My Newfound Love Affair With Baking Soda and Vinegar

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Image by loonyhiker via Flickr

You know me: I am Mme. Au Naturel, the one who finds it appalling to use pharmaceuticals to turn off the reproductive system when your body already tells you everything you need to know, the one who uses cloth diapers and makes compost. So maybe it was only a matter of time. In any case, ever since I’ve started talking about cleaning with vinegar, people have been contacting me privately to ask questions, wanting to try it themselves.

I’ve been looking for a better alternative for cleaning for several years, because nothing gets soap scum off. Regular cleaners and elbow grease weren’t doing the job, so we tried things like Kaboom foaming spray (“no scrubbing!”) and CLR. Guess what? They don’t work either.

Since nothing worked anyway, I figured I’d go to GreenWorks or the like—something environmentally friendly and less toxic. After all, I have small kids in the house, and I’m pregnant. The idea of all those fumes floating around, the residues coming in contact with our bodies, turns me off. We rinsed out an old Kaboom bottle and filled it with the concentrate mixture.

And then a blogger mentioned cleaning with vinegar. The next time the bottle ran empty, I decided to give it a try. I poured a quarter cup or so of plain old white vinegar in and filled the bottle with water. It cleaned as well as any of the other cleaners I’d found, and was both exponentially cheaper (a gallon jug costs only $2-3; when you use ¼ cup at a time, you do the math!) and so non-toxic that we cook with it. I was convinced. But still that soap scum bugged me.

Then someone mentioned baking soda. So this weekend, I sprinkled baking soda on the shower and tub walls and then hit it with my spray bottle of vinegar solution. It foamed and hissed. I took a retired cloth diaper to it and started scrubbing.

And the soap scum came off.

Did you get that? Ring the bells! Call the news stations!

*****THE SOAP SCUM CAME OFF!!!!*****

I took it to the nastiest sink in our house, the one that gets the most use, and when I was done, the surface of the sink was shiny and smooth, almost like new.

I am totally hooked. My only problem is delivery method on the baking soda; it’s hard to sprinkle from a box onto a vertical surface. Currently taking suggestions!

Here are some further links if you’re interested in exploring: