Tag Archives: baking soda

Cleaning Grout on Floors

Cleaning Grout on Floors

I love cleaning the grout on my kitchen floors. I know that probably sounds crazy but it’s true. It’s such a quiet job and it requires no thought what so ever. I just wish I would’ve started cleaning it sooner.

When I first moved into this house a year ago I thought the grout was supposed to be that dark (this is my first house with a tile floor and I just didn’t know any better). Imagine my surprise, then, when I spilled a little bit of paint on the grout two weeks ago and cleaned it up with a toothbrush and some baking soda and the dark grout turned white! Gross! All this time I was mopping my floors and thinking they were clean when there was probably years of dirt build-up in the grout.

I have a fairly large kitchen and eating area and it has taken me a while to clean them but I’m almost finished. I had thought about cleaning the grout with a steam cleaner, but after asking others who have tried using one to clean their grout, I decided not to (others complained that it didn’t do a deep down cleaning like they wanted and they ended up doing it by hand). So I decided to use a little bit of baking soda (with some spearmint essential oils to liven things up – including my mood), a toothbrush and some elbow grease. It turns out it’s not a lot of hard work, it just takes some time. I almost find it relaxing. I just do a small section at a time especially if I’m stressed out or just need to get away from a project I’m working on. It has the same effect on me as doing a word search, only when I’m finished I can walk in the kitchen and say “Dang! That looks good!”

What you need to clean your grout:
*Baking soda (I pour mine in a glass and mix with a few drops of my favorite essential oils but you can just pour it straight from the box).
*A hard bristled toothbrush
*A cup of water to rinse out the toothbrush
*A wet rag to wipe up your mess

Just sprinkle a little bit of baking soda onto the grout and scrub with the toothbrush. Rinse your brush out every few minutes. Wipe the area clean with a wet rag to remove the dirty water and baking soda. Wipe up the area frequently so the dirty water doesn’t settle back into the grout. For extra tough stains, put vinegar in spray bottle and spray it onto the baking soda that you’ve sprinkled onto the grout. After it bubbles, use the toothbrush to loosen the dirt and grime.

Happy Scrubbing!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Dirty pans

Thanks to all of the cooking I’ve done this holiday season, my stainless steel pots and pans are a mess! I’ve tried soaking them in Dawn dish soap, soaking them over night, boiling soapy water in them, but nothing would remove the maple cherry sauce I made for our Christmas Chicken (oh my, that was a wonderful meal. See below for the recipe.).

This afternoon I decided to try something else – I boiled equal parts water and vinegar with a teaspoon of baking soda in each pan. For the larger pan I used 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup vinegar and I only used 1/2 cup for the smaller pan. Every few minutes I would scrub the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. And WOW! It worked! Check out my before and after pictures below.

If you want the recipe for the maple glaze chicken check out the “Favorites” section of my website or click here http://www.borderhoarder.com/delicious-maple-cherry-glaze-recipe/. Not only will you know how to make this delicious recipe, you’ll know how to clean your pans afterwards 🙂

Clean pans

Make Your Own Powder Carpet Deodorizer

Make Your Own Powder Carpet Deodorizer

I love a house that smells good! I used to use a lot of room sprays and carpet deodorizers until they started to bother my daughter. Something in them was causing her eyes to itch and made it hard to breathe (who knows what kinds of chemicals are in those things). I decided to start making my own.

It turns out that making your own carpet deodorizer is VERY simple. All you need is an empty jar with a lid, baking soda, and your favorite essential oil. You can buy essential oils from your favorite health food store or from Mountain Rose Herbs (there is a link for them at the bottom of this article). For more information on essential oils, check my last article about adding essential oils to an all-purpose, make at home, kitchen spray.

Put one cup of baking soda into a jar, add 20 drops of your favorite scent (I added 1/4 cup baking soda and 5 drops of oil and then kept repeating in this pattern to make sure the oil was all throughout the jar), shake it up and let it sit for 12 hours with the lid on. There ya go! It’s done! Sprinkle a little on your carpet or furniture and let it sit for a minute or two and then vacuum it up. Today my house smells like Geranium Rose. I think when I run out, I’ll make a lavender one next!

Mountain Rose Herbs

How to Clean the Grout on a Tile Counter Top

How to Clean the Grout on a Tile Counter Top

I really don’t like counter tops with tile. Unfortunately, my last few houses have had tile counter tops in both the kitchen and the bathroom. The grout seems to stain and get dirty so easily.

I have always cleaned the grout between the tiles using those little bleach pens and an old toothbrush. Today when I started to clean the grout in the new house, I hated the thought of breathing in those awful bleach fumes. I’m really trying to remove a lot of chemicals in my house and clean things with vinegar,baking soda, and other natural things. That got me thinking – if I cleaned the grout with baking soda, would it work as well as bleach? There was only one way to find out. I cleaned a section of my counter top the way I always did with a bleach pen and a tooth brush. Then I did a section right next to it by pouring a little bit of baking soda on the counter and using a wet toothbrush (not the same one I used with the bleach) to scrub the grout lines.

Cleaning Grout with Baking Soda

First off, the bleached section smelled so bad it made me feel sick. But after scrubbing with a toothbrush for a few seconds or so, the grout looked almost as good as new. I did notice a few cracks in the grout which made me a little nervous. I didn’t remember seeing those before. The baking powder section took a little more elbow grease but not much. Not only was there no smell, but when I compared the sections right next to each other, I thought the baking soda side actually looked better.
Not only did I like the baking soda better, it’s also cheaper. Just in the small section I did with the bleach pen (probably a 2×2 foot area) I used half of the bleach pen. I only used a very small portion of my small box of baking soda.

Now before you try this at home, let me tell you that I have a white tiled counter top with white grout. If you have colored grout you probably don’t want to try the bleach at all. The best way to keep your grout clean is to try to keep it from getting grimy in the first place. A quick scrub with a tooth brush weekly, and wiping up spills as soon as they happen, will help keep your grout stain free.