Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vinegar and Baking soda... 2 simple products

that when used together can create a chemical reaction used to create science fair volcanos for decades.  But when used apart can make your household chores more cost efficient and your house a little bit cleaner for the effort.  I have only just began to utilize the benefits of these two ingredients and my interest began when I originally saw this post on Pintrest (where else!).

Top 10 Time-Saving, MacGyver-Style Cleaning Tricks
Who knew?? Use baking soda and vinegar to fix funky towels. Over time, and with many washes, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue, leaving them both unable to absorb as much water and smelling kinda funky when they do. Rather than give Target another lump sum, run them through the wash once with hot water and a cup of vinegar, then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda, as wikiHow suggests. That strips the residue from them, leaves them smelling fresh.

I decided that I would try it on my bath towels.  I knew that it couldn't hurt them and honestly they had become quite funky smelling.  I am not the best with my laundry habits and sometimes things get left in the washer wet for too long.  Also I have cleaned up a few doggie accidents from my carpet with whatever towel is closest.  The result is a towel that it is difficult to dry your face off with because both of these smells stay in the towel for several washes after.  Yeeck!  So, as I said, I knew that it couldn't hurt.  So I did it.  I ran the load of towels through with just the vinegar (although I did use about 1 and 1/2 cups instead of just the 1 cup on the pin) and hot water.  Then with the 1/2 cup of baking soda and hot water.  I don't know about removing the residue and improving the water absorbsion like it says in the pin, but I can say that the smell was completely gone!  Even my liquid laundry detergent couldn't do that!

Another vinegar cleaning miracle that I have already used is to remove potential stains from my fabric couch.  I have a 4 year old and the trail that children leave behind can certainly cause strain on a mother.  My daughter just happened to be coloring with markers... on my couch!  A no no to begin with and a shame on me for not noticing.  Sometimes when they are quiet, you just want to enjoy it while it lasts.  Needless to say I ended up with purple marker on the arm of my couch.  I started to freak out, as is to be expected.  After a few frantic minutes on the internet I found a homemade cleaning solution that I actually had the stuff for and promised to not ruin my sofa.  I have since used it a few times and can honestly say that it does remove both marker and blood... don't ask.  Since you (hopefully) won't need very much of this solution at a time here is the quick make version.  I use a regular coffee cup and put about 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and fill up the mug with cool water.  Stir.  Take a dishtowel or a washrag and dip a corner in the solution and blot the spot on the sofa.  DO NOT RUB!  You don't have to soak the spot just blot and then blot with the dry part.  Repeat until the color of the stain stops showing up on the wet part of the rag.  Allow to dry.  Everytime that I have used this the stain came up completely.  I do have a brown couch though so I don't know how well it would work on a lighter color.  BEWARE:  if you do have a darker color couch you will pull up some regular butt dirt (everyday soiling from just sitting on the couch) with the stain.  If you are a cleaning nut, germaphobe, or otherwise perfectionist this could be enough to send you into a cleaning frenzy in which case you will have to make a bigger batch of the couch cleaner.  Good luck.

There are so many more ways to use the vinegar and the baking soda in everyday cleaning.  My next attempt will be cleaning my hallway carpet where those doggie accidents have been.  It still has a bit of a smell in some places.  I have heard that the vinegar will remove the enzymes that cause the smell and deter the dog from using there again.  Surely if the vinegar and baking soda got the smell out of my towels, then they can work on my carpet too.  I will let you all know.