Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baking Soda: The Kitchen's Unsung Hero

Some of you are already saying "Duh". 

Well poo-poo on you.

Guess what? THIS girl just discovered that baking soda can clean anything. And clean it well! I've only ever used it in baking and deodorizing my fridge. Who knew that the advertising on the box was right? Yes, it DOES have countless uses. Thank you Arm&Hammer. So in the spirit of my blog, being that as I learn things I want to share them with others that are as clueless as myself, I'm blogging about baking soda!

 Today I had on my list to clean appliances. Yuck. 

Most children have what is called "selective hearing". Well, I have what is called "selective vision". Yes, that is the technical term and it is a serious condition. When there are messes that need to be cleaned up, my eyes block the image from my brain so that I no longer know the mess is there. It's not an easy condition to live with. Hence, the reason why my stove top rarely gets cleaned....and I've never actually cleaned my oven....or any oven for that matter. Don't judge, I have a condition! Now if only I could get the selective vision to block some other images I've had to endure in my lifetime....(insert Miley Cyrus joke here)

So I started on my cleaning list with a few small jobs. I got out my all purpose bleach cleaner and some paper towels (so wasteful, I know) and got to work. About 5 minutes into it I couldn't take the bleach fumes anymore. A few weeks ago my husband and I spent a WHOLE DAY cleaning all of the windows in our house inside and out. Plus wiping down door frames and window sills. After a whole day of inhaling Windex and bleach cleaner, I'm quite sure I knocked out a whole section of brain cells. Ever since that day, the bleach smell makes me sick. 

As I moved on to clean the stove top (dreading every second of it), a light bulb popped on in my head. Didn't I pin something on Pinterest about cleaning with baking soda? Well, for those of you that know me...I like to figure things out for myself. So I grabbed my bag of baking soda and just started pouring it on my stove. Um, okay...now what? 

So to Pinterest I went. I read a bunch of different blogs. I'd link them all, but they all said the same stuff. Basically let any stain soak with baking soda and water. Then scrub/wipe. 

So that's what I did! I poured baking soda all over my microwave and wiped most of that off. I soaked all the parts of my gas stove burners in baking soda and water and scrubbed. I cleaned my oven using baking soda and water. 

The hitch in my beautiful baking soda endeavor was my stove grates. These things are a pain in my rear. Instead of having four grates, one for each burner, I have two double grates. Which makes it pretty much impossible to submerge them to soak them. Unlucky me, I do not have a fancy farmhouse sink that is the size of my kitchen table. So I had to figure something out. I read a thing about pouring ammonia in a Ziplock bag and leaving the grate in there over night for the fumes to eat away at the grease. That's great....now where is a Ziplock bag that will fit my grates....oh wait. So instead I decided to try something I saw someone use for cleaning their hood vent. 

Get a huge pot, fill it with water and bring to a boil. Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda then put the grate in the pot. Let it boil for a while. When you pull it out scrub off the yucky stuff, flip it and put back in pot, repeat. If I feel the burning desire to have perfect looking stove grates, then maybe some day I'll try the ammonia thing but with a garbage bag or something. 

Baking Soda soaking in the oven and on the door while a stove grate boils in a pot of baking soda water. Notice how WHITE my stove is!! :)
So the moral of my story?

All I needed was baking soda, water, and a sponge. Yes, I have officially converted to a sponge instead of papertowels. (Yay lessened carbon footprint!) And maybe some rubber gloves. No more bleach fumes, no more bleach spots on my clothes, no more spending money on that crap at the store. 

Did I get it all cleaned perfectly?
Does it look brand spanking new?
Is it way cleaner than it used to be? 
Am I okay with that? 

Hopefully now I'll have some time to have my selective vision checked out before another messy stove top appears. I'd sure hate to miss having to clean my stove again! I'm sorry...that's a lie. But at least next time I won't be gagging on bleach fumes and I'll save a little money, too. 

What else do you use baking soda for?

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