Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5, 2011: Going Bananas For Cleaning

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Okay, it’s February and the variety of fresh fruit available in the supermarkets isn’t so wide. But bananas are available year-round. Not only are they good for you – containing tons of potassium, vitamins, and minerals – did you know you can use the peels for household cleaning?

I first found out about using banana peels for cleaning by watching the BBC American show, How Clean is Your House with Kim and Aggie. I just loved watching that British pair march into some of the filthiest homes imaginable and turn it into tip-top condition. Sadly, the show is no longer in production. But after years of watching it, I got some great cleaning tips, including using banana peels to clean!

Yep, don’t throw those banana peels away; they are a great help around the house when you get that early spring cleaning itch.

For one, you can take those banana peels and apply them to the leaves on your plants. They not only take away all that nasty winter soot and dust, the leaves are left shiny and healthy. Just take care that you don’t use too much elbow grease and tear the leaves as you wipe them with the banana peels.

For another, banana peels are a great way to clean leather. Simply use the peel as you would a soft cloth with polish, brushing it briskly across the leather on a pair of shoes, furniture, clothing. Follow with a buff using a dry, clean cloth.

I have also read that banana peels can clean sterling silver but I've tried it without much success. Maybe I was expecting too much - the peels polish silver nicely but didn't take away the nasty black spots that tend to accumulate on unused silver pieces. Tip: the best way to avoid cleaning black spots from sterling silver is to use it - and clean it - often or store it away in a proper box.

When you're done using the peels for cleaning, place them in a plastic bag (such as a Ziploc) and leave it open. If your house has fruit flies, they will swarm to the banana peels. Give them an hour or so to congregate in the bag, then seal it up and throw the bag in your outdoor trash bin.

A couple more uses for banana peels (that I can't verify) - to clean CDs and wood furniture.

Always buff with a dry, clean cloth after using a banana peel (except for plant leaves).

So enjoy that banana to eat, then use the peel to clean your house. Talk about an environmentally friendly way to clean!

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