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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

cleaning tip #1

I wish I'd taken a picture, but I didn't, so I'll just have to describe to you the ridiculous super powers of the water here. It isn't just hard water. It's strong, sturdy water, so full of minerals you practically have to chew it. I kept noticing little white bits in the bottom of my tea cup, and finally thought to open the top of the tea kettle to see if maybe we had some buildup in there. Holy Moly Batman. I mean, I thought it would take someone like Batman to blast through that quarter-inch white crust that coated the inside of our beloved red tea kettle. It really was that thick, and hard as... well a rock, being the mineral deposit it was and all.

So I'm looking at this stuff, thinking that I don't want to use some nasty chemical cleaner in there, and also don't think a chisel is the way to go on an enamel tea kettle. It was looking hopeless. Maybe we'd just keep using it until it completely filled itself with minerals, and then we could use it as a door stop.

And then I remembered Coca Cola...

Someone told me, a long time ago, when we first moved here to the land of strong bones and teeth, that Coke would remove mineral deposits from dishes. I tried it back then on a pair of crusty looking pressed glass wine goblets I'd picked up at a yard sale. They soaked in the Coke over night, and came out clear and sparkling the next morning. Amazing, I thought. I also wondered what the stuff did to teeth and intestines...

So a few days ago, Rick, my Lovely Assistant, picked up a big ole jug o' Coke. Excited about this project, he came right home and dumped it into the tea kettle. After just a couple of hours, the crusty white junk had softened to an easy to remove goo. Voila! Clean as a whistle, which all respectable tea kettles know how to do.

So there you go. My best Happy Homemaker Cleaning Tip, next to hydrogen peroxide, which we'll cover another time. For now, I heartily recommend keeping a big bottle of Coke in the house, but for cleaning purposes only! You wouldn't drink Lime-Away, now would you?


Anonymous said...

Hi Kim
I did not know this about Coke, but I will keep it in my arsenal of cleaning supplies. Something else that works great is white vinegar. Put a cup of white vinegar in your tea kettle with normal amount of water and boil the water and this will desolve the calcium build-up with no scrubing...I like NO scrubing. Also white vinegar mixed with a course salt, sea or kosher, will clean copper and brass.
Okay thats it for now, must go knit.


Kim Miles - Beadist said...

Thanks Diane. I agree - NO scrubbing is just the right amount! And... I do envy that you get to knit in the DAYtime. I always have to wait until my work day is done. Then again, it's nice to keep something as "just a hobby" to be done by the fire at night.

Beth said...

Vinegar also works great on clearing out those showerheads that get clogged with the mineral deposits. Just put white vinegar in a plastic bag and place it so the showerhead is in the vinegar and duct tape it on. Leave it for a couple of hours and your showerhead will be flowing like Niagara Falls!

Anonymous said...

Kim The knitting in the afternoon is because I am trying to finish a Christmas gift..last Christmas Christmas gift. Late yes, but it is a great knit and it's for my sister and she is thrilled just knowing I'm doing it for her. And speaking of yarn habits, what a great sweater that you knit. Tell Rick we are waiting for the modeling photos.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a science demonstration we did in grade school. The teacher brought in a piece of raw beef and poured Coca-Cola on it. Not pretty! To this day, I don't drink Coke.


Norine said...

Yep, the stuff in all soft drinks is phosphoric acid. And you can buy phosphoric acid in OSH as Edfred - and it is NOT in their food section. I've heard that servicemen use coke and pepsi to clean the floors in their barracks, other guys clean their car and motocycle batteries. And there are no warning labels on this "food" product - scarey. I put some white vinegar in a crockpot I was using as a humidifier. The water in Modesto is sledgehammer hard. The white vinegar ate through the ceramic glaze. I'm not drinking vinegar, either :-). Norine