About all these green, homemade cleaner recipes...

This morning I found out that a paste of liquid dish soap and baking soda is fantastic for cleaning scum off of kitchen and bathroom fixtures. I’ve attacked every available scummy surface in the house and I want more recipes for cleaning other things.

A LOT of these recipes have you mix water and baking soda and vinegar, then put the result in a spray bottle for later use.

I don’t get it. Baking soda + vinegar = water, carbon dioxide, and sodium acetate. I can’t find much information about sodium acetate having any particular cleaning powers (though I guess it’s tasty on potato chips).

I understand that the bubbling action immediately after baking soda and vinegar come in contact can have valuable cleaning properties, but that isn’t what these recipes are doing. Are the recipes stupid or am I missing something?

Sodium provides some mild, initial abrasion on contact. The others work as a solution, but sometimes you need just one little abrasive property to loosen up grime when you rub/scrub.

the recipes are stupid.

one thing works good for some situations. another thing works good for some situations. mixing them together has to be better. and then if a little is good then a lot is better.

people use what is available and what past generations have used. when soap was homemade and not high performing lots of home methods used gasoline or kerosene.

liquid dish soap and fine sand would also be abrasive and work, so would the soap and a plastic scrubber.

detergents and physical action can work good for cleaning. mild acid like vinegar might work good for other situations. these methods can work sequentially, first soap wash then something other. mixing some cleaners can be hazardous, mixing some cleaners can have then work less well then each separately and sequentially.

Hell, hot water, a good scrub brush, and a bit of elbow grease will clean most things. It’s all I use for spot cleaning, like wiping up the counter after cooking something messy. A bit of detergent helps with the particularly greasy or stubborn bits of dirt.

I scout out those natural/green recipes a bunch, and I’ve never seen this suggestion, not even once. Linky, please?

There is a real & legitimate cleaning purpose to mixing baking soda with vinegar: cleaning drains. Other than that, I’ve never seen this particular combo recommended.

Linky, please? I mean to a controlled experiment comparing that to other methods.


Really? I mean, seriously? Almost every website I hit has at least a couple that do it. Here’s a couple I found in two minutes of clicking around:

(Homemade Grout Spray, Homemade Spray for Water Deposits)

(Tile and Grout Cleaner)

Whereas here is baking soda and vinegar being used correctly to clean a drain:


PS: I tested the baking soda/dish soap paste on things in my kitchen last night. It works BETTER than Comet for removing black marks in the kitchen sink, dye that bled from food packaging onto the countertop, and crud that’s been baked onto the inside of the microwave. Plus it’s minimally abrasive, easy on your hands, cheap, minimally toxic, and smells great. I’m in love.

Don’t mix bleach and vinegar. It gives off chlorine. I have also heard that bleach and ammonia are bad.

That was my way of getting purplehorseshoe to back up his/her claim. It’s his/her responsibility to prove it, not mine to disprove.