6 Chemical-Free Cleaners Hiding in Your Pantry

baking soda as cleaner
Photo: iStock
Fight grime the all-natural way! Raid your pantry for these super-simple cleaning solutions -- and leave the toxic stuff at the drugstore.
  1. Vanilla Extract

    Clean the microwave and leave it smelling sweet with this household trick! Mix 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a microwave-safe container, and zap it on high for five minutes. When it's done, remove the container and wipe down the interior of the oven. Any gunk should slide right off.

  2. Coffee Filter

    Wipe down all TVs, computers, other screens and mirrors with a coffee filter (minus the brew grounds!), and voila, dust-free!

  3. Eggshells

    Having trouble cleaning narrow-necked bottles and vases? Drop a handful of crushed eggshells into the bottle, add warm water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid, and swirl it around. The shells will scrape off any hard-to-reach spots.

  4. Bread

    It’s not just the best part of your sandwich. Bread is also great for dusting paintings that can be harmed by traditional cleaners. And its naturally sticky texture is great for picking up small pieces of broken glass.

  5. Cornstarch

    It’s a staple for gravies, stews...and carpet stains! Just mix it with water to make a paste and treat on the spot. Its absorbing power will soak up the stain.

  6. Baking Soda

    Mix with water to create a natural cleaner that’s great for everything from dirty sneakers to scuffs on walls. We love to use it to clean stainless steel in the kitchen without scratching. Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean, damp sponge or cloth, and wipe the sink clean; then rinse thoroughly.