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Double Duty

March 16, 2012

Today, you get two posts for the price of one since I skipped out yesterday. Too much to do around the house! As we Minnesotans say, “Uffda!”

As for cleaning tips… I keep seeing recipes all over the place for make-them-yourself household cleaners. I’ve used some that are great and that do the job for a lot cheaper than their store-bought counterparts. (For example, check out my previous post about cleaning around the house with white vinegar.) I saw one recently though that I had never tried. It was pretty simple.

Supplies? Baking soda and a scrubbing brush.

Apparently, baking soda is supposed to make a great scouring powder for bathroom sinks and toilets. We decided to give it the ultimate test in our home. Our one-hundred-year-old home has quite the issues with iron in the water… to the point that you can smell it when you are running the hot water. We use a water softener with special salt for iron and we use another additive in the softener on top of that. So there’s no telling how bad it could be without these measures. Despite all this, we still deal with rust deposits in our sinks, toilets and shower. One of our more frequent battles is with the upstairs sink. Check out this impressive orange color.

My husband decided to give the baking soda a try.

Here’s the finished look. Now, if you don’t mind having an orange sink, the baking soda did get rid of the soap scum and dirt.

He then decided to follow up with our usual Comet Cleanser. It definitely looked better after that although we still have a ways to go to get rid of all the orange. My conclusion – baking soda is a great scouring powder for your general dirt and soap scum and is certainly a cheap solution but probably won’t do great with long-term stains!

Do any of you deal with majorly rusty water and have some great ways to clean stained sinks and toilets? I would welcome any hints!

Here’s a super quick look at some DIY I’ve been doing. Over the years, much of my furniture has gotten nicked up from moving, cat clawingand general living. I had previously used some basic furniture markers but had never been terribly impressed with them.

This time I decided to drop a little more money on a better product. I purchased a Minwax stain marker. Thankfully, most of my furniture is a dark stain so I was able to get just one marker for under $6. I purchased the Dark Walnut color. This marker has absolutely saved some of my furniture! While it certainly doesn’t fill in dented wood, I think it makes it look a thousand times better. I had spilled some of the liquid from a scented plug-in as well as some nail polish on my nightstand which had then gone through the polyurethane and stain to reveal the bare wood. I thought I would simply have to refinish it at some point, but now it looks so much better that I can’t even tell the wood was damaged unless I get really close. You should try the stain marker out if you need to do little repairs or small projects!

Check out the before and after on my coffee table. Certainly not perfect, but much better than before!



Have a great St. Patrick’s Day weekend!


From → Cleaning

  1. 2 things:
    1) Thank you for introducing me to that wood finish marker thing. We took care of a friend’s dog several years ago and she (the dog, not the friend) jumped up onto one of our doors and left scratch marks from about 5 feet high down to the floor! I’m definitely going to try the marker.

    2) I haven’t tried this personally but a friend of mine had great success with cream of tartar on rust stains. You can try it on it’s own with a little water but if that doesn’t work, cover the rust spots with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and then sprinkle with cream of tartar. Leave it for about 30 minutes then wipe off. Hopefully that works for you.

    I don’t know about where you are, but Cream of Tartar can be a bit pricey here in Canada if you buy the little jars at the grocery store. It’s much cheaper if you buy it in bulk (like at the Bulk Barn – if you have that where you are). Don’t know if you have kids or not, but if you do and are into making your own playdough, you’ll want to buy Cream of Tartar in bulk ;o)

    • Thanks so much for the info about cream of tartar for rust stains. I will have to try that since cream of tartar is a pretty reasonable price here. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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