When the Going Gets Tough…

Did you know that you could team up baking soda with some other heavy hitters and turn the combos loose on your most challenging cleaning jobs? Here’s the roster:

Heavy-duty cleanser. Combine equal parts of baking soda, salt, and borax, and store the mixture in a closed container. It’ll get grease and grime off pots and pans, appliances, tile floors, bathroom fixtures, and just about every other surface.

Scouring powder. Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and keep it close at hand. Use it as you would any other scouring powder. It’s strong but gentle enough for colored-porcelain bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, and other easily scratched surfaces.

Silver polish. Find a pan that’s big enough to hold the silver, and fill it with water. Add your treasures, along with 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and table salt and three 12-inch sheets of aluminum foil. Let the mixture sit for an hour or so. Like magic, the tarnish will be pulled from the metal onto the aluminum, creating a rotten-egg smell in the process (so don’t be concerned!). Your silver will come out as bright and shiny as a full moon!

Soft-scrubbing cleanser. Mix ⅛ cup of baking soda with enough natural dishwashing liquid to get a creamy consistency. Apply the mixture with a sponge or soft brush, and rinse with clear water.

Toilet bowl cleaner. Sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda into the bowl and drizzle ¼ cup of vinegar over the soda. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you like (any aroma that suits your fancy is fine). Then grab a long-handled brush and scrub-a-dub-dub!