Think twice before you throw things away. Here, clever uses for rinds, used tea bags, coffee grounds and more…
Freeze your zest. Most people don’t know that you can freeze lemon zest. Called for in many recipes, zest is the outermost rind of citrus fruits. When you need to use a lemon for its juice, first wash, then grate the rind. Freeze the zest in a bag up to six months.
Clean chrome. Polish your kitchen’s chrome faucet by rubbing it with the white inside of the lemon rind. Rinse and wipe dry.
Canker sore soother. Put a used black tea bag in the freezer for an hour or more. Then take the cold tea bag and place it on the canker sore. Keep it there for about 10 minutes. The tea bag should relieve the pain. Repeat with another used tea bag if necessary.
Urinary problems. Native Americans have long used a tea made from corn silk (the silky strands beneath the husk of corn) as an effective remedy for cystitis and other urinary problems. The most desirable corn silk is from young corn, gathered before the silk turns brown.
Take a handful of corn silk, and steep it in three cups of boiled water for five minutes. Strain, and drink during the day. You can dry corn silk in the sun outdoors and put it in an airtight container for up to two months. Note: If symptoms persist, see your doctor.
Diarrhea remedy. After using the edible part of the pomegranate, cut up the peel into quarter-size pieces and lay them in a sunny place till completely dry. Once dry, store them in a glass jar for up to three months. When you have diarrhea, prepare a tea by putting four pieces of peel in a cup. Add just-boiled water, and let it steep until the tea is cool enough to drink. One cup typically eases the problem. If it doesn’t, drink another cup a few hours later. Note: If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
Feet exfoliant. Using circular motions, rub the inside, fleshy part of the pineapple peel on the soles and heels of your feet for a few minutes. Then rinse, dry and feel the difference.
Fireplace-cleaning aid. Liberally sprinkle used coffee grounds over old ashes in the fireplace. The damp coffee grounds will weigh down the ash and help prevent clouds of dust.
Pore-tightening face mask. Mix an egg white into one-quarter cup of used coffee grounds. Using circular motions to stimulate circulation while exfoliating, spread the mixture on your face. When the concoction is dry and flaky, rinse your face clean with tepid water.