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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Many Wonders of Baking Soda

I don't claim to be any kind of domestic goddess. My house USED to stay clean with minimal effort on my part because thanks to my OCD tendencies, things were put back where they belonged right after use, I could finish things completely, even when multi-tasking. Then we had a kid. Now it's not like it was unexpected because I underwent a few years of fertility treatment hits and misses. The degree to which it changes your life is what is shocking. There's a reason those little bundles are so stinkin' cute when they're little. It's so you won't noticed that your life has been turned totally upside down until it's too late to do anything about it! But I digress. For the first few years I was able to hold it together. I was blessed with a kid that slept through the night from that very fist night in the hospital, ate good, was a happy good-natured baby that rarely even fussed or cried. I was able ot do chores while he slept of played. I don't know when or how it happened, but all that ended (well he still sleeps good and eats us out of house and home!) But as time has passed, things don't get put away, toys litter the house and there are always piles of laundry in the bathrooms and bedrooms. Vacuuming has turned into a challenging sport involving getting under and around some things while trying not to suck the curtains right off the rods! There should seriously be an Olympic Games of Housework. Parents from across the Globe could compete for the gold in laundry, stain removal, dishes, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, mildew removal..  Ahh there I go again.  So as the years have passed, like a lot of people I have learned more about what is harmful and what not, what works and what doesn't. I have known about baking soda for years, known it was used for odors in the fridge, and in other places, known to use it to freshen laundry, have known people that use it to brush their teeth (couldn't quite bring myself to do that), and of course you hear about other companies teaming up with Arm and Hammer to add baking soda to other household products with claims of brightening, whitening and freshening. what I am finding is that baking soda works great all on it's own! I make my own laundry detergent and in my last batch I added some baking soda to the mix. I didn't notice much difference. I did rub some of my detergent directly into a white ball cap that was very grungy and it did come out bright again. I put baking soda straight into a load of whites and got noticeably whiter whites. I next used it in the kitchen. I make our tea and put it in glass jugs (moonshine style!). For those that don't know, tea leaves a film on the inside of the container. you can stave it off by rinsing it very well as soon as the jug is empty but you eventually have to use something that creates a scrubbing action to fully clean it. I usually wash the jugs fully after every other time they are filled. To do this, I put a soapy textured kitchen wash cloth into the jug with a little water and swish it around until my my arm hurts, I am about to drop the jug or it looks clean. Last week after having used baking soda around other areas of the house, I was doing dishes when I notice my glass measuring cup looked dingy from using it to transfer the tea into the jugs... I grabbed the box of baking soda and sprinkled some into the cup. My wash cloth was already soapy so I stuck it into the cup and to my amazement, the film inside just vanished! With no scrubbing on my part! The measuring cup looked as good as the day I got it, about 18 years ago! I immediately though of the tea jugs, wondering it if i dared hope that it was that easy. I used a funnel to put two spoonfuls of baking soda into the jugs, squished the washcloth through the opening, and held my breath. I shook the jug just enough to make the washcloth swirl around the glass a couple of times and them looked to see if it was doing any good. Holy moly! The glass was crystal clear once again! And I didn't have to keep doing shaking until my arm hurt and it WAS clean! Since that day I have been using baking soda in place of other stuff and I am loving it! Wiping the stove top down, hand washing dishes, in the dishwasher...I had two boxes and used them! I plan to buy more when I go to the store. I am going to look to see how large a box is available, but even if I have to get several small boxes I don't care. That stuff is great! When I do get more, I am going to tackle a discolored shower floor and see what happens.....I am excited by it because it means there are a few more things around the house that will get cleaned in a much shorter amount of time. I still can't being myself to brush my teeth with it though. :)

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