Household News You Can Use

And Eat Too!

Household News You Can Use

Does all the gloom and doom of the news get you down? Well, cheer up! Here’s household news you can use … and eat too!

It’s all thanks to my hometown newspaper, The New York Times, and a terrifically tasty morsel, I mean, just published article entitled “Beyond Lemons and Vinegar: How to Clean with Ketchup, Vodka, Butter and More.” It’s a cook’s, I mean, cleaner’s dream.

The article goes way beyond those old pantry cleaning standbys of baking soda, lemons, and salt, and takes us into the yummy culinary, I mean, cleaning arena of butter, potatoes, wine (white AND red), and olive oil! This is better than sliced bread. Oh, wait. Sliced bread is also on this innovative culinary/cleaning list!

Author-journalist Jolie Kerr recommends Tabasco, V-8, Ketchup, Coca-Cola, meat tenderizer, olive oil, cornstarch, and its distant cousin, cornmeal for a whole host of domestic clean-up chores. What a fool I’ve been. All these years wasting my time trying to get rid of the stains most of these products create, not utilizing them to clean up messes.

Let’s Get Cooking. I Mean Cleaning!

I know. You’re thinking enough with the chit-chat and amazement. Get down to the nitty-gritty. OK. Here are a few of the most delectable tips:

1. Palm a slice of bread or potato to pick up tiny shards of glass. Of course, you cannot eat said bread or tater afterward, but it is a pretty handy tip nonetheless.
2. For tarnished copper or brass, you can use Tabasco, V8, or ketchup. In-between swipes, you can, of course, have a swig of the V8 or dip the ketchup in cold left-over French fries.
3. Here’s a great tip which gives you the benefit of tippling both white and red wine at the same time! According to cleaning maven Kerr, you can use white wine on a rag to remove red wine on clothing, carpets, and furniture. Now, who won’t drink to that?

Go On…

4. Here’s a tip for all you vampires out there. Got a pesky bloodstain you need to remove? Unseasoned meat tenderizer mixed with water into a thick paste apparently does the trick.
5. Oh, and about the vodka – it’s apparently an “odor neutralizer.” So, if the kids’ sneakers are a tad offensive, give them (and yourself) a little vodka spritz. The sneakers will smell better and you’ll give new pizazz to the phrase “soccer mom!” (Just remember – no driving if you do decide to imbibe.)

The Cleaning School of Elbow Grease

Now I must say these tasty, trendy tips sure beat the ones I learned from my mother and grandmother. Those ladies came from the Cleaning School of Elbow Grease, Toothpicks and Q-Tips. If they couldn’t scrub something into shiny submission, they would excavate and prod it into cleanliness with the teeny picks and tips!

And while I love these new ideas, I confess my middle-age brain will never remember them. I guess I’m stuck in the ways of Mom and Grandma.

But for those of you more venturesome domestic goddesses, one more note: Author Kerr ends her article asking readers to contact her with “offbeat ways ” people use foodstuffs. She does specify “for cleaning,” so keep your mind out of the gutter … that is if you can still hold your head up after all the scrubbing, spritzing, and dusting (and drinking) vodka and wine!

Cheers and happy cleaning!


AND if you want to share those clever, offbeat cleaning tips directly with your fellow middle-aged muddlers, please do so in the comments section below. Speaking for myself and our new dog, Olga, our household could use all the help that’s out there!