Take a moment and travel back to your childhood. Remember the fun of the volcano science experiment?
You carefully poured a box of baking soda into your paper mache volcano and impatiently anticipated the moment the vinegar would be poured in to trigger the “greatest eruption in the history of all elementary school science fairs.”
Guess what? The baking soda and vinegar combination can clean, too! Now you have an excuse to relive the fun of your childhood in your kitchen and bathroom. Who said cleaning has to be boring?
If your mom didn’t let you do the volcano experiment because “everyone was doing it” and she made you grow beans instead, now is your chance!
Use the baking soda/vinegar combination to clean…
Garbage Disposal and Drains:
Sprinkle some baking soda into the sink or shower drain and add vinegar. Let it sit 15-30 minutes before running water to rinse. The reaction will clean and dissolve muck in the pipes.
Does your drain have a lot of build-up? It is a good idea to use a very inexpensive tool first to clean out the big stuff first. This tool is a Zip-It and costs about a dollar at a hardware store. It goes down the drain, and when you pull it back up, little “teeth” detach the muck. Simply toss it in the trash. If you use the Zip-it without running the water, you will prevent the majority of the build-up from going down the drain.
After clearing the drain with the Zip-It, use the soda and vinegar on a regular basis to keep it clean and avoid a smelly drain. Put the soda and vinegar in the drain and leave it overnight or all day after using the shower for maximum effectiveness.
To clean your toilet, pour one part baking soda to four parts vinegar into the toilet basin. Let it sit 15-30 minutes before scrubbing and flushing thoroughly.
Who knew cleaning the toilet could be such fun and make you giddy with childhood memories? It’s ok. No one is looking. Feel free to jump up and down and clap with delight at all the fizzing.
If you haven’t been using baking soda/washing soda for cleaning, give it a try. It makes cleaning so many items easier.
Baking soda is effective at removing stains and absorbing odors, all the while being a chemical-free choice for cleaning.
Washing soda does a great job on tough jobs, but unlike baking soda, it is slightly stronger and can’t be ingested. Wear rubber gloves when handling it.
Know how expensive it is to stock up on all those cleaners? Restocking cleaning supplies can add $30-40 to a grocery bill. Baking soda is cheap! It costs about $1 per pound. Soda and vinegar are available at your local grocery store or in huge quantities at local club warehouses.
Use baking soda to clean…
Dip an old toothbrush in a paste of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon water and use it to dislodge gunk. After that, wipe your can opener blade clean after each use.
If your carpet is holding onto pet or other odors, sprinkle with baking soda before you vacuum.
Soda will safely clean off the baked-on food.
Countertops, sinks, & tubs:
Mix a small amount of baking soda with liquid castile soap. For a “fresh smell” try adding a few drops of rosemary, orange or lavender essential oils.
Even more simple, just sprinkle some baking soda and use water to scrub these clean, too. The abrasiveness of the baking soda will take off stubborn stains. It helps to get hard water build-up off faucets, too.
Stained teacups and coffee mugs:
Fill with 1 part baking soda and 2 parts water and soak overnight; rub with a sponge and rinse.
To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on the fabric, then vacuum.
Erase crayon marks by applying a baking-soda paste (equal parts baking soda and water) to white painted walls (baking soda may dull colored walls). Let dry before brushing it off with a clean cloth.
Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water in a microwave safe cup. Boil in the microwave for a few minutes. The insides of the microwave will be damp and easy to clean with a paper towel or dishcloth. This has the added benefit of removing odors that may be clinging to your microwave oven.
Use washing soda to clean tougher greasier stains…
Garage floors (and other concrete surfaces):
Pour washing soda generously on oil and grease spots and sprinkle with water until a paste forms. Let stand overnight. The next day, scrub with a damp brush, hose down, and wipe clean.
Dip a moist stiff-bristled brush in washing soda to scrub trimmers, clippers, and more. Rinse, then place in a sunny area to dry. (Don’t use washing soda on aluminum tools.)
Grills and barbecue utensils:
To combat tough grease stains, dip a moist stiff-bristled brush in washing soda and scrub away.
Stove burner grates: In a dishpan, soak them in 1 gallon warm water and 1/2 cup washing soda for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry.
Special thanks to Marianne B. and Jean B. for providing information for this article.