I guess it's time to break my blogging silence. And I can't think of any better topic to do so with than baking soda.
Try to contain yourself.
Personally I get giddy just thinking about all the fun and exciting ways to use this stuff. It all started with removing a little water ring from the butcher block top on our kitchen island but the phenomenon has spread into my bathtub, sinks, and drains. It's soooo versatile, effective, and cheap.
Let's start with the island....
At one point this lovely Ikea piece filled with water rings and heat spots had me swearing that I'd never purchase furniture from those darn Sweds ever again. The butcher block top does take some upkeep, but now that I've figured it out it's no so horrible. And honestly we're a bit lazy about the upkeep and just down right lazy about using coasters, so it gets a little rough looking before I decide to spruce it up.
First I use steel wool over any water rings or imperfections that have popped up since the last go around. ALWAYS go with the grain of the wood. It will actually pull up some of the wood but don't panic, it's kind of like a light sanding.
Gentle wipe away any dust.
Then it's on to my dearest friend B.S. (baking soda) to clean and deodorize the surface. I just sprinkle it directly on the surface and scrub away with a damp rag or sponge. This does sometimes result it a bit of a mess on the floor, which I don't mind because I like to actually see the baking soda working. If it's an issue for you just mix a few tablespoons of BS with warm water and apply with a sponge.
Now it starts to get exciting.
I cut a lemon into quarters and use the lemon to give the surface a nice deep scrub.
That's right. Use the lemon as a sponge. CRAZY.
Then it's time for a finally wipe down with clean, warm water. I'm a bit excessive with the BS so it sometimes takes a few wipe downs to get it all cleaned off. First, any chucks of BS go right into the kitchen sink for my next exciting kitchen cleaning venture. Then a rag usually does the trick.
At this point things are looking pretty good...
But the key is to seal it off with mineral oil to keep those water rings away a little longer. First the surface needs to dry. So this is the point where I turn to the kitchen sink filled with chucks of BS. I usually sprinkle in a few more tablespoons and grab another lemon quarter and scrub away. My stainless steel sink has never looked so good! Even Jim noticed how shiny and clean it was the first time I tried it.
After I I'm finished scrubbing alway all the grim with my lemon sponge, I take my bucket of warm water that I used for rinsing the island top and add about 1/2 c. of vinegar and it to rinse the sink. Make sure to jump up and down as it bubbles and fizzes. The vinegar and BS will act as a natural drain cleaner to keep those pipes nice and clear.
If I'm feeling really ambitions I haul my supplies up to the bathtub. Again I just sprinkle with BS and scrub away. For the tub I use a reusable scrub brush with a handle on it. I guess I don't feel like it deserves or necessarily needs the lemon scrub. Plus it usually involves a little more scrubbing in the tub to get the soap scrum ring off, but the BS works sooo good you won't need any other bathroom/tile cleaner. I again mix some hot water with vinegar with I'm all done to rinse down the drain to keep it all free and clear.
I'm exhausted. Is that darn island dry yet?
On a superwomen type of day I take my bucket filled with clean warm water and 1/2 c. vinegar and take to window washing.
On a regular house cleaning day. I probably stopped at the kitchen sink and sat on my butt with a glass of lemonade by the pool waiting for the island to dry.
Once the butcher block surface is completely dry I apply a generous coating of mineral oil, wiping with the direction of the grain in the wood. I found the mineral oil cheapest at Ikea and it's definitely worth the extra effort for a beautiful, radiant island top.
If it's the first ever application, I recommend doing 3-4 coats and then just try to keep up with it. This also needs a little dry time, followed by a little swipe with a clean dry cloth to remove any excess oil that didn't absorb.
Now my island, sink, tub, and drains are all fresh and clean with just a few simple household ingredients. Pure and simple.