Helpful Hints In the Kitchen: Part 7, This & That

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Have you ever cleaned the house with one of your parents or grandparents and they showed you a cool trick or shortcut you didn’t know before? Well thanks to Southwest Family Citrus, we have a whole series of them for you! This is our last article in the series, but if you missed any of our previous ones on cooking, just search for “Helpful Hints In The Kitchen” on the Fill Your Plate blog, and you’ll find Parts 1 through 6.


  1. To refinish antiques or revitalize wood, use equal parts linseed oil, white vinegar, and turpentine. Rub into the furniture or wood with a soft cloth and lots of elbow grease.
  2. To stop the ants in your pantry, seal off cracks where they are entering with putty or petroleum jelly. Also, try sprinkling red pepper on floors and countertops.
  3. To fix sticking sliding doors, windows, and drawers, rub wax along their tracks.
  4. To make a simple polish for copper bottom cookware, mix equal parts of flour and salt with vinegar to create a paste. Store the paste in the refrigerator.
  5. Applying baking soda on a damp sponge will remove starch deposits from an iron. Make sure the iron is cold and unplugged.
  6. Remove stale odors in the wash by adding baking soda.
  7. To clean Teflon, combine 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons baking soda and ½ cup liquid bleach. Boil in stained pan for 5 to 10 minutes or until the stain disappears. Wash, rinse, dry, and condition with oil before using the pan again.
  8. Corning Ware can be cleaned by filling it with water and dropping in two denture cleaning tablets. Let stand for 30 to 45 minutes.
  9. A little instant coffee will work wonders on your wood furniture. Just make a thick paste from instant coffee and a little water, and rub it into the nicks and scratches on your dark wood furniture. You’ll be amazed at how new and beautiful those pieces will look.
  10. For a clogged shower head, boil it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup of vinegar and 1 quart water.
  11. For a spicy aroma, toss dried orange or lemon rinds into the fireplace.
  12. Add raw rice to the salt shaker to keep the salt free-flowing.
  13. Ice cubes will help sharpen garbage disposal blades.
  14. Separate stuck-together glasses or cups by filling the inside one with cold water and setting them in hot water.


Find more cooking and cleaning tips on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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