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7 Pantry Ingredients That Make Great Cleaners—And How to Use Them

The best cleaners straight from your pantry.

Want to give your home a good spring cleaning while also saving money on those expensive products? Look no further than your very own pantry. Some of the best household cleaners come from ingredients you already have on hand for cooking and baking, and have properties that can be used to take on a wide range of tasks.  Discover some of our favorite essential pantry products that you can take advantage of to get your house in tip-top shape in no time.  

White Vinegar  

It should come as no surprise that vinegar is at the top of our list. This versatile pantry item is a powerful staple that can help you clean a variety of areas throughout your house due to its acidity, which helps cut through dirt while killing mold, bacteria, and viruses. Looking to make your stainless steel appliances shine bright again? Simply pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz those pesky smudges and smears, then wipe down with a microfiber cloth. For that stain-splattered microwave, fill a microwave-safe bowl with two cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar. Zap for five minutes, then let the solution sit in there so the steam can loosen up all the gunk. All you need to do after that is go in and wipe down the walls with a damp rag. Voila! Good as new.  

Baking Soda   

The yin to vinegar’s yang, baking soda is another multipurpose product that is both a natural deodorizer and gently abrasive cleaner, which means that it can scrub surfaces without scratching them. Tackle that greasy oven you’ve been putting off for months by making a thick paste of water and baking soda and spread it around the inside of the oven. Let it sit for at least a few hours (or overnight) and then wipe clean with a damp cloth, spraying any lingering paste with vinegar. Remove marks from painted walls with baking soda on a wet sponge; let it work wonders in your bathroom by sprinkling it into your toilet before spraying liberally with vinegar to quickly clean and disinfect the bowl.  


Lemons aren’t just used for cooking delicious dishes and garnishing your iced tea. This beloved citrus works double time to help you cut through grease and grime while providing a pleasant, all-natural scent. Rub half a lemon over your wooden cutting boards to kill odor and bacteria, add equal parts water and lemon juice to the laundry to make your whites extra bright, or use a lemon half sprinkled with salt to gently scour copper and stainless steel pots.   

Kosher/Coarse Salt  

Another go-to in our pantry roundup is good old kosher salt. Say goodbye to lingering food gunk on your pots and pans with a little salt on a damp sponge or use it to clean your favorite cast iron skillet by generously sprinkling and scrubbing with a brush – the salt is course enough to get off the leftover bits of food without removing the seasoning!  

Club Soda  

This popular drink not only keeps you hydrated, but it also works to remove stains from fabrics such as clothes, carpets, and upholstery if you act fast. Simply pour it on the area and dab it with a clean rag. In addition, you can give the inside of your fridge a long overdue wipe down using a mixture of club soda and salt.   


Planning to make rice for dinner? Make sure to save the water from when you rinse it before cooking! The milky leftover solution can be used to clean everything from dishes and countertops to kitchen appliances.  

Olive oil 

Olive oil is a multipurpose rockstar. Not only is it a cooking essential, but it spruces up and repairs scratches on leather chairs, removes tarnish from your silverware, and polishes wood furniture and cabinets—all you need to do for this one is combine two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice and rub all over with a cloth.  

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