Friday, April 24, 2009

Science Experiment Cleaning by Ms. Wise & Ms. Otherwise

You know that baking soda and vinegar experiment that all kids love to do? Well, guess what?! It can make cleaning fun! (Okay, maybe not fun, but at least more interesting!)

I have no idea why I didn't think about these things sooner. But I have now, and am happy about it. I have learned that just about anything can be cleaned with baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. These products have a LOT going for them.
  • They are inexpensive.
  • They are kid friendly. If the kids spray them on something they shouldn't, or forget to wash their hands after using, or leave it out and the baby gets into have far less to worry about than with commercial cleaners. And, you can watch them foam!
  • They are non toxic, and non smelly.
  • You probably have them in your house right now.
  • They work!

Here's a picture showing what I did with mine to make them very easy to use. The baking soda is in an old taco seasoning container. The lid can be removed completely, or you can open it partially and just shake out a little bit at a time. The vinegar is in a plain old spray bottle. I mixed the vinegar with a few drops of peppermint essential oil (see picture below). Doing this masks the vinegary smell when cleaning. The peroxide is in a non-clear container that squirts. (I read that light can cause hydrogen peroxide to change back into water.) Here are some things I have tried that definitely work.

  • Sprinkle baking soda all over the bathtub. Spray vinegar all over the baking soda. When fizzing stops, scrub out the tub with a washrag. It got rid of soap scum and gunk quite nicely.
  • Spray vinegar onto a folded paper towel. Wipe a mirror. Dry it with a second folded paper towel. Looks great--no streaks.
  • Flush the toilet to coat the toilet bowl with water. Shake baking soda liberally into the bowl of the toilet. Scrub with toilet scrubber.
  • Squirt peroxide onto bloodstains. It will fizz a bit. It removes the blood wonderfully well. It also works on grass and mud. Haven't figured out yet if it does strawberry stains and other things.
  • Spray vinegar on your chrome faucets and wipe dry for a shiny look.
  • Shake baking soda around faucets, spray vinegar onto the soda. Scrub with a toothbrush to remove gunk that starts to build around the faucet. Works decently. Fun to shake and spray.
  • Use vinegar as kitchen counter spray.
  • Did you cook all the water out and burn a pot? Baking soda works great!
  • Use baking soda in place of scouring powder.

Some sites I visited said that peroxide was great for pet stains and other general cleaning, including using it in place of bleach. Here is an interesting site that lists all kinds of natural cleaners.

One reason I never made my own natural cleaners is that I just thought it was going to take too much effort. But, I would have to say that using these three items that I listed above, really can't get much simpler. I really love the idea of getting things clean and disinfected without the dangers and smells.

As far as the science experimenting goes, I am happy to hand a bottle of vinegar and a shaker of baking soda to one of my kids and saying, "have at it!" If they are feeling like making a large volcano, why not do it in the bathtub rather than outside and get my tub cleaned in the process?

You can use these products to help you accomplish more Spring Clean for 5 tasks!

Oh! And please feel free to share with me what else you have used these cleaners for!


Anonymous said...

I have used these for years and years and would not ever think of going back to non-green options. In addition to using vinegar and baking soda on the same things you listed, we now also use Holy Cow, which is green and cheap. I have always followed the Queen of Clean's book on how to make homemade cleaners and also subscribe to Cheapskate Newsletter to learn more simple, green and cheap methods including making my own laundry soap. Did you know you can clean your toilet with Tang? BTW - The peroxide works so well on the items you listed because they are proteins and peroxide breaks up proteins. They use it in hospitals on their white sheets. (P.S. - Hey, I think I have the same toaster oven and countertops as you!!!!)
Jennifer v.

Laurie said...

Ooh, good tips!

I think I saw you today in the bathroom after the meeting. I didn't realize it was you until you were leaving - I recognized your baby! :D (I was the one that almost bumped into you. Sorry about that!)

I was going to talk to you at the lunch thing, but I didn't see you in there. Now that I've been to a homeschool thing, I'm excited to go to more, so hopefully we'll meet sometime soon!

Jenette said...

I love using vinegar and baking soda! I use them almost everytime I clean! I have used vinegar in the laundry a few times too! It helps get stinky clothes non stinky! LOL! You can even use a little baking soda as an exfoliator for your face a few times a week!