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How to clean with fruit

Fruit is not just good to eat, it also contains substances that make effective cleaning products. As a bonus, they can leave behind a delicious fragrance.


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How to clean with fruit

Quick fruit hints:

  • Cucumber slices don’t just soothe tired eyes, they can clean surfaces.

  • You can never have too many lemons for salad dressings or cleaning.

Fruit has properties to clean a variety of items in the kitchen, bathroom and in other areas of the home.


Combined with vinegar, it tackles a range of bacteria and leaves a fresh fragrance.

  • Grapefruit spray: Combine 1 cup of vinegar with half a cup of grapefruit juice for a citrusy solution that will kill bacteria and dissolve lime scale. Another recipe for a general grapefruit cleaner combines 2 cups of vinegar with 2 cups of water, the peel of two grapefruit and 6 drops of tea tree oil. Store this in a jar in a dark place for a week and the oils in the peel will scent the vinegar. Remove the peel and transfer to a spray bottle for an effective cleaning spray.

  • Bath time: Clean your tub or shower with a grapefruit. Cut it in half, and sprinkle the cut surface with coarse salt. Wet the surface of the bath or shower, sprinkle on more salt and start applying grapefruit and elbow grease, squeezing juice out of the fruit and incorporating the salt grains for extra scrubbing power.


Cucumber slices are useful for cleaning & polishing stainless steel, mirrors and even shoes.

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  • Mash up banana to smear on wooden surfaces, then wipe off with a cloth to clean and polish.

  • Use the inside of banana peels to wipe the leaves of indoor plants and keep them healthy.

  • Banana peels can also be used to polish shoes and other leather items.


This fruit is a multifaceted cleaning wonder. Its acidic properties kill bacteria and cut through grease and its citrus-fresh fragrance is always welcome.

  • Lethal to lime scale: combine lemon juice and vinegar for a powerful weapon to combat hard water residues. Avoid marble surfaces though.

  • Microwave muscle: put half a cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl, cut a lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into the water, then drop the lemon halves in as well. Microwave this for 3 minutes, then let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl – be careful as it may be hot – and the turntable, and wipe out with paper towels.

  • Braai rescue: halve a lemon, sprinkle on coarse salt and use this to tackle baked on grease. This can be even more effective when the grill is hot, but be careful not to burn yourself.

Make your own insect repellent using ingredients such as peppermint or lavender essential oils; they’ll help to keep bugs away, and as a bonus, you’ll smell good!

Originally published