Food is for eating, right? But there are natural foods that have some surprising alternative uses and benefits that you probably didn’t know. Coconut oil, vinegar, coffee, and more—did you know they have amazing cleaning powers? Even better, using food-based and natural household cleaners are an environmentally conscious choice that can also help you save money. Before you buy your next bottle of cleaning solution, read first about these brilliant kitchen items with incredible uses.
1. Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that can help improve your health in many ways. It is considered a “good cholesterol” and is actually add to your diet. Aside from that, it also fights immune system-related diseases and is a wonder in cooking because it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down or burning.
But did you know that you can also use this to prolong the freshness of eggs? All you have to do is put a small amount of it over the shells of the eggs. This helps prevent exposure of the egg to oxygen and extends the egg life for up to two weeks.
You can also use coconut oil as a mouthwash. Its antibiotic properties can destroy the bacteria in your mouth helping prevent tooth decay. Mix equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda, then just add few drops of peppermint essential oils, and voila! You already have a homemade natural mouthwash.
We already know that lemons have the power to add flavor to some of our favorite recipes, and to cure cold and flu by adding it to our hot tea.
But did you know they are also very useful in the house? It can rid your refrigerator or garbage bin of unpleasant odors. You can also use it on cutting boards, bowls, and wooden rolling pins.
Another hack is to spritz lemon juice on surfaces to keep insects away. You can even create your own air humidifier/purifier for your kitchen using lemons. Make a few slices, place it in a pot, cover with water, and let simmer for an hour.
Another lemon hack: Throw in old and rusty cutlery in the pot since lemons are also known to clean and remove rust from stainless steel.
3. Aloe Vera
Also known as the “plant of immortality,” aloe vera is the go-to remedy for sunburns. Aloe leaves secrete a clear gel that can heal wounds and soothe the skin.
Various studies have shown that aloe vera has special antibacterial properties, vitamins, and minerals that treat hair and scalp problems, and even more serious skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and skin ulcers. Aside from that, it also aids in digestion and helps relieve mouth sores if you chew pieces of its fresh leaves. It can even help in treating gum diseases!
For beauty and skincare, you can use it as a natural makeup remover, shaving cream, and hand sanitizer.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many benefits to taking apple cider vinegar—from helping to ward off symptoms of a cold, aiding weight loss, to easing a cough—so it’s always a good idea to have some in your kitchen cupboard.
If you have an upset stomach, try mixing one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water. Apple cider vinegar has pectin that helps soothe intestinal spasms. It is also one of the best remedies to stop a hiccup. Its sour taste stimulates the nerves in the throat that are responsible for the spasms.
It’s a powerful tool to get rid of dandruff, too. Its acidity changes the pH of the scalp making it harder for the yeast to grow. Just mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of water. Put the mix in a spray bottle, and then spritz on your scalp.
For coffee lovers, drinking a cup of coffee every morning is a must. But did you know that coffee also has uses outside of being an awesome energy booster?
The coffee grounds can still be useful after you’ve had your morning fix. Because coffee is high in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, it makes for good fertilizer. Small amounts of coffee grounds can be added directly to the top soil. It is recommended to use in plants that prefer high acidity in soil like roses. Because of coffee’s strong odor, it can also be used as an insect repellant.