Open Accessibility Menu

Condiments & Foods Perfect for Cleaning (And Cooking)

With summer starting to gear up, you know what that means? Family and friends’ get-togethers, soaking up some much-needed sun and all the delicious food you can eat. And, of course, the staple accompaniments that make all your cuisines taste like heaven.  

Whether you’re a ketchup connoisseur or a mustard maestro, these sauces have other uses than just making your French fries and hamburgers culinary masterpieces. They can also be used as cleaning products around the house.  


Let’s kick off this list with a tried-and-true classic. Mustard, which is said to be a favorite amongst Missourians, is probably the most pungent smelling and colorful of the bunch. This bright yellow sauce not only adds a nice kick to a burger but can hold its own amid other chemical-based cleaners. The rough and grainy texture of mustard can help remove stuck-on food residue and stains from baking sheets. We recommend using mustard powder instead of the traditional mustard sauce you’d find at your local grocery store’s condiment or spice aisle. Like baking soda, mustard powder will need to be used in tandem with water to help activate its cleaning power.  

The cleaning benefits of mustard include: 

  • Neutralizes foul smells 

  • Dissolves grease 

  • Removes stuck-on stains 


Another classic condiment we couldn’t forget about is ketchup. If you own antique dishes and cutlery, you probably already know ketchup is great for cleaning silver and brass. The citric acidic and vinegar makeup puts this red paste up there with some of the best cleaning products for delicate dishes. What you may not know about ketchup is that it can also remove tarnish from stainless steel appliances, cast iron skillets, and stuck-on food from everyday pots and pans. 

When cleaning with ketchup, we recommend letting the sauce soak on the affected area for 30-40 minutes. If you have a particularly stubborn food stain, let the ketchup soak overnight and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth the next day.   

The cleaning benefits of ketchup include: 

  • Revitalizes surfaces 

  • Removes extremely hard stains and food residue 

  • Eliminates rust and dirt 


Before you scoff at mayo, hear us out. Traditional mayonnaise gets a bad rap for having a slimy texture and not being very appetizing. We’ll refrain from weighing in on food aversions and stick with mayonnaise’s use for cleaning around the house. If you have residue from stickers in your children’s bedrooms or left-over tape that refuses to come off surfaces, the oils in mayo make it an all-natural adhesive remover. And if you’re looking to remove water stains or marks from tables or other wood surfaces, mayonnaise is definitely worth keeping in the house (preferably in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go bad). 

Simply apply the mayonnaise to stuck-on tape or sticker residue and let it sit. After about 20 minutes, wipe the surface clean, and you should be able to peel off the left-behind adhesive easily.  

The cleaning benefits of mayonnaise include: 

  • Polishes and rejuvenates wood surfaces 

  • Removes wood scratches and scuffs 

  • Eliminates surface-level dirt on floors 


What would the world be without sodium chloride—better known as salt? Maybe not considered a condiment in the traditional sense, salt is a formidable cleaning product that works well on its own and paired with acidic food-based cleaners, such as lemons and vinegar. Salt can be used to remove stains from coffee mugs (when mixed with dish soap), clean rust from gardening tools, and unclog drains. 

The cleaning benefits of salt include: 

  • Absorbs liquids 

  • Makes a great abrasive scrub 

  • Deodorizes cutting boards 


We talk about white vinegar a lot here at Merry Maids because it’s an ingredient in many condiments such as ketchup and relish, but it can also work as a solo act. And who doesn’t love a salty, tangy bag of salt and vinegar chips? Other types of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar, can also be used as household cleaners. We recommend vinegar to help clean and disinfect glass, floors, countertops, and other hard surfaces. More important, it can be used to clean and extend the life of your dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer.  

The cleaning benefits of vinegar include: 

  • Kills bacteria and germs 

  • Is Eco-friendly 

  • Dissolves grease and dirt 

More Foods for Cleaning 

They may not be condiments, but these foods pack a punch on the grill and in your house as the perfect cleaning companions.  


Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t used a bag of rice to absorb liquid that’s accidentally found its way inside a phone or tablet? While rice can save our electronic devices from a watery fate, it’s also been known to:  

  • Clean glass vases – Scoop two spoonfuls of rice into a vase, add warm water, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Find a top that fits snuggly over the opening and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how clear and clean the vase looks by the end! 

  • Keep tools from rusting – Add a cup of uncooked rice to your toolbox to help absorb any moisture and keep your tools rust-free.  

Banana Peels 

Also great for composting, banana peels have a multitude of cleaning uses that include: 

  • Removing scratches on CDs – If you notice your favorite CD is skipping because of scratches, grab a banana peel. Rub the peel in a circular motion on the scratches for a few minutes, and then use a cotton ball to wipe away any residue. Use a glass cleaner to finish off your scratch-free CD.  

  • Eliminating plant mold growth – Simply rub a banana peel over plant leaves to reduce and eliminate mold that water can help create.  

We hope this list gets you excited about a clean house and delicious food and fun for the summer. Our team would love to support you and handle all the tedious cleaning so that you have more time to enjoy the sun with your family.  

Request a cleaning estimate today