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Baking Soda and Vinegar

How To: Baking Soda and Vinegar Make Great Cleansing Agents

by Helen
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Green Cleaning: Baking Soda And Vinegar Cleaning Agent

If you have looked at the labels on numerous household cleaning products, you'll notice sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid are among the ingredients listed. Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, and acetic acid, also referred to as vinegar, both are effective for cleaning when you use them correctly. Baking soda is a naturally occurring mild alkali (base) that aids in dirt and grease dissolving in water. The powder is like a gentle abrasive to help remove food stuck on the pan without damaging surfaces, everydayhealth.com. It also helps deodorize by transforming acidic and basic odor molecules into a more neutral, odor-free state.

Vinegar is also suitable for body care, like making your own Cider Vinegar and Green Tea facial toner.

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Natural Cleaning Agents

Vinegar (acid) is made through the fermentation of fruits and vegetables. Distilled white vinegar comprises a five percent solution of acetic acid that is gentle enough to dissolve greasy molecules without damaging most finishes. However, it would be best not to use it on natural stone.

When baking soda and distilled white vinegar are combined, a chemical reaction will occur—foaming.  Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., says the reaction produces carbon dioxide gas. The gas created during the foaming action is valuable when cleaning because the reaction helps lift stuck crusty food pieces on surfaces or loosen grime from clogged pipes.

Once the foaming (reaction) stops, the benefit of the abrasive texture of baking soda particles remains and will remove grime. Still, the mixture is less potent than using baking soda and vinegar separately for most types of cleaning. That's why mixing the two beforehand to have them on hand for cleaning is not recommended.

Uses For Baking Soda And Vinegar Around The House

Discover how to use baking soda and vinegar together and individually for cleaning around the house.Unclog Drains With a Combination of Baking Soda and Vinegar

To unclog slow-draining bathroom or kitchen sink drains, pour at least one quart of boiling water down the drain.  Then, add one cup of dry baking soda down the drain; second, add one cup of distilled white vinegar, followed by one cup of hot water.  There will be some foaming.  The mixture reacts, and let it work for at least 10 minutes.  It is OK to allow the mixture to stay in the drain overnight.  Finish by rinsing the drain with a quart of boiling water.  To freshen your garbage disposal naturally, you can make your garbage disposal freshener.

Clean Dirty Oven Racks

baking soda and vinegar to clean oven racks to unclog drains

I don't particularly like using commercial oven cleaners, so I clean my oven with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and water create an excellent paste to clean the oven walls and doors. Combining baking soda and vinegar makes the bubbling action that helps lift the baked-on grease from the oven racks, making scrubbing easier.

Make Toilet Cleaner

Make Toilet Cleaner

Making your own toilet cleaner with baking soda and vinegar couldn't be any easier, but they should only be mixed when ready to clean.

Since essential oils can pit metal and some plastics, combine two cups of baking soda and one teaspoon of essential oil in a sealable glass container, stirring until all the oil is well-distributed.  Note: tea tree, lavender, and pine all have disinfecting properties.

This mixture should last for about 30 cleaningsWhen ready to clean your toilet, add one tablespoon of baking soda mixture to the toilet bowl. Then, pour two cups of distilled white vinegar into your toilet bowl. The solution will fizz, but let it work until the fizzing stops or about 15 minutes, then scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush.

Remove Hard Water Stains From Glass

Remove Hard Water Stains

In areas with high mineral content or “hard water,” you will notice shower doors and windows coated with stains from the minerals left behind from water after it dries. The acid in distilled white vinegar helps dissolve the minerals so they can be wiped away. For shower doors that have build-up, add some baking soda to your scrubbing sponge to create the reaction needed to help loosen the minerals from the glass and provide a gentle abrasion to help scrub them away.

Clean and Freshen a Mildewy, Smelly Dishwasher

Using distilled white vinegar and baking soda in the proper order can clean and freshen a mildewy, smelly dishwasher. To freshen your dishwasher, do the following when it is empty: place a small bowl on the top rack with one cup of vinegar and run a wash cycle. The vinegar will help cut through greasy deposits clinging to the dishwasher's interior walls. Once the wash cycle is finished, sprinkle one cup of baking soda inside your dishwasher and run a quick wash cycle to deodorize the inside.

Final Thoughts: Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

I've been using green cleaning methods in my home for years, and one of my favorite combinations is vinegar and baking soda. I mix them to create a powerful cleaning solution that's safe for my family and the environment. It works great on tough stains and leaves everything smelling fresh and clean. Plus, it's so much more affordable than buying expensive chemical cleaners. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Do you have any tips or tricks for using vinegar and baking soda to clean your home? Leave us a comment below.

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