Sparkling clean – a shameless plug

Feeling like a 50’s housewife in a commercial, I will now rave about the perfect cleaner for your kitchen items. No invention from the 50’s or beyond, no fancy brand name or a stellar advertising budget; Rather an old traded wisdom from long before we trusted chemical mixtures… And I had no idea.
I had noticed that my increased cooking activities left their mark on my kitchen utensils; persistent ugly stains impossible to remove. My stainless steel pan had black and brown stains and the all over color was a greasy gold than steel. Grime had formed around the handle connection and cleaning attempts with soap and steel pads had left the inside spotted like a dalmatian. I thought it was time to re-think stainless steel…
And also, white plastic. Maybe the cooked beans or the raw vegetables had turned my little strainer brownish on the bottom, and my cheese grater had brown stripes from the extended variety of services…
Usually in cases when I am doubting the capacity of our dishwashing liquids, I am using ‘the force’, which is my neglected dishwasher and the commercial powder that we bought for it. But even though I suspect the powder contains bleach, it did not make a difference. My internet search was not satisfying either and the guy in the chef’s store used the opportunity to sell us just another scrubbing powder.
I know, I know, there are books about what you can do with baking soda, but as you practically can do anything with it, you just don’t believe it and move on.

Yesterday I found an old fashioned instruction in a publication I trust: ‘Fill frying pan with water, add 1/3rd cup of baking soda, simmer until the pan is covered with a layer of greyish residue, take to sink and scrub with sponge.’
When the soda had dissolved in the boiling water, I lowered the heat and watched the persistent black flakes suddenly lifted by the soda floating on the surface. Amazing!
I can assure you, 20-30 minutes is probably enough to do the trick, but save the water and re-apply in case you need more soda action.
While the pan was still simmering I was looking at an extremely discolored plastic part from the bottom of my blender. I held it in the simmering water for about a minute , then scrubbed it. The brown stain came off on one side. I repeated the dip and brushed the rest of the grime from between the metal parts and it looked remarkably good. Next was my strainer, same thing, no problem. Then my cheese grater… this was getting fun…

After removing the residue from my pan, it had a great sheen on the inside and the water pearled off as if it had a coating. I looked at the bottom side. That part had been in direct contact with fire and we doubted that it would change. I filled a bigger pan with the saved hot soda water and bathed the small one in it. We could  scrub the bottom clean easily and the grime around the screws was gone with a brush. My husband looked excited.
After raving about what works, I must tell you what did not work. For example my burned Cornflower porcelain pot, I believe it was too scratched. And even though the old gasket ring of our blender became nicer and smoother, it was too old and used. I believe a lighter used one may have better results.

Now I want my teeth whitened…?


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