Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Funky Frugal Ways to Clean Kitchenwares

Cleaning Tips For Retro Housewives
The Thrifty Kitschy Housewife Series

Skip the Brillo ...hello potatoes
....clean with potatoes? that is a really kitschy GREE
N way to be a frugal mom (dad) and "housewife" .Yes I said you can clean with potatoes and even bread.
Imagine that, I have just discovered a new use for all the crusty bread sitting on my kitchen counter. Hang in there...this will all become clear in just a moment.
I am watching the snow fall....again...and I have stumbled across some totally fruity ideas that appear to have worked in kitchen back in the day. I'm not saying that these pearls of wisdom will work for everyone......but if you are still using older pots and pans or like kitchen may want to keep some of these tips handy.
If you try any of these ideas......let us know..

To Clean Aluminum:

use a fine metal or silver polish. Use nothing that will scratch it. If food should scorch in an aluminum pan, cover the burned area thickly with salt. Let stand for several hours, rinse and use more salt to rub off the scorch.

To Clean Copper or Brass

if copper or brass is very dirty, put some fine salt on a plate, dip into it a cut lemon and rub on the metal. The strong acid will remove the worst stain.

Metal Coffee Pots

should always be bright on the inside to insure good coffee. By occasionally boiling soap, water and washing soda in them they will be kept in excellent condition.

To Clean Rusty and Bl
ackened Knives:

use half a raw potato dipped into brick dust.

To Clean A Frying Pan:

rub with a hard crust of bread, and wash with hot water and washing soda. Never scrub it or the next food fried in it will be be likely to stick.

Saucepans and Baking Dishes:

should be filled with cold water immediately after using, so as to prevent fragments clinging to them. By doing this they may be cleansed in half the time otherwise required.

Source: Edwardian Era Booklet "Household Hand Book " By Lilly Haxworth Wallace

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. I just used the cut lemon dipped in salt technique to clean 3 old and tarnished French copper au gratin pans I picked up at an estate sale. It worked great! Removed the dark tarnish and left the surface with a warm, rich patina.

  2. This is great. Next time I see an old brick I'm going to make some brick dust and see if that knife thing works LOL

  3. We try to do a lot of green cleaning. I bet quite a few useful things could be gleaned from those books.