Cleaning with Baking Soda

June 2, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Back at the beginning of May I saw a blog post about a non-toxic way to clean stainless steel pans, but I didn’t get a chance to try it until the other day.  I had a pan full of stuck on onion and perogies, so I tossed in the salt, baking soda and foil, covered it with boiling water and proceded to forget about the mess for a while.  When I returned to the kitchen everything looked about the same as when I started, but when I applied my scraper (i.e. broken spatula upcycled to scraper status) everything came right off.  I wasn’t convinced that this result was any different than just regular soaking though.  So to continue the experiment I tried the concoction again with a pan that had burnt on oil around the edges (sometime I pretend I have cast iron and call that seasoning… I confess doing dishes is one of my least favorite chores).  This time, nothing happened and scraping did nothing.  I tried scraping with the foil which worked while there was some baking soda still clumped on the top of the foil.  Then I gave up and pulled out my trusty copper scrubby.  I know that the author of the post which inspired all of this said that she doesn’t like her copper scrubby, but mine is great.  My pans all came from my grandmother (along with the majority of my kitchen) and they’ve survived this long so I think they can handle some scraping from the copper.  All in all, I wasn’t particularly impressed with this method of cleaning and will stick with my soaking and scraping.

After cleaning the pans though, I approached my stove- the surface is easy to get clean, but the plastic panel with all the buttons/display doesn’t wipe off so easily.  There was some grease splatter (quite possibly from those same onions and perogies) that just wouldn’t wipe off with a dishcloth and soap.  Copper scrubby isn’t an option on the plastic and my other backup – bar keeper’s friend – also scratches plastic.  In the back of my closet I have some chemical cleaners that I bought before I was thinking about using non-toxic ingredients.  I pulled out the fantastic, sprayed it on and wiped – nothing happened!  I sprayed it directly on the cloth and scrubbed a bit, still nothing.  So, since I’ve heard so much about baking soda I thought I’d give it another chance.  I sprinkled a bit on my dishcloth, wiped and magically the grease is gone!  Maybe there is something to this baking soda hype.  In fact, thinking back to the pots, the best solution was scrubbing with that bit of baking soda left over.

In conclusion, baking soda works (better than the chemical cleaner specific for this purpose!) but there’s no need to do the fancy concoction with foil.


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