Making Mealtime Meaningful: Discover how we're giving back with the 12T Cares program →

We’re all aware of food waste, but as we dice, slice, and peel our produce, it’s hard to find a useful way to use all of these scraps. Luckily before they get tossed out, you can utilize these leftovers one more time. And no, you don’t use them for cooking, instead, you can use trash-bound scraps to clean your house. See which produce leftovers are suitable for cleaning which surface, you’ll be surprised!

To Shine Mirrors…

Via: Flickr

Nothing beats a long shower to take off the stress of the day, the problem is it leaves your mirror in a foggy mist, you can use your fingers or a towel to rub it off, but it always dirties your mirror! Luckily bathroom mirror smudges are a thing of the past, thanks to cucumber skins. The acids and juices in cucumbers act like a barrier against excess moisture and clean surfaces with a streak-free shine. Simply rub the skins, flesh side down, onto the mirror, and use a microfiber towel to dry the surface clean.

Your Next Universal Multi Surface Cleaner…

Via: Flickr

Lemons aren’t just for lemonade, the rind of lemons is a great base for a homemade multi-purpose cleaner. Soaking and waiting is all you need to do to make a perfectly usable DIY cleaner! In a mason jar, completely submerge lemon peels with white vinegar, leaving it at room temperature and shaking every few days. To get the best results for a potent cleaner, you should soak the solution for a week (or even up to three weeks). After the wait, combine one part of the solution with two parts of water into a spray bottle. This vibrant citrus solution will cut through any grit and grease, especially on high-traffic surfaces in the kitchen and the bathroom.

To Remove A Cooked On Mess…

Via: Flickr

No need for a magical array of chemicals to remove any baked-on crud, just use potato peels. The starch in potato peels acts as a natural dishwasher, adhering to the hard-to-scrub messes. Fill the dirty pots or pans with water and put several potato peels into the soak, waiting for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then effortlessly wipe the mess away with a sponge.

To Polish Wood For Less…

Via: Unsplash

Dull wood is brightened with the power of banana peels. To do this, rub the inner fleshy part of the peels into a wooden surface and polish the wood with a soft cloth. Banana’s unique properties of potassium, citric acid, and salicylic acid are a gentle but powerful trio for lifting grime and shining surfaces.

To Clean Your Microwave…

Via: Flickr

Feel like your microwave sediment is as ancient as an archeological dig site? Look no further than your fruit bowl! The scent of orange isn’t just pleasant, but the orange oils are super effective at removing caked-on food splatters. To unearth your dirty microwave, place orange peels and water in a microwave-safe bowl, heating for 1 minute. Don’t open the door and let the steam stay in the microwave for 20 to 30 minutes, that way the steam gets to work, all you’ll have to do is wipe the dirt away with a paper towel.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes