PM

03/07/2011 2:22 PM

Lemons, baking soda and vinegar are staples in most kitchens, but did you know they're also great for cleaning? Try some of these ideas for cost effective ways to spruce up your home for spring.


Get rid of calcium deposits on faucets by soaking a cloth or paper towel in white distilled vinegar and wrapping the area tightly. Let this sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

Run a cup of white distilled vinegar in empty dishwasher through a full wash cycle to remove soap buildup and odors. Repeat monthly.

Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, and then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.

Clean your showerhead by filling a plastic sandwich bag with vinegar, and tying it to the head. Leave overnight and in the morning, scrub with a brush. 

Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.

Baking Soda

Make your own abrasive cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough whitedistilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.

Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda (for a medium sized room) to freshen carpets. Vacuum after 30 minutes.

Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment like fishing and camping gear. sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize.

Baking Soda is gentle enough for even the tiniest baby clothes, yet effective enough for big baby odors. For tough stains add 1/2 cup of baking soda with your liquid laundry detergent, or a 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle neutralizes odors. For cloth diapers, dissolve ½ cup of baking soda in 2 quarts of water and soak diapers thoroughly.

Clean and remove marks, including crayon, from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.


Get rid of black spots caused by mildew and mold by making a paste of one part lemon juice to one part baking powder. Leave the paste on for two hours, then rinse off.

Lemons can be used to remove fabric stains, including those from blood, grass and rust. Dab salt and lemon juice onto the mark, leave on for 15 to 30 min, then rinse well and wash as normal. Do not use on silk fabrics.

Mix 2 parts Olive (not virgin) or vegetable oil and 1 part lemon juice to polish hardwood furniture (not unfinished). Apply and polish with a soft cloth.

A fun family project from Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Sneaker Peekers 
This fun craft does double duty. Kids will have a blast decorating these zany creatures – and then the ARM & HAMMER® Baking 
Soda will go to work deodorizing those smelly sneakers!

What You Need:
1 new, white athletic sock (mid-calf size)
1 cup ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda
1 rubber band
6" ribbon or string
felt, markers, buttons, and glue for decorating!

How to Make it:
1. Lay newspaper down on your work surface.
2. Fill the sock with 1 cup ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda.
3. Secure with rubber band.
4. Tie ribbon around rubber band, cut off extra sock (cuff area).
5. Use Felt, Markers, Buttons, Sequins, etc. to make your sneaker peeker an animal, a monster
6. Stick them in your sneakers overnight for fresh shoes in the morning


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