Here in Colorado Springs, we are a small community. So we don’t have a lot of the small specialty businesses that larger cities have. Due to that, we are reliant on research and word of mouth. With that, we also take our local environment’s health and well-being very seriously. Those two things combined, it is very important that we take our time to find and utilize products that actually work for us and are safe for the environment.
Cleaning metal is usually very difficult to do without harsh chemicals. Though, it is possible! Metal is everywhere in our homes. Some is very plain to see, like sink fixtures and lighting. Some things are easily forgotten or neglected, like the inside of ovens and serving platters stashed in cabinets. All of those things can be reasoned as, oh I don’t have time…I will do it another time. With creativity, all of these things can be brought back to their original beauty with very little effort and non-toxic solutions.
KICK BUTT WITH THESE ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING TECHNIQUES
Lightly crumple 2 sheets of aluminum foil and drop into a large pot of water. Bring water to a boil and add 2-4 tbsp of baking soda. When baking soda has dissolved, carefully dip silver into the water. (Please use pot holders and tongs. Don’t get burned!) You should see the tarnish lifting quickly. If it doesn’t, add some more baking soda. When you’re seeing a fairly bright finish again, remove from water and then use the foil that was in the water to lightly polish silver. This should pull the remaining tarnish off silver and continue to “gray” the foil.
Cover the brass object completely in ketchup. Wait 40-45 minutes and wash off with water and polish with a cloth.
This one depends on what is stuck on it. If it’s hard water residue, submerge in pure water vinegar and wait one hour. For sink and shower fixtures, fill a bag with vinegar and attach to fixture with a rubber band. Then you should be able to scrub the bits off easily. If it’s burned-on food on pots and pans, fill with water and drop in cut up orange and 1-2 tbsp of baking soda. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow it to cool. Pour out the water and then wash with normal sponge and soap.
This one is especially overwhelming if your oven has no self-cleaning cycle. We will get back to that. Provided you do have a self-cleaning oven, do not add any chemicals and start the cycle. When it has finished allow it to cool completely, overnight if needed. Safety is always paramount. From here on, the process is essentially the same with or without the self-cleaning. First, make a paste (toothpaste consistency) of baking soda and water. Rub this paste onto entire inside of the oven or just spots that are visibly dirty. Let this rest, with door open for 2-3 hours with self-clean, and 4-5 hours without self-clean. Then, squeeze the juice of one orange into a spray bottle of pure white vinegar. Spray the vinegar solution onto the baking soda that is in the oven. Allow it to bubble down and then scrub with abrasive sponge until all the cooked on stuff comes off. I know it sounds like too much elbow grease, but I promise you will be shocked at how easy it is!
For any questions about how these things work or for tips on other surfaces please feel free to email us. In the meantime, happy cleaning!