Thursday, March 29, 2012

4 Surprising Uses for Baking Soda and Vinegar

I hate posts about all the things you can do with baking soda and vinegar.

Especially when they're long. After about ten or fifteen ideas, things either start getting a little bogus or a little inane. (Use baking soda to deodorize your shoes!--Duh. Use vinegar to keep frost from forming on your windshield!—tried it. Didn't work.)

So here are 4 cool things you can do with Baking Soda and/or Vinegar that I've tried and actually been impressed with.

Baking Soda:
  • Deodorant—it's a little too abrasive for me to use it straight (though I've heard some people do!). . .but it really works! Better, in fact, than any of the other "natural" deodorants, store-bought or otherwise, that I've ever tried. I'm currently using it in a recipe for homemade deodorant from Crunchy Betty, and I'm pretty sure the baking soda is the real power-player in it.

  • Coffee Pot Cleaner—I pour a cup or two in with the water on a full pitcher and it freshens things up and gets rid of coffee stains like you wouldn't believe—you can take a rag to the glass carafe while it's still warm and the stains just melt off. I also run a full pitcher of plain water afterwards to rinse.

Baking Soda and Vinegar:
  • Oven Cleaner—Where I first read this, it said to spread on a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit for a few hours, then come back and wipe it off. While I was spreading the paste on, though, I noticed it was turning brown—so I just went ahead and lightly scrubbed with it, and the baked on grease came right off easy as pie! I was pretty surprised. After you wipe most of the baking soda off, you can rinse it with straight vinegar to keep a white film from forming.

  • Drain Clearer—I was skeptical: surely it wouldn't be powerful enough. This didn't work the first couple of times I tried it; but when I finally did it right, I was blown away. Pour baking soda straight into the drain. If it's something with a built-in plug like a bathroom sink drain, find a way to temporarily remove the plug or unscrew the top so that the baking soda can pack thoroughly into the drain (This was my problem. I was pouring it into my bathroom sink and trying to shove it down underneath the plug. Not very effective.) Pour in 1/2 a cup of straight vinegar and cover the drain quickly with a small cup or bowl. Leave it for fifteen minutes or so, then chase with a kettle of boiling water.

Do you use baking soda and vinegar in your spring cleaning?

P.S. Check out my peas. I moved them from their egg carton starter to a pot when they were about two inches high, and they're loving life!