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Baking Soda The Wonder Cleaner - green cleaning solutions and tips with use instructions (vinegar mentioned)

Updated on September 4, 2014
Dirty refrigerator door
Dirty refrigerator door | Source
Dirty refrigerator inside
Dirty refrigerator inside | Source

DIRTY REFRIGERATOR

Does your refrigerator look like this?

If it is because you don't care then disregard this page. If you could use some green cleaning tips and tricks then read on!

Most people use chemical cleaners to clean their appliances and most surfaces in their homes rather than "green cleaning" options and do not realize that there are some really great home-made alternatives out there. Even a couple of tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water is better for sanitizing and stain removal than traditional cleaners because bleach degrades into a non-harmful state in 24 hours .

For the type of cleaning problem shown here, the easiest cleaner would be baking soda. That's right baking soda is a green cleaning option. It is cheap and safe around pets and children because it is also used as an antacid. Additionally, baking soda is bad for most insects. Any residual powder traces left around can be picked up on the insect's feet(?) what ever you call them. Insects clean their feet orally and cannot metabolize baking soda. They bloat and basically explode. Since most insects are cannibalistic, well you get the picture.

A PLAIN SPONGE
A PLAIN SPONGE | Source
WITH BAKINGSODA
WITH BAKINGSODA | Source

ALL YOU NEED

All you need to get started is a clean DAMP sponge, not WET, DAMP (squeeze out as much water as possible) and a box of baking soda. You will also need a dry paper towel or soft, dry cleaning cloth.

Next you will pour some baking soda from the box onto the damp sponge and fold over to get the baking soda damp and keep the dry paper towel or a dry cleaning cloth handy.

Finally, you will rub the damp baking soda paste on the dirty areas of the surface you want to clean. Rub an area about one foot in length (and width if it is a large area like an outside refrigerator door or side panel). After rubbing the area you want to clean, you will notice that most if not all of the dirt will be removed by the baking soda with little effort. (see How Does It Work? below if you want to know why).

If the area you want to clean is excessively dirty you can take a hot damp paper towel or cleaning cloth and put it on the area to be cleaned first for about 15-30 seconds then use it to remove the larger bits prior to applying the baking soda. I have only found this necessary in places like under the veggie drawer. If someone spills something and does not remove the drawer, just cleaning the part that is visible, when you remove the drawer to clean under it the hot towel method may be necessary.

Another great benefit from this home made cleaning solution is that baking soda absorbs odors so any residual traces of odor on the plastic surfaces of your refrigerator will be removed by the baking soda. Baking soda also removes oxidization from metal surfaces like polished steel and baking sheets.

NOW CLEAN

NOW CLEAN
NOW CLEAN | Source
NOW CLEAN
NOW CLEAN | Source

AFTER

Finally, wipe the area dry with the dry paper towel or cleaning cloth. Repeat until done. It is my experience that you do not want to wipe all the surfaces with baking soda and then go back to wipe with dry cloth unless you want to put in some extra elbow grease to get the dry powder off of the surfaces. It is best to do it one section at a time to avoid extra effort. If the surface you are working on is metal and appears "flat" looking when you are done you can use a furniture polish cloth to bring up the shine or just buff a little more with the dry cloth to get any residue that may be in the pores of the metal.

The whole point of tips are to make things easier after all so don't make things more difficult for yourself. Just because this is an old home solution does not mean it should be harder to use than other options. After you have done as instructed above your appliance should look like the two pictures to the right.


BATHROOMS

This procedure can even be used on windows and bathroom mirrors. Lots of people like vinegar (half water, half vinegar) to clean windows or mirrors. I find that I do not like the fumes when using vinegar even though it is an excellent choice. Baking Soda can leave a powdery film on mirrors or windows so make sure you do a small area and then buff it dry before moving on to the next area to avoid this. The great thing about this method on bathroom mirrors is it gets rid of all those toothpaste spots and anything else that gets deposited on them during the course of your day, week or who knows how long.

Bathroom walls occasionally get small dark spots on them from moisture. These are actually mold and if not taken care of they can become a big problem. The type of material used to make up your bathroom surfaces can be very different from one part of the room to the next. Some bathrooms have a lot of tile (which has grout in between each tile). Some bathrooms have vinyl floors, painted walls and one piece tub/shower units. Some bathrooms even have a lot of glass/mirrored surfaces.

Baking soda is great for cleaning water residue from tile and grout as well as buffing mold off of the surface of almost anything. You just have to remember to rub very lightly on the painted surfaces, so it is best to do those after someone has taken a hot shower in the bathroom. If you leave mold too long it will permeate the paint or grout it is on. If this has happened it will still appear darker than the rest of the surface around it after the baking soda has removed the surface mold. If you still want a green solution to your problem, you would then need to dab the spots with a lemon dipped in salt. Leave it for about 20 minutes and scrub lightly with an old tooth brush then dry with your cleaning cloth.


MICROWAVE OVENS

* Please note that cleaning appliances with lots of seams like the outside of a Microwave oven is not recommended because the powder will go into the cracks. If you do get baking soda into cracks then use a damp toothbrush to remove it. It may take several attempts to remove. That is why I do not recommend it. But, this works really well on the inside of your microwave oven.

For the inside of a microwave oven, the best home cleaning recipe is actually steam first followed by the baking soda method after. First, you should put a wet paper-towel in in the microwave for 60 seconds, then let it stand for a couple of minutes. Use the paper-towel to remove the large bits of debris. After you have done this, follow the instructions listed above. The steam will also help loosen the residue on the turn table making it easier to clean in your sink before returning it to the microwave unit.

You can even use this procedure on your stove top, including glass stove tops. Baking soda is much less abrasive than other powder cleaners and costs less than $1.00 per box. I generally spend .39 to .45 per box.

SOME THINGS BAKING SODA CAN CLEAN

SURFACE
CLEANER
TOOL
APPLIANCE
BAKING SODA
SPONGE & PAPER TOWEL
STOVE TOP
BAKING SODA
SPONGE & SOFT CLOTH
KITCHEN SINK
BAKING SODA
SPONGE then TAP WATER
BATHROOM MIRROR
BAKING SODA
SPONGE & SOFT CLOTH
WINDOWS
BAKING SODA
SPONGE & SOFT CLOTH
COFFEE POT
BAKING SODA
SPONGE then TAP WATER
VINYL OR TILE FLOOR
BAKING SODA
SPONGE or DAMP MOP & CLOTH

WHY DOES THIS WORK??

Baking soda is natural, it is also "green". In nature it is both an acid and a base. The term is "amphoteric". This means that it can both dissolve and then neutralize compounds. Since all the things you want to clean off of your surfaces are compounds, it will help with almost all of them.

I have found that using it to scrub a pan you do not want to "recure" works really well. It will leave the pores still cured while at the same time getting all the surface junk off.

If you put 1/2 a cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle of your wash cycle it will neutralize anything left in the clothes and make them come out clothes line fresh from the dryer. Incidentally this helps keep your washing machine clean an running great!

CLEANING WITH BAKING SODA

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    • Marla Neogra profile image
      Author

      Marla J Neogra 5 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Thanks for the comments, I actually had to be self taught in the cleaning department, my mother was definitely challenged in that department. I actually did not read it anywhere, I experimented long before I read up on things. Here is a dropbox link to the chart if you need to print it out. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7711655/HUB%20PAGES/BAKING... I forgot to embed it in the hub. Will have to get to that today and add it.

    • noorin profile image

      noorin 5 years ago from Canada

      Hey, I heavily rely on baking soda my self, mom is obsessed with keeping things clean & tidy and I think she passed it 2 me :P

      Kewl tips, being a visual learner, I really like the table at the end, very handy :)

      Rated it up & will be following u, looking forward for more hubs.

    • Marla Neogra profile image
      Author

      Marla J Neogra 5 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Thanks for your comments! I plan to put some additional information in this article and that was one of them!

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      I use baking soda to clean many things as well. It also cleans burnt and stuck on food in pots and pans.

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