Reuse, Renew, and Refresh: In the Kitchen

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Tired of the disposable lifestyle? It’s expensive and wasteful. Here are 10 simple ways to get longer life out of the things in the kitchen. 

  1. When tomato sauce turns a good plastic container pink, fill it with warm water, drop in one or two denture-cleaning tablets, wait 20 minutes, and rinse. (The tablets also work well for cleaning toilets.)
  2. Refresh household sponges by soaking them in cold salt water for ten minutes. You could also cut large sponges in half. This makes them last twice as long.
  3. If you spill red wine on a tablecloth or carpet, sprinkle the stain liberally with salt and leave it alone until the salt turns red. Then shake out and wash the tablecloth or vacuum the carpet.
  4. Pull a clean cotton sock over your hand to wash or dry the dishes.
  5. Got unsightly silverware? Polish it with the juice of a banana skin pureed in a blender.

    Polished silverware
  6. Go to the butcher to buy your meat or poultry; it’s wrapped in paper instead of encased on layers of plastic and often Styrofoam, plus it’s usually fresher and you can get the quantity you need.
  7. An old trash can or barrel makes an ideal potato garden. Make sure the can has a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
  8. Put those reusable shopping bags in the car so that you use them.
  9. Spritz any cleaning solutions directly onto a cloth or towel; this is more efficient than spraying onto windows and countertops.
  10. Use clean, squeeze-type ketchup and mustard containers for decorating cakes. Their spouts are great for writing and drawing with cake icing.
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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