Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Amazingness

I've been told by several people that I should do an infomercial for baking soda and vinegar. I get a little over-excited when I can introduce a friend to their awesome powers! I seriously love them! They are useful in so many ways, relatively cheap, safe around children and pets, and good for the environment.

So I have decided to compile a list of different uses for baking soda and vinegar (that I have discovered anyway!). Now sit back, and let me blow your mind!

Baking Soda
is good for...

~Cleaning sinks - porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, plastic - Baking soda is not picky! I just get a wet face cloth, sprinkle baking soda on to it, and wipe! The dirt and stains just melt away!

~Cleaning counter tops.

~Cleaning toilet seats and exteriors. I use a mix of baking soda AND white vinegar for the bowl, probably about a half cup each, then I let it sit and fester for a while, then scrub with the brush and voila, clean! It will help keep your pipes clean too.

~Cleaning bath tubs. This is my favourite! Our tub gets really bad since Dave is a dirty roofer. Other cleaners won't touch it, but I just put a little baking soda on my cloth and it takes very little effort to make the tub sparkle! The tar goes running for its mama! And it gets the hard water stains off too. (Anything CLR can do, baking soda can do better!)

~Adding 1/2 cup in a load of laundry to boost cleaning power and zap odors!

~Adding to dishwasher detergent (I do 2 parts detergent to 1 part baking soda), to help clean, cut down the amount of soap you need, and keep the machine itself and drain clean!

~Scrubbing nasty dishes and cutting boards. Baking soda combined with some elbow grease will get off the stains and crusted food that dish soap can't.

~Washing walls and cupboards. I used baking soda to clean out our old apartment when we moved, and it did a fabulous job! Make sure to wipe with just water afterward, or it may leave a white residue.

~Cleaning stoves and hoods (and other appliances!). When we moved I thought I'd try baking soda on the hood over the stove, and it worked so well! It was yellow, caked with grease, when we moved in, but white and sparkling when we moved out! I wish I had thought of that earlier...

~Cleaning carpets. I usually go at a spill or stain with baking soda on a cloth (sometimes vinegar too if it's bad). It was especially good when the cat or toddler had an accident, it killed the smell! It may leave a white residue, but that is easily vacuumed up once it's dry.

~Mopping. I add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar to a mop bucket, and fill with hot water. It works great on my tile kitchen, lino bathrooms and it also worked great on the laminate wood floors at our old apartment.

~Cleaning dried spills and stains in general. Most things come off easily with baking soda and a little scrubbing.

~Cleaning out garbage cans and diaper pails, along with white vinegar. I usually add equal parts of each and let it sit for a while, then add water and swish around, scrub if necessary.

~Curbing odors. I sprinkle some in the bottom of garbage cans, diaper pails, nasty shoes etc. I've heard some people use it as deodorant too, I haven't tried it myself though. People often keep a small box in the fridge to curb odors there.

~Brushing teeth, it really helps whiten and get your teeth squeaky clean! You get over the taste eventually.

~Cleaning your scalp. In the shower, add a bit of water to a handful of baking soda to make a paste, then scrub all over your scalp, leave for a few minutes, and rinse thoroughly out. Dave used to have nasty flakes, but they were gone after just one use of baking soda!

~Cleaning your body. Make the same kind of paste as for your scalp, and rub it on your face and body. It will leave your skin feeling soooo smooth! Or add a cup to your bath!

~Preventing cancer (supposedly). Make sure the baking soda is aluminum-free. Take a half tea spoon in some water every night to help neutralize your body. I don't really know for sure if this is true or not, but apparently lowering the acidity of your body will help get more oxygen in your blood, which kills cancer cells.

~Making baked goods. Duh.

~Putting out fires. Especially grease or oven fires. Just throw the baking soda on top of the fire and it will go out! Ask me how I know...

White Vinegar is good for...

~Cleaning mirrors, windows, and any kind of glass. Works soooooo well! I usually put a bit of water in the sink and add some vinegar, about 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Then I soak a cloth and wipe down the surface of what I'm cleaning, then dry it with a towel or newspaper, and it's soooo amazingly clean! You can almost see into other dimensions! You could also make up a spray bottle of the diluted vinegar, and just spray the surface and wipe.

~Cleaning faucets and anything shiny. I loooove doing my sink and shower faucets with vinegar. I use the same process as with glass, it looks so amazing after!

~Using as an all-purpose cleaner. I have a spray bottle with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water, and I spray the surface (wall, table, chair, toy, floor, etc) then wipe try with a microfibre cloth. It works really well! You can add a few drops of tea tree oil if you like.

~Adding to the rinse cycle for laundry. It helps remove soap residue, and also kills yeast (so it's good for your underwear or non-PUL cloth diapers if your baby is having yeast rashes).

~Putting in the 'Jet-Dry' spot on your dishwasher. No one ever suggested this to me, I just decided to do it, and I like to think that is why my glasses and cutlery come out so shiny. =) It keeps the dishwasher itself clean too.

~Using with baking soda for toilets, garbage cans, carpets and mopping (see above).

~Getting burnt-on stuff off of pots and pans. Simmer diluted vinegar in the pot, then scrub! Not that I ever burn anything while cooking.... =P

~Cooking and pickling. I can't stand the taste of vinegar though!

~Rinsing your hair. Put about a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a squirt or peri bottle (I use an old mustard squeeze bottle), and fill the rest with water and then squirt all over your hair and rinse well. It will get the dirt and soaps/chemicals out but leave your natural oils (and help distribute them) so your hair will be soft. It's not so great on my curly hair unless I use a leave-in conditioner after, but it leaves Dave's straight hair really nice.

~Adding to water. Dave occasionally adds a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to his water bottle. Apparently it's good for you, although it makes me want to barf, lol.

If anyone else has other uses for baking soda and vinegar, PLEASE let me know and I will add them to my list! Seriously, they are my favourite 'home maker' products out there! I don't use ANYTHING else for cleaning. I do have some bleach, I bought a jug of it when we moved out west (3.5 years ago), and it's still about half full. Most of that went to bleaching Ruthie's placenta, and occasionally I will give my diapers a bleach. We used it once when the toilet backed up too. But other than that, it's baking soda and vinegar all the way!


emilieblogs said...

We do a lot of this! I really want to try the no shampoo thing, too...for now, I just give a little scrub with my bar of Dr. Bronner's. Also, I keep a spray bottle of "all purpose" cleaner around...equal parts vinegar and water, with a few drops of tea tree oil. It even gets the food that the baby cakes under the kitchen table. :)

healingxheart said...

With the apple cider vinegar, I do 3/4 cups of water and two tablespoons of the vinegar, stick in the in microwave until hot and then add in a bit of honey. I do this whenever I feel a cold coming on or get an upper respiratory problem...within hours I'm already feeling better!!!

Ashley said...

I can definitely attest to the powers of baking soda and vinegar. My last apartment was filthy. I bought some serious cleaning products (things my environmentalist side cringed at) but to no avail. So I decided to try baking soda because of Kelly's psychotic ravings and it did wonders! It removed stains from my sinks and bathtubs created by unknown evils. I've also tried the tooth whitening trick and it's amazing!

I also have an add-on to the list: If you ever have smelly hands that just won't unsmell (ask me how I know... )a baking soda & lemon juice scrub takes care of it!

As for the vinegar, when I did an internship at a zoo we used vinegar to clean the glass because amphibians and reptiles are super sensitive to chemicals and windex is a big no-no. Got all the greasy little kid finger and face prints (and there were a LOT) off with ease.

Tia said...

I have never tried Baking soda on hard water stains!! Guess what I'm doing today with my huge bag of baking soda! OH MY for getting doggie odors out of the carpet! NOTHING works better! Thanks for all the tips! I'm gonna try a bunch today!

And thanks for the buttons on your blog!!

Jennifer said...

yes! i love them both too. I totally don't understand people who buy bleach cleaners etc when vinegar and baking soda are SO cheap!!

jessica said...

I just had a question- why would you bleach your placenta? I have never heard of that before. Maybe I am asking a really stupid question...

jessica said...


Kelly said...

@Jessica - I don't think it's a stupid question. I don't know the answer exactly, it's just what my midwives told me to do. I'm assuming that it would get really nasty if I didn't bleach it. They advise to either freeze it right away (if you are planning to consume it, as some people do to help balance the postpartum hormones), or bleach it if you are going to throw it out/bury it. Maybe it would start to rot or something, since it's human tissue. In the hopital they dispose of placentas in "biohazardous waste" bags.