Sunday, March 8, 2009
After KE told me that he killed a cockroach with a Seventh Generation cleaning product I started thinking more about my household cleaners. I buy and use "earth friendly" products but I feel like it would be even more earth friendly to use more natural things- vinegar and baking soda are supposed to clean stuff.
We got a new stove not too long ago and my landlord said "Now you be sure to keep that clean, that's part of the security deposit." (Which my roommate later said, "is that in writing?" I hope she plans to help keep it clean :P ) I was looking at the stove that hadn't been cleaned or even wiped off since the last time I did it and decided to scrub the heck out of it.
I started by removing all the burners (this is a gas stove- I used to be afraid of them having grown up with electric and now I wonder what I'll do if we don't have gas anymore :( Maybe a fire pit) and placing them in the sink to soak for a bit just with water- to soften what gunk could be softened. Then I used my sponge to wipe off the big chunks. (like sweeping before you mop. You know that's what you're supposed to do, right!?)
I did a bit of online research and read about a baking soda and water paste 1:1. That failed miserably. The baking soda sat at the bottom of the measuring cup and when I tried to pour some out all the water on the top came out. I think it's more accurate to say a splash of water with some baking soda. So while I used a bit of this baking soda mixture poured onto the stains and then the soft yellow side of the sponge and a lot o scrubbing and fingernail scratching, i got the stove top to be pretty clean.
When I was in London staying with my friend N, he and his girlfriend had foil (shiny side up) under the burners on their stove and I was so excited by it's brilliance! Now, a mere 3 months later and I finally did it to my stove. After it was all clean and shiny, I ripped of foil sheets the length to cover each pair of burners. Pressing down I was able to mark where the burner elements are and then used my exact-o knife to cut open the tightest hole I could in the foil. (I'm an architect... precision is pretty.) Then I ripped off the foil edges that spilled out of the burner depressions for a nice tidy foil liner- which also doubles as a reflector making the stovetop even more efficient!
It's already been used since I put down the foil but now the part that gets the hottest and is most likely to having spills and mistakes get burned in is covered up and ought to be easy to clean up!
I did have to use some of my Seventh Generation all-purpose cleaning spray to get the gunk off the burners. My method is to put a paper towel over the affected area, spray cleaner fluid on it until it's soaked, let it sit for a bit, then wipe it off. The soaking really helps get out deep stains. Hopefully you were enticed rather than bored by my stovetop cleaning saga and find a way to keep yours clean (saide from washing it every time you cook... which would probably work even better!)