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Ok, we’ll start with the one most people know about: the humble but mighty baking soda. Sodium Bicarbonate – NaHCO3 – is technically a salt and found in nature, dissolved in many mineral water springs. It’s a mild disinfectant, and can be a good fungicide too. But we’re interested in what it can get clean!
In water, baking soda forms a strong alkaline solution. In most cases, it’s recommended to use either a paste made from baking soda and a little cold water (using hot water can make it more corrosive than you want), or a solution made using a few teaspoons in a bowl of water.
If you have rust spots on iron or steel items, smear baking soda paste over the surface of the metal, leave for a few minutes, gently rub and then rinse and dry. The alkaline solution forms a water-soluble compound with the rust, meaning it can be washed away. Make sure you thoroughly dry the metal afterwards, or the rust will be back!
Note: make sure the items you’re cleaning aren’t aluminium; baking soda paste can remove the layer of aluminium oxide that forms naturally and protects aluminium surfaces. Generally, if the item sticks to magnets, it isn’t made from aluminium. Just check it doesn’t have aluminium parts.
If you have silver items that are tarnished, use a hot water solution and some aluminium foil (yes, you want aluminium for this one!). Line the bottom of a small heat-proof bowl with aluminium foil and place your silver items on top of the foil. Boil half a litre (about a pint) of water, pour into a jug and place in a sink. Add and dissolve 2 tablespoons (35ml) of baking soda – it may froth up and spill over the sides of the jug, hence placing in the sink. Pour this solution carefully (rubber gloves are advised) into the bowl with the foil and silver items, ensuring that the silver items are immersed. If the silver items are only lightly tarnished, one treatment leaving them in the solution for a few minutes should be enough. If they’re heavily tarnished, you might need to repeat the process one or more times.
This process is one of the least corrosive ways to polish silver. Rubbing polish or using dip treatments actually removes some of the silver when it takes the silver sulphide (which is the dark tarnish) away. In the aluminium+baking soda trick, the aluminium foil is actually taking on the sulphur ions, forming aluminium sulphide, and turning the tarnished silver back to pure silver!
Adding 4 tbsp (70ml) of baking soda straight into the drum of your washing machine before you add your clothes should reduce the amount of detergent you need. It will help to regulate the pH of the water in the machine, and also works effectively to break down the bacteria in fabrics that cause odours. Added to that, the baking soda can prevent detergent residue from clinging to the garments being washed, meaning they should feel softer once dried. How good is that?
If your iron has built up scorch-marks over time, you’ll know they’re very difficult to remove. Well, guess what? Our trusty baking soda paste can help to make that easy. Make sure the iron is completely cool before you start. Use a white cloth to rub a baking soda paste over the plate of the iron, leave for a few minutes and scrub gently to clean. Repeat if necessary. Once it’s clean, polish it up with some white vinegar on another cloth.
If you have used baking soda for other cleaning puposes around the house and you’d like to share, please let us know! You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll check them out and add them to the list here!
And of course, if you’d like to get your domestic chores done for you and reap the benefits like our other clients, it’s a piece of cake. Give us a call and we’ll get the ball rolling!
Cleanhome South Derbyshire – Bespoke Service.
We are not happy until you are! Your cleaner will usually tailor their services to fit exactly with your requirements, including spring cleaning and ironing.
Just to let you know we are open for business as usual and you can continue to have your cleaner clean your house.
The government has made it clear that cleaners are still permitted to work inside peoples' homes as long as Government Guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed (see below). In summary:
You can be outside of your home for work purposes where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home, including if your job involves working in other people's homes.
The full text can be found here New National Restrictions from 5 January (in England; there are similar texts available for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Specifically relating to cleaners, the guidance continues: 'This guidance applies to those working in, visiting or delivering to home environments. These include, but are not limited to, people working in the following areas:
Note this guidance is for people who are fit and well, and is dependent on the following social distancing guidelines being followed:
The good news with regard to cleaning is that the cleaners can social distance from their clients very easily, and we would advise that, if you are at home when they are there, that you remain in a separate room to your cleaner.
If you are happy to adhere to the government guidelines - and if your cleaner has not been in touch already - then please just call the office and we will ensure that your cleaning continues.
The Cleanhome Team