Cleaning with vinegar and baking soda

Cleaning. A necessary evil. We all have to do it, but with the chemicals they put in store-bought cleaners these days, who knows what you’re replacing those germs with? Cleaning in itself is enough of a chore without having to worry about if you’re leaving a toxic film everywhere.

I have a grandbaby and a furbaby. Neither of them seem to realize how gross it is to lick things, so I have to keep things clean around here, but I worry about the residue those harsh cleaners leave behind.

I started researching homemade cleaners a few years ago but until a few months ago, I’d all but forgotten about them. One that stuck out in my mind when I thought about it was vinegar and baking soda.

Now, I tried several methods with this since I couldn’t remember exactly what I’d read and I’ll clue you in to what I tried as well as what worked best for me.

To begin with, I tried putting the vinegar on a cleaning rag and adding the baking soda to it. This method worked, sort of, but it took a lot of vinegar to get enough on the rag. If you’re going to try this method, I recommend using it when you want to use the mixture more like a scrub (works similar this way to using Comet or Ajax).

Next, I tried pouring the vinegar on the surface I wanted to clean and sprinkling it with the baking soda. This worked pretty well if you’re cleaning, say a small counter, but to me, it still seemed to use an awful lot of vinegar.

I also tried putting the vinegar in a spray bottle. This used less vinegar, but I doubt it would be practical for cleaning anything small.

Next, I got a small bowl and poured some vinegar in, then added baking soda. I’d have to say that this method is probably my favorite and the one I use most often. I can make as little or as much as I think I’ll need and I can even control the consistency depending on what I’m cleaning.

Like with using any other abrasive cleaner, I’d recommend sticking to surfaces that don’t scratch easily but I like it for the fact that both ingredients are something we consume regularly, so I know it won’t hurt us, the grandbaby or the furbaby.

Since moving back to the camper, I attacked our gas stove with baking soda and vinegar. I wish I’d thought to take “before” pictures because we left so suddenly last summer and were gone for six months. I didn’t get a chance to clean it before we left and six months of sitting…well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Until recently, it had my toaster oven sitting on it. Out of sight, out of mind. I’d also tried using some tin eye covers last summer that were still on it. I couldn’t believe how bad it really looked when I took the toaster oven and eye covers off. It was disgusting!

I immediately got my spray bottle full of vinegar out and my box of baking soda.

I sprayed the stove top liberally and then sprinkled on the baking soda and let it sit until it stopped foaming then I went at it with some elbow grease.

Although I think it still needs a little work, Paul says that in comparison, it looks like a new stove. I have to admit, it does look a lot better.

Although my stove was bad enough to require some pretty serious elbow grease in some places (like under those eye covers that I’ll never use again), over-all, the scrubbing was minimal. I did leave the mixture thick enough that it was usable for scrubbing.

Make sure when you’re done, that you wipe everything down with a clean (or rinsed) rag to remove the excess baking soda so you don’t leave grit on everything.

Have some home cleaning remedies of your own? Leave them, or a link to your post about it, in the comments! I love hearing from you!

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