5 Cooking Ingredients with Everyday Household Uses

5 Cooking Ingredients with Everyday Household Uses

There are two types of items we keep in our pantries: those items we use daily which we buy in bulk; and those other items we use less frequently but still insist upon having on hand. Each type of item comes with a limited shelf life, so an easy way to finish off unused or over bought products is by using them as household items. For example, to remove stains and odors from your carpet, exfoliating your skin, or polishing your silver.

Baking Soda: Besides making fluffy buttermilk pancakes or flakey biscuits, that box of baking soda sits in the same spot on your shelf month in and month out. But did you know if you poured ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar down a clogged drain, it would unclog it? You can also soak your favorite coffee mug in hot water and baking soda overnight to remove those pesky coffee stains.

Cheap Vodka: Cheap vodka does more good than we ever knew it could. Add a few drops to a vase of flowers to make them last longer; or simply freshen up your “dry clean only” clothing between trips to the cleaners by spraying the fabric completely with vodka and letting it dry. This will leave your clothing odorless once again.

Salt: Salt is probably the most used seasoning in your pantry right now, as such; it’s practically bought by the barrelful leaving plenty left over for these household tricks. Maybe you’ve had an egg or two sitting in the carton for longer than usual and you’re really not sure if they’re fresh anymore. Add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water and drop in the egg. If it’s fresh, it will float; if it’s past its prime it will sink to the bottom. Have you been using the same sponge to wash your dishes for two weeks? To restore your sponge to a clean and odor-free state, soak it overnight in a solution of ¼ cup salt per quart of water, rinse in the morning and your sponge will be ready for use.

Lemons: Great for zesting up any dish or adding acidity to your favorite salad dressings, lemons are an everyday essential. Use them outside the kitchen to disinfect small wounds—to stop bleeding from small cuts and scrapes. To quickly and painlessly remove blackheads, cut a lemon in half and squeeze honey directly onto one half. Sprinkle the honey with sugar and rub in circular motions across the problem areas of your face. This will help not only exfoliate your skin but help remove those pesky blackheads.

Rice: To keep our diets clean and healthy many of us are curbing those craving with smoothies and juices. To sharpen up those worn down or dull blender blades, add two cups of rice to your blender and blend for two minutes on high. To sooth aching muscles or to keep warm at night, fill a tall sock with rice and tie off at the top, microwave for 2-3 minutes and place under your back or by your side for instant warmth. If your day was extra stressful, make an aromatherapy eye mask by combining two cups of rice and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil, mix to coat the rice evenly, spread onto a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Funnel the rice into your sock and tie off. Prop your feet up, drape the warm sock over your eyes and relax.

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