I love the airy, clean and spacious feel of a white kitchen. But mine had not been pristine for quite a while in the corner above the cooker. After carefully removing the plastic cover from the fan assembly, I wondered how to clean the yellow sticky grille.
Neither concentrated liquid detergent, boiling hot water or vinegar worked at all, they only caused the fat to smear when I wiped it with a paper towel. In desperation I searched in the kitchen sink cupboard and discovered an old packet of washing soda.
A cup of washing soda powder dissolved in a litre or two of hot water made an amazing transformation to the sticky fan cover. After about 15 minutes the grease softened to the point where it was easily wiped off, leaving the plastic looking white and new. Magic!
You can spend lots of money on cleaning agents for BBQ's and stoves. And the products come with an alarming list of warnings in print that's even finer than a telco contract.
Or you can use washing soda and hot water. The mix will depend on how much grease and rubbish is caked on, but a guide is 1 cup soda to 2 litres of water. Use a stronger solution or soak longer for persistent stains.
If your visitors leave an oily calling card in your driveway like my pizza guy does, there is an easy answer.
Again, no specially designed expensive products are required. Pour a generous amount of washing soda powder over the stain, sprinkle with a little water until you have a paste, then leave overnight. Scrub with a stiff brush while wearing eye protection, and rinse away your problems.
Where to get washing soda?
You can still find it at some supermarkets such as Woolworths, and some hardware stores.
1. Washing soda is alkaline, and can cause irritation to skin. It's rather less dangerous than many other household products, but handle with care.
2. Use rubber gloves and appropriate protective gear. If you brush a surface after applying washing soda, use safety glasses to protect your eyes.
3. Washing soda and baking soda are completely different chemicals. They are NOT interchangeable
4. Do not use washing soda on aluminium or fibreglass products, or waxed/varnished surfaces.
5. Need I say this? Do not inhale, swallow or apply to your body parts. Or anyone else's!
If your granny (or grandpa) had any other tips for using washing soda, let us know in the comments. Or check out the manufacturer's website for even more suggestions.
Two tips I have used that work well: Use a dilute solution to clean the fridge, it leaves no smell behind, and you can also put a small dish of it in the fridge to absorb odours; It is the best way to remove stale or mouldy odours from clothes and fabrics, especially those that have been damp too long after washing and developed a 'sour' smell. Just put a handful in your washing mashine or handwash water and hey presto! By Elizabeth
I see that one person adds it to bath water. WRONG!!!
Washing soda is not for skin - clearly there is dangerous confusion between the Washing Soda, Bicarbonate of Soda, Baking Soda, Soda Carbonate, indeed Soda Water are all vastly different..
PLEASE! Read your labels properly before purchase and use - unless you have a strong death wish.
I have another unusual use for you. My mother was told to wrap some around a swollen joint, the crystals stuffed into a stocking and then tied around the swelling. I have tried this myself it works. You awake in a bit of a pool but it does draw out the swelling. It is an old-fashioned remedy but it does work.
did you know? washing soda dissolved in high concentration in hot water will reverse tarnish on silver if you immerse the silver in the soda solution & use aluminium foil[scrunched into a ball]to rub the silver[whilst it is immersed]where ever tarnish effects the silver.this does NOT remove any silver from the object but chemicaly reverses the sulfation of the silver surface.
To make washing soda, heat a 1/2" layer of baking soda in a glass baking dish in a 400 degree F. oven for about 30 minutes. It changes NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. To test for change place a small amount of baking soda in a small bowl and a small amount of washing soda in a separate bowl. Put a few drops of lemon juice on each. The baking soda will fizz, but the washing soda will foam and turn bright yellow. Be careful handling the washing soda, and don't taste it!
My grandmother would put a handful into a bath to soothe tired, aching muscles - cheaper then Radox! Add a few drops of favourite essential oils, light a soothing, scented candle, and voila, a relaxed mind, body, spirit!
Methylated spirits work a treat on organic matter. It works like magic on grease. Put abit on the surface and wipe off. I use it in the kitchen on stainless steel and plastic appliances. Good on kitchen tiles - careful not to get on wall or it will strip the paint off. Best of all no need to rinse off as it evaporates.
Washing soda (1cup) and Epsom salts (1tab )in a large bucket/ bowl of hot water makes for a great foot soak. Add a few marbles for a massage too.
Also great for cleaning saucepans/ pots that are stained or have food burnt in them. Add a couple of spoonfuls washing soda, hot water & 1 squirt dishwashing liquid. Bring to the boil on the stove, then simmer for 15 minutes.