38 unusual and helpful uses for food

Apart from the best use of all;eating them, food ingredients and other packets of stuff in the larder can be used for all manner of very helpful things.  And we like useful here.  Also, if it means less use of yucky chemicals then double triple quadruple bonus.  We asked our wonderful MamaBake community what they used their humble ingredients for other than eating and they came up with this rather spiffy and very handy collection of tips.


  1. Rosewater, lemon and citric acid to clean out the kettle.
  2. Banana skin to remove warts, it works a treat.
  3. Bananas to wipe over scratched discs then wipe banana off & it shouldn’t skip
  4. Peppermint essence on a cotton ball/pad wipe cupboard shelves with it then use another cotton ball & cover it in peppermint essence leave it in the corner of a shelf & wallah! No cockroaches
  5. Dab a slice of bread around an area where glass has shattered. It will pick up tiny shards that you might have missed with the vacuum!
  6. Full cream milk dissolves pen ink. It’s the casein in the milk that works it’s magic
  7. The humble CUCUMBER can be used as a very effective eraser for pen or crayon on walls!! Just erase with skin still on….and rub it on your bathroom mirror to prevent it fogging
  8. Inside of cucumber for polishing tarnished stainless steel and to prevent mirrors fogging and the skin can be used as an eraser for when our little darlings re decorate the walls!
  9. Rub a walnut over scratches in wooden furniture, it darkens them, making them less obvious.
  10. Soda water, best thing ever for cleaning stainless steel, paper towel, wet it, wipe, grime is gone!
  11. Peanut butter to get chewing gum out of hair or anything with a sticky residue
  12. Just boring ol’ vinegar for table tops, benches and mould removal
  13. Toothpaste (yeah I know it’s not foodstuff unless you have a weird pregnancy craving) – great for removing stains from walls and texta on plasma screens.
  14. Toothpaste and a tooth brush is great for cleaning your engagement or diamond precious stone ring/s
  15. Rub Eucalyptus oil around door and window frames and no more cockroaches.
  16. We have a new kitten..  my magic cat poo smell eraser (for the carpet) is bicarb! I clean it off using dishwashing liquid and then pile on the bicarb, it absorbs the smell like nothing else.. also works wonders for toddler spew
  17. Remove scale from the inside do a kettle by boiling it with a cup of lemon juice
  18. This isnt food really but when I dye my hair at home i use toothpaste to get the bits of dye on my skin
  19. Use white vinegar for quite a few things around the house, in the washing machine in place of fabric softener, in shallow bowls placed around the house to absorb doggy smells and other odours, to wash the chemical residue off fruit & veg, in a bucket to help rid uniforms of smelly armpits.
  20. Good old vinegar and bi carb soda for most stubborn stains. Vinegar in my washing machine and dishwasher too
  21. Vinegar for fabric softener
  22. White Vinegar as fabric softener in the washing machine. It removes the excess soap buildup just like the commerical stuff but is sooooo much cheaper and better for the environment.
  23. Vinegar and bi carb and lemon are my main cleaners.
  24. Peanut butter will get chewing gum out of hair. Just put a glob on, rub it in and comb it (and the gum) out.
  25. Salt rubbed on tea cups/coffee cups to get rid of the stains…
  26. Chopped onion in dishes of water to neutralise new paint smell. And scrub your fingernails inside the empty half when you juice a lemon to clean and whiten them.
  27. Mustard can help to take the sting out of a burn.
  28. Milk to get rid of blood stains on fabric.
  29. I use coconut oil to dissolve anything sticky
  30. Walnuts for touching up wooden furniture/floor scuff marks…just rub it in.
  31. Olive oil and vinegar with a little honey as furniture polish.
  32. Sprinkle oily carpet stains with bicarb then spray with vinegar. Let it bubble then wipe with warm water
  33. Toothpaste for getting pen marks off the wall.
  34. Milk left to sour in the sun is perfect for getting ink out if carpet
  35. Shaving cream is great at getting marks out of carpet!
  36. Hairspray gets pen off everything…leather, walls, carpet even
  37. Massage olive oil into old, dry cracked leather to make it softer (worked on a leather leash I was given that was in a very bad state).

What ingredients do you use to do helpful things with?

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