Cleaning Naturally With Baking Soda

If you’ve used or researched recipes for natural, homemade cleaning products, you probably already know that you’ve probably got most of the ingredients in  your pantry already.  I’ve found that, with what I’ve made and tried so far, I like the cleaning ability of these natural items.  That led me to a question.  I wondered why people stopped using them to begin with.  They’re what our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers (depending on your age) used to clean their homes with.  Do any of us doubt for a minute about the cleanliness of their homes?  I don’t.  But, somewhere along the way, commercials entered the picture to tell these ladies that there was something “better”, or maybe they thought it was “easier” to use these new products, I’m not sure.  Either way, somewhere these things got shoved to the back of the cupboard – but no fear – they’ve reappeared and people are blogging about the endless possibilities in record numbers!  I think the only thing they forgot to tell these people who bought their products was that it wasn’t cheaper, it wasn’t easier and it certainly didn’t clean any better than what they had been using.  We won’t even discuss what some of these cleaners do to our environment… or at least today, we won’t.

When deciding to clean more naturally, there were a few products at the top of my shopping list.  Most of them were things I already had in the cupboard, I just needed to buy  larger amounts of the products.  For instance, I’ve always used vinegar for certain things, so that is something that I always bought a gallon jug of.  But baking soda?  I used it in recipes and that’s about it.  Until now.
After finding and bookmarking many blogs and sites that had helpful recipes and/or tips for cleaning with various natural or “green” products, I knew that I was ready to begin.  I’ve found that baking soda is an ingredient in many recipes you’ll find for natural cleaners and there is a reason for that – it works!

I’ve always bought the cleansers that are gritty and powdery, I’m sure you know which ones I mean.  Every day at the sink washing dishes, I faithfully scoured my sinks with this product to make it shine.  I mean really, I don’t consider the dishes done unless the sinks are shiny and dry.

I saved an empty parmesan cheese container with a specific use in mind – to fill with baking soda and experiment with it… would it clean the sinks and have them looking the way I like them to?  Would I end up going back to buying the gritty cleanser that bleach stained any cleaning rag I used to wash the sink with?  I can tell you now, that after the other night when I first tried it, I am won over.  I’ll never buy that horrid stuff again!  I thought it would be easier for me to list the  pros and cons of the baking soda vs. store-bought cleansers with you.  Your results may vary, but I’m pleased with mine.  You’ll have to form your own opinion, as we all have our own cleaning habits.

Pros:

  • Rinsed away very easily (used less water which is a +)
  • Didn’t “bleach stain” or change the color of my cleaning cloth
  • Sink smelled fresher
  • Drains smelled fresher
  • Non-Toxic
  • Way cheaper!

Cons:

  • I can’t think of any!

Now if you’ve never used baking soda around the house, you may think that cleaning your sink/shower/tub is all you can do with it.  Not so!  There are so many things you can do with baking soda, including sprinkling on carpets before vacuuming, sprinkling in the bottom of trash cans before the bag goes in, using it in the fridge and freezer to prevent odors, mixing with cold water to take a smell out of a plastic container, making a paste to clean your silver, clogged drains, burnt-on foods on pans (don’t ask me how I know this, lol), you should have some handy to the stove for grease fires, takes grease stains out of clothing, freshens your laundry, you can even brush your teeth with it.  See what I mean?  The list is almost endless!

So far, for homemade cleaners I have tried (and liked) my own laundry soap, fabric softener, glass cleaner and baby wipes.  I am making the switch to homemade cleaners slowly and the reason for this is that I still have quite a few of the store-bought products that I have always used to clean with.  So, instead of throwing them away, I’m going to use them.  I’m just not going to buy them again.

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20 Responses to Cleaning Naturally With Baking Soda

  1. Lorette Adams says:

    Nice info Marie!

    • Thanks, Lorette!

      Glad you stopped by, I hope to see you here again soon! Miss you, girl! Just been so busy, as I’m sure you have too – and then to top it off, me and J are sharing my computer!… He’s discovered the joys of FB and has been playing Farmville 2 on his acct and mine. LOL, people probably think I’m on there playing all the time, ha ha!!

  2. ktandj04730 says:

    I’ll have to try these things out!! Thanks!

  3. I don’t know how marketers convinced people they needed all these other products. But you are so right, baking soda is my top weapon in cleaning. I even use it for my teeth and am working to perfect it to clean my hair. I never thought to find an empty Parmesan container, but I will now.

    • Well, I was discussing that question with my mother the other day and she was saying that the advertisers probably made their products sound so wonderful and “easy” that people bought them to try them out. I think we’ve all been pulled in by advertising at one point or another and if we think it will make our life easier, we tend to fall for it!

      I’ve heard about it for hair, although I haven’t tried it yet. Yes, the empty containers that the parmesan cheese comes in were the only thing I could think of that would allow me to sprinkle it like Comet or Ajax does.

      It’s amazing how much we learn from each other !!

      • I’ve been thinking about this since I first read your post. I had a similar, but slightly different, take on how they worked their way into the homes of people who had been doing it naturally for so long. My grandparents came from a generation where they trusted people with a degree/education as both left school young. They would ask permission from their Priest before attending any function at a different church, they trusted their doctor implicitly because he/she was smarter than them, they even trusted that the government was always right, etc. So when marketers told them that these things were better and their homes needed to be cleaner, they trusted them completely and out of fear from the many infant deaths they didn’t understand in their families they wanted to make sure their homes were as clean as possible for their families health.

        • I’m sorry that it took me a while to answer this. First off, I had to think of how I wanted to reply (more in a minute) and secondly, my hubby’s computer died and he and I are sharing mine.

          I think you’re right in your assumptions about this. I think that people did trust others that they felt were more educated than they were and it could very well be that they thought these people know better than they did about how to get things done correctly.

          I know that in the time period we are discussing, the infant mortality rate was higher than it is now. I almost wasn’t going to mention this, but that’s the part of the reply that I had to think about for a while, because of how personally it affects me. My 3rd child died as an infant (in 1985) and I always felt somehow responsible, even though I know there was nothing I could have done to prevent it (S.I.D.S). Knowing how I felt in this day and age, I could see what you meant about the fear that people had back then that maybe they were doing something wrong, so therefore it would be better if they used the new products to “safeguard” their families. Fear of death, especially of our children’s, is a terrible thing and if I were back in that time, I probably would have done anything I could to prevent such an occurrence, as well. I’m sure there were people who would use fear to market to people, anything to make a buck. I guess that is what the advertising gimmicks are all about.
          Thanks for your reply – I always look forward to your point of view! good day

          • I’m so sorry for your loss, and for my comment which touched such a sensitive emotion in you. I do remember the first months of my first child’s life. I was so terrified of SIDS I could barely sleep.

  4. runtspickins says:

    If you have any mason jars, the lids to parmesan cheese containters fit perfectly on there! That way you have a reusable glass jar that’s easy to clean! =] I used to put my brown sugar in a mason jar with a parmesan cheese lid on it =]

    • Ha ha, I actually just learned that about the lids fitting regular canning jars a month or so ago on Pinterest. All the years I’ve canned and I never thought of trying it! I like the idea of brown sugar in them, guess I know what I’ll be doing with my next empty one -thanks for that idea!

      • runtspickins says:

        You gotta love Pinterest! It definitely makes me think about what I could do with things before throwing them away! =] I used to keep the brown sugar in the mason jar but now I keep it in a big old Ziploc bag with a marshmallow (I heard the marshmallows keep the sugar moist or something). The reason I keep the brown sugar in a Ziploc bag is so when I need to measure some, I can put the whole measuring cup in the bag and use my other hand from the outside of the bag to press the sugar into the cup. Does that make sense? =]

        • I can get lost on Pinterest for hours – which is why I barely go there lately, lol! No, really, I do love it there and go there as often as I can.

          And yes – you make sense to me – remember that we’re sisters from another mother? LOL!
          Have a great day!

  5. Pingback: Cleaning Naturally With Baking Soda « Green-ish Life

  6. runtspickins says:

    =] I have a lot of free time at work so I usually spend it on Pinterest looking for my next craft project! I am trying to finish up a wreath right now! =]

    • I got totally lost on pinterest yesterday… I love it there, although at first I had to learn how to use it, lol! I’ve been kind of sick for a few days, so clicking around was how I kept myself busy! I’ve been pinning alot on there! If you want to find me there: http://pinterest.com/mainelyknitter I think you’ll find me from that link. The only thing I can’t figure out (yet) is how to find people. Let me explain… like my mom is on there and my daughter and I have “followed” them… but to go on there and find them to see what they’re up to, I don’t know how to do that! Every time I google search how to do it, it just tells me how to invite people, but I’ve already done that, lol!

      What kind of wreath are you working on? I should do one, I really like many of them I’ve seen on some primitive sites, but I’ve got to actually do it instead of just thinking about doing it!

      • runtspickins says:

        I have a lot of free time at work so I get on Pinterest a lot at work! I used to work in a job where my internet access was nonexistent so I would go home and internet the night away, but now that I work somewhere where I can pretty much do what I want, I’m not on the computer at home, like ever, which I really like! =] That was really random. Anyway… I will try to find you on Pinterest! And let me help you with your Pinterest problem because I’m a Pinterest pro by now! LOL So, go to your Pinterest page, like your home page where you see all of your boards on one screen. To the right of the screen there is “following” and “followers”. There you can see who you’re following and who’s following you (obviously). =] So pick one of those and find the person you are looking for. (Click on that person’s username.) Now you should see their homepage with all of their boards on one page. Across the top left there are buttons like – (#of) boards, (#of) pins, etc. If you click on “pins” it will show you their most recent pins. So you will be seeing all of their pins in the order they were pinned (so they will not be separated by category, boards, etc.) That way you can see what they have pinned recently and see what they’re up to! Let me know if that doesn’t work. I tried to actually go through it and do it while I was explaining it =] ALSO, if you are just on your homepage and click Pinterest on the top of the page, that will show you all of your “followings” most recent pins. So that is most recent pins from everyone you are following, rather than one specific person. Hope that helps!
        I hope you feel better!
        I started following you on Pinterest! I am http://www.pinterest.com/jv8 if you want to follow me! =]
        The wreath I finally finished is just a very soft pink and white yarn wrapped wreath with some fabric flowers and some cute button embellishments. =]

  7. E.C. says:

    Great post with helpful happy hints. I’m a big fan of baking soda too. I also save my Parmesan jars and my empty spice jars as well. 🙂

    • I’m glad you found the post helpful! I had read about the parmesan jar tops on Pinterest, that they fit regular mouth canning jars and I had already been saving them to use for baking soda. So, I have a few kicking around and can use them either way! I save my spice containers too, but have quite a few leftover that I don’t know what to do with. Any ideas? I hate to throw them away, but they aren’t recyclable, so I’m unsure what to do with them at this point. Recently, I’ve started buying most spices in the larger bottles, one because they’re cheaper that way, but also because they have a shaker top!

      I’m glad you stopped by and visited my blog! I’ll have to come see what you’ve been up to lately. I’m a bit behind in my visits to my favorite blogs since my husbands computer died… we’re sharing the one that works!

  8. Pingback: Why Clean Your Home “Naturally”? | MaineGreenGirl

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