The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda

The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda at

Baking Soda is awesome, y’all.

I use it all the time to clean stains off my counter tops. My somewhat-old-fashioned, non-granite counter tops.

Y’all convinced me here, and then I became a believer here.

But even though baking soda is perfect for cleaning a lot of things and is safe enough to use in cookies (which means you actually EAT it!) or for brushing teeth (Hubby tried this recently when we were out of toothpaste, yuck!), there’s a downside.

I’m not knocking cleaning with baking soda, but I think it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into before you start sprinkling everything in sight with the stuff.

I’d hate for someone to think they’re doing a quick kitchen clean up before a guest shows up and not leave time for the endless wiping required to remove the film left  behind before the doorbell is due to ring.

Oh. I just gave the downside away. Oops.

There’s a film. A film that doesn’t go away in one wipe, y’all. Or two wipes. Or sometimes even three.

I can deal with it on my baking-soda-colored countertops, but my shiny (other than the burnt on stuff that looks significantly worse in the picture than I ever noticed while doing this and which is therefore a project and post for another day) black stove, not so much.

baking soda stovetop film 2 at

I thought I was being all Cleaning Blogger Awesome when I cleaned that stove.

And then it dried.

baking soda stovetop film 1 at

And I wiped it off again.

And then it dried again.

And I had to wipe it off again.

And then it dried yet again.

baking soda stovetop film 3 at

And my daughter exclaimed how terrible it looked and wiped it down again. And then again. She experienced that strange satisfaction that comes over you when you wipe away visible mess. And then she experienced the frustration of seeing the mess reappear when it dried.

Yes, crusty stuff had come off, but the magically re-appearing white film was getting ridiculous.

Finally, it looked ok.

But I’ve decided to stick to cleaning with baking soda on baking soda colored surfaces.

baking soda cleaning water dispenser on fridge at ASlobComesClean

Especially after I used baking soda to easily clean this severely-water-spotted-and-long-neglected water dispenser tray on my fridge. It worked, and the mineral deposits (aka ickiness) were mostly gone. But then, when I stepped back to admire my work, I saw the the area around the area I’d just cleaned. Ugh. Did you read the post about cleaning that stainless steel? I’d just cleaned it about an hour before this!

baking soda cleaning fridge front at

Yay for natural cleaners that really do scrub out stains and get rid of tough built-up messes. Boo for the mess baking soda leaves behind.

Do y’all have any tricks for me? Do you know the absolute best way to get rid of the film in one or two (or even three) wipes?

Obligatory Amazon affiliate links:

Baking Soda. Really. You can get all sorts of household goods on Amazon. Go here to see how I use it to save my sanity!

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths.

The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda where did that white film come from at


Dealing with Rust Stains on My Stainless Steel Appliances

Dealing with Rust Stains on Stainless Steel Appliances at

About four years ago, I got stainless steel appliances.

I love them, but they are definitely hard to clean. To clarify, though, I’m not one to notice little smudges here and there so all appliances of any finish or color or type are “hard to clean” for me. I generally don’t see any issues until I know a guest is on her way.

For the first time.

Second and third time guests get a much more realistic view of our home.

I did the deep clean recently, though. On most deep cleans, I do a general wiping down and shinyfying, but I decided to get a little crazy on this one and try to deal with the small rust spots which didn’t go away with normal cleaning.

I scratched at one with my fingernail, and it rubbed off.

Yay! But I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my fingernails, so I grabbed my handy dandy go to cleaning scraper, an old credit card that I keep by the kitchen sink.

Seriously, I use this thing all the time, y’all. It’s plastic and doesn’t scratch, and is perfect for scraping burnt on food off of almost anything.

I tried all sorts of different ways, but here is what I found to work best.

Removing Rust Stains on My Stainless Steel Appliances at

Spray generously with stainless steel cleaner (this is my affiliate link to the kind I use on Amazon) and wipe off according to the cleaner’s directions, letting it sit longer according to how dirty your appliance is.

Once it’s clean other than the rust spots, spray the stainless steel cleaner generously onto the spot and then, going with the “grain” of the stainless steel, use the side of the plastic scraper or credit card (one you don’t need to ever use again) to scrape off the rust.

And that’s it.

Here are some before and after shots.

Rust Stains on Appliances before after 1 at


Rust Stains on Appliances before after 2 at

P.S. Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of teeny-tiny rust spots on stainless steel? It’s hard. Really hard.


If the thought of dealing with nitpicky stuff like this stresses you completely out because you’re overwhelmed with your house as a whole, listen to this podcast from a few weeks ago.

How to clean rust spots off your stainless steel appliances at



I Cleaned the Grout Grossness I Thought Was Uncleanable!

I Cleaned the Grout Grossness I Thought was Uncleanable at

Someone recently commented that we sure have had some major house issues lately.

Someone was right.

I’m trying to take deep breaths and be grateful that we have a (leaky) roof over our heads and that we have had the money to deal with the urgent things and hope for the money to deal with the less-urgent things before they become urgent.

FYI, the roof leak has been fixed. We just didn’t know for sure it was fixed until we finally had another hard rain, so there were several months of breath-holding.

The current most-urgent drama in our 37 year old house (I know that’s super-young to some and super-0ld to others) happened when my husband stepped in a puddle in his closet.

We knew it had something to do with the shower that is near his closet, but it wasn’t until two showers later that we figured out the water was coming out under the wall. Under the wall. So weird.

According to Mr. Plumber, our shower is a goner, and must be completely yanked out (it’s one of those drop-in ones), re-plumbed, and then tiled.


And he said . . . “It looks like it has been leaking for a while, looking at that grout.”

I knew the grout looked awful, but I was hoping he wouldn’t notice it. I’d had to deal with the other aspects of bathroom cleaning and master bedroom cleaning just to be able to let him in so he could assess our problem.

He noticed. Obviously.

I was pretty sure that the grout grossness wasn’t from a leak, as it had been there a very long time, just under the bathmat. I’d scrubbed it and sprayed it and such before, but never made much of a difference.

gross grout before at

But then I saw this tip come through my feed on Pinterest. It’s genius, but my hopes weren’t high.

gross grout cotton balls at

Read the instructions here. See my results here:

gross grout after at

Basically, you soak cotton balls in straight-up bleach and then put them directly on the grout/caulking overnight. No scrubbing whatsoever.

Seriously, y’all, I giggled with glee when I pulled those cotton balls up the next day. I was so excited! I even used the same ol’ already-soaked cotton balls to deal with a similar-but-not-as-bad problem in my kids’ bathroom. It worked there too!

FYI: From what I understand, bleach doesn’t actually kill mold, but y’all  . . . it’s so much less embarrassing now, so I’m happy!! If it happens again, I will soak cotton balls in Concrobium and see what happens, and then let you know! I also did this just before I received Clean Shot bleach tablets to try out, but I’m sure dissolving a tablet in water would have the same effect, though not in a full gallon of water since I used straight-up undiluted bleach.

Cleaning Grout Grossness at


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