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April 23, 2014  |  Login
Baking Soda and Vinegar For All Your Cleaning Needs
By Elizabeth B. Goldsmith PhD, Betsy Sheldon
Baking soda and vinegar are the yin and yang of cleaning ingredients. One alkaline and the other acid, the two team up to create a formidable cleaning duo. They can stand on their own against some of the toughest challenges: Baking soda shines metal surfaces and fixtures, unclogs drains, removes odors, and tackles tough baked-on food buildup. Vinegar fights stains, scum, mildew, and germs and can make windows gleam. Both are gentle on most surfaces and materials - but wait until you see them join forces to clean a toilet bowl!

Keep a shaker of baking soda and a squirt bottle of vinegar-water solution at your kitchen sink and turn to them throughout the day for a variety of needs:

  • Sprinkle baking soda in an empty sink, give the sink a brief scrub with water and a damp cloth or sponge, and rinse with clear water.

  • Dust baking soda on your cutting board to draw out odor and stains - especially if they're acid-based. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so and then rinse.

  • Set a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb food odors. Replace every three months. Pour old baking soda down the sink drain.

  • Soak rubber gloves in water with a sprinkle of baking soda. Then rinse and dry.

  • Add a sprinkle of baking soda to freshen the cat litter box.

  • Spray vinegar on counter stains (unless countertops are marble) and let soak a few minutes before wiping off.

  • Keep fingerprints and toothpaste spatter off bathroom mirror with a mist of vinegar-just wipe dry with newspaper.

  • Pour vinegar in the toilet tank to keep odors away.

As versatile as white distilled vinegar is, it doesn't belong in some places: cleaning marble or marmoleum floors, for example, or washing cotton, linen, rayon, and acetate. Baking soda and other alkaline detergents, on the other hand, should not be used on wool or silk.



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