Project 36: Clean something with baking soda – because its fun!

A fine spring day in Calgary… That’s snow in my front yard and our resident hare under our spruce tree. There has been great spring skiing at our favourite hill!

May not look like the spring we all are yearning for, yet the spring cleaning bug has bit me, maybe because, the gardening is on hold for a few more weeks. I’ve also been inspired to try some things from these three blogs with lots of homemade DIY cleaning tips.
I cleaned my oven a few weeks ago. There are many ways to do this, for starters look at the above sites. But here is a really easy method I’ve tried twice now that uses baking soda solution in a spray bottle (about 1 tsp baking soda per cup of water). You simply spray down your oven when your oven is cold and keep doing this for about a week or for as long as you can stand it. Your oven will look bad during this time with a puddle or dried puddle of carbon washed down from the walls or your oven. You can keep using your oven as usual during this time.
During the spraying phase, with a puddle of oven residues at the bottom. But the back of the oven is looking good.
The door of the oven must be cleaned by other means. So I started tackling small bits of it with baking soda and a damp dishcloth, a bit of salt, a bit of dish detergent and some elbow grease. It worked well on the oven window. I may have used a bit of washing soda too, I can’t remember.
Then along came my daughter who first said, “Looks like it’s not working.” Then she became curious and said, “That looks like fun, can I try?” Without showing my inner surprise and excitement, I stepped back and said, “Sure,” and started doing dishes instead. She asked if she could use a toothbrush, so I went to get one and then got out of the way. In about 10 minutes of joyful cleaning the oven door was looking good.
happy house elf at work
We both agreed that a few spots were kind of decorative, like those enamelled pots that come with splatter patterns on them.
I wiped out the rest of the oven – no scrubbing necessary. It was such a relief to get rid of that black puddle.
Imperfectly clean enough! And very little effort.

Other things I cleaned with baking soda this month:

  • Stove hood filter – by boiling in water and baking soda in a pot. I found the method at Jillee’s blog and it was very effective.
  • My go-to cleaner for sinks and tubs is baking soda. (Just for fun, go ahead and spray the baking soda with vinegar and watch and listen to the bubbles!)
  • Drain cleaner when used with vinegar

Baking Soda and Vinegar Chemistry facts:

Baking Soda + Vinegar (acetic acid) ===> Sodium acetate + water + carbon dioxide

NaHCO3      + CH3COOH   ===>            Na CH3COO + H2O  +  CO2

Did you know that the salt produced from the baking soda vinegar reaction (sodium acetate) is used to flavour salt and vinegar chips and it’s the chemical used in re-useable handwarmers that you click to activate?

Ever notice all the DIY cleaning solutions with baking soda and vinegar in them together?
Here are a couple articles about mixing baking soda and vinegar for cleaning purposes. It’s often not doing any good.

Baking with the baking soda and vinegar reaction:

One of my favourite recipes using vinegar and baking soda is  Hurry up Chocolate Cake from the classic Edna Staebler cookbook More Food that Really Schmecks.  There is a very similar recipe in the book “I hate to cook” cookbook.

It took my daughter to remind me that it is FUN to clean with baking soda. I agree.

All good clean fun, unless

(Don’t worry, Bill is fine and advocating for science education.)

June Written by:

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