Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baking Soda, I Love You!

For many years baking soda had three uses in my opinion.  It was one of the necessary ingredients in the chocolate chip cookies that I made once a year around Christmas, it was a key component in making a homemade volcano with vinegar that was dyed red or orange, and it was just one of those things that I had to put in the freezer and fridge for some mysterious reason.  Outside of those three uses baking soda didn't get a second glance from me.

Then I complained one day to my mom that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the sour milk smell our of our laundry. (This was during the days when Ellie was drowning us in spit-up.)  My mom suggested that I find the baking soda that you use in the laundry (It's called Washing Soda, but it's really just very coarse baking soda.).  After purchasing my first two dollar box of this miracle stuff I was hooked.  A cup of it would take away all the sour milk odor.  I was amazed and I was in love.  

Enter Mr. Furkins.  The diabolical Mr. Furkins does everything in his power to smell as badly as he doggishly can.  Once he's built up his dog odor he maniacally goes into the family room, where I like to spend most of my leisure time (Ha!), and proceeds to embed his dog scent into my once beautiful new carpet.  For those of you wondering, my three year old rugs look like they've seen a war after many dog and potty training accidents.  In the case of Mr. Furkins, I'd say most of them were "on purposes" and not accidents.  One day on the verge of losing my sanity I decided that I was going to dump a pound of baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for a few hours.   After a while I vacuumed it up and got down on my hands and knees to take a sniff.  The essence of Oscar was gone.  Another baking soda miracle!  Every so often I repeat this miraculous process so that I can keep my nose from feeling totally offended.

Months ago when one of the readings at Sunday Mass was about Moses and the burning bush I came up with a craft idea for my CCD class that resulted in me dying my hands yellow and orange.  I freaked out that I was probably going to go to Mass that Saturday afternoon and receive communion with tye dyed hands and fingernails.  As I'm freaking out, Bryan kindly googled "How to remove food coloring from skin" and found a suggestion to use baking soda to remove the dye.  I didn't think it would work, but Bryan told me to give it a try.  I did, and a few minutes later my hands were back to normal.  How awesome is that?

When our pool was opened this past May our pool guy told me never to buy alkalinity from a pool supply store.  He's always trying to give me tips on saving money either on pool items or general use things. I suspect it's because Bryan and I are young and have kids.  He's keen on trying to pass fatherly advice on to us.  Anyway, he told me to go to the local warehouse club store and buy the big bag or box of baking soda use that instead of the over priced alkalinity which is really just baking soda packaged as a pool chemical.  That little tip has certainly saved us money.

Almost three months ago my Aunt Florence passed away and my Uncle Ned has found himself having to learn how to keep house.  His daughter, my mom and I have found his fascination with cleaning the house to be rather amusing.  He took a book out of the library two months ago that was filled with household hints.  He started trying some of them out and the results were amazing.  I can't remember all of what he did, but one involved baking soda and the other plain white vinegar (he made the grout on a 40+ year old tile floor look brand new in a 3X3 foot area).  Inspired by Uncle Ned, I decided to try baking soda out on my stove top burners and drip pans.  The stuff worked like magic.  All of the grime and baked on things that wouldn't come off with normal household cleaners quickly dissolved.

This morning I decided I needed to find a way to tackle the ugly water stains that were on the girls' bathtub that have been there since we moved in.  Over the past three years I've tried bleach, comet, Scrubbin' Bubbles, Fantastic and finally CLR.  None of them worked.  As I sat there totally dismayed this morning that the CLR, my last ditch effort, didn't do a thing my thoughts wandered to baking soda.  Could baking soda do something the harsh chemicals couldn't?   I figured I'd be wasting my time, but I gave it a go anyway.  I grabbed my carpet  shaker container filled with baking soda and the new box I had under the kitchen sink just in case it really worked, and a nylon bath pouf (I use these to clean tubs, showers and sinks since they clean and dry easier than icky sponges.).  I made a paste on the stains and started scrubbing.  I was stunned when the baking soda took them away.  Sure I had to put some elbow grease into scrubbing the stains, but it was well worth it.  Even the blue paint speckles that the previous owners got all over the tub when they painted the bathroom came up (and I've spent lots of time scrubbing those spots in the past).  

Baking soda is my new number one cleaning product.  It totally rocks and is super cheap.  Even better is the fact that it's non-toxic and doesn't give off any fumes. 

1 comment:

  1. I could easily worship baking soda. HA! It is so awesome. Baking soda and vinegar are my go to's now vs harsh cleaners! Great write up!


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