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Sometimes I just have to laugh at things. Eric has a bad habit of not cleaning his coffee cup every day, so sometimes that nice, white cup turns a nasty brown. Dishwasher detergent and a scrubbie wouldn’t get it clean. So I told him one of my old tricks: baking soda and salt. He tried it, thinking it made sense but wouldn’t yield great results. After a few minutes an exclamation of “Dayum!” came from the kitchen. It was a surprise to him (but not to me) that it worked better than harsh chemical abrasives. His coffee cup is now sparkly clean.
All it takes is to mix a little bit of baking soda and a pinch of salt with either water or dish soap, and presto, even the toughest stains will wipe right off. It works for coffee and wine stains, gunked on grease and other tough messes. You can use it on counters and sinks too. It’s natural, simple, and works really well.
Another trick I like to use is baking soda and vinegar for drains. If you’ve got a clogged or smelly drain, pour about 1/3-1/2 cup baking soda into the drain. Then slowly pour on about 3/4 cup vinegar. (any vinegar will do) As they combine it creates a chemical reaction that will eat through most biological material. You won’t want to do this if you have cheap plastic pipes, but most normal pipes will handle it fine. Let the mix stand for at least 20-30 minutes, then flush with plenty of hot water. A really bad grease clog might take two treatments. Once complete, your drains will be fresh, clog-free, and the metal will sparkle like new. A lot of people won’t believe that this can work as well as chemical drain cleaner, but I assure you, it works very well.
Yet another good use for baking soda is to clean plush toys that have gotten dirty or smoke stained. Brush off any dust, and give it a good lint rolling if it won’t damage the fibers. Then dampen the surface of the toy/item. You can use a wet washcloth or a fine mist bottle. Don’t saturate the item, just get it barely damp. Then sprinkle on some baking soda and rub it in just a little. Let the item sit until it is totally dry. Use an old toothbrush to gently brush away the baking soda. In most cases this will remove the discoloration and make the surface look good again. This method works on velvety surfaces, short plush and some faux fur. If it’s a fake fur, you may need to use a comb or brush to fix it up after cleaning. I stunned Eric with this one too. He had a plush snowman that had been out in storage and the surface was all matted and brown. One go-over with the baking soda, and it looked almost as good as new.
I know I have more tips, but it’s been a super long day and my brain just went blank. I actually started this post at about 10AM, and it’s 9:42PM right now. Obviously, I got distracted. We’re still in the midst of unpacking and getting everything settled in the house so that we can get back to living and working without needing to rummage through half-unpacked boxes to find things. Hopefully we’ll be fully settled soon. I am trying to blog daily again, but no promises. I almost forgot this one today, but I am trying. I’d like to get the blog back to being active and popular, but it’s going to take as long as it takes.