Kitchen Cleaning All-Stars in Your Pantry and Fridge

Getting ready to clean the coffeemaker or scrub away at those unfortunate stains (tomato soup?) in your microwave? Before you reach under the sink for any household cleaning products, give DIY cleaners a try to polish stainless steel, clean grease stains and freshen the garbage disposal. They’re easy to whip up with a few natural ingredients and pantry items.


The most edible of the cleaning all-stars is also pretty versatile. Cut out a slice and use it straight on stainless steel appliances to remove grease and streaks.

Clean your microwave and leave it smelling better with some lemon and a bowl of water. Microwave the mix until it boils and leave it to steam for a minute to soften the dried-up gunk on the side of your microwave, before you put in some elbow grease to scrub it away.

Freshen up your coffeemaker by running a cycle with a lemon juice-water mixture. You can also clean your garbage disposal by running it with a few lemon wedges.

Make an all-purpose cleaner and wipes with this recipe from The Kitchen, using lemon and orange peels, water and white vinegar.


In addition to using it in the all-purpose cleaner above, you can add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water for a natural mopping solution that can disinfect and remove odors from your kitchen floors.

Spray down a cutting board with white vinegar to kill odors and naturally disinfect.

Seeing chalky white spots on your pans? Boil a mixture of vinegar and water in the pan to clear calcium buildup.


Salt, our seasoning bestie, plays double-duty in the kitchen by helping lift heavy grime in pans and dishes and preventing fresh grease stains from setting in clothes and carpets.

It can also clean stains and clear smells from a wooden cutting board with a bit of kosher salt and half a lemon.

Baking Soda

Though it isn’t as edible as is, baking soda is probably the best known among pantry items for its cleaning properties.

Make a paste with baking soda and water to clean tough grime from pots and pans. Use it to clean the oven by leaving the paste coated on the sides of the oven overnight, setting it to heat for an hour and spraying it with a water-vinegar mixture to scrub it off. It can also make cleaning water bottles a breeze.

Honorable Mentions:

If you’re having trouble reaching stains at the bottom of a pitcher or glass, use rice to scrub! Add a half cup of rice to a cup of water and a bit of dish soap and swirl away.

Both yogurt and ketchup (with a bit of salt) can be used to clean and shine copper kitchenware.

This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!