homemaking hack: the best pot scrubber ever {is in your pantry}


You guys know we eat a lot of beans around these parts. :)

After just a couple of rounds of beans on the stove, my pans look like this despite all my scrubbing efforts:


This big cast iron pot was new- it was a surprise gift from my husband last month, and I'm in LOVE with it. Even more in love with it than my first cast iron stovetop oven. If the house was on fire I would grab my children first, and depending on the location of the fire, it would be a toss up between grabbing this pan and my Macbook next. {Who needs wedding photos anyway?? :P}

Other than their amazing cooking ability, the best part about these pans is that stuff doesn't burn and doesn't stick easily to them. So the bean residue almost worried me. I wasn't sure what I could do- and then I suddenly remembered the best cleaning tool ever was sitting in my pantry:


I didn't look it up, and I hadn't read it before- but what doesn't baking soda clean really?

It was worth a shot:


A whole minute or two later with a scrub brush and here's what it looked like:


eeeeekkkk! :) It was magical. Just like that. Baking soda and coconut oil are my new best friends {and everyone else's old ones, hahahah!}.

But I had more to test- how about 5-6 years of grease build-up on my skillet?


This one was much tougher of course, but after a several minutes of soda and scrubbing, here's what it looked like:


I didn't get it all, because I was happy with that result- definitely good enough for me! :) {obviously the attitude that got me to the "before" state in the first place :P)

And then, there was the bean crockpot that wasn't so pretty:


I scrubbed it and forgot to take an after but the baking soda worked on it too!

If I had any doubts about baking soda before, I don't now. It's way cheaper and even better than almost any product you can find. {If vinegar was less smelly I might love it as much.} :)

Baking soda is amazing. Can I get an amen? :)



What is your favorite baking soda use?
I had to laugh, but I had no memory whatsoever that it would scrub pans, but my dad says it's the way you do it. What? How did I miss that? I knew it made good toothpaste and cookies. ;)

If your house were on fire, and you had the chance to grab three things {after family and pets were safe of course}, what would they be?
I think if I still had my very favorite old Bible I actually would grab it first, but all of my current ones are fairly new so we're still making memories together. :) I might go for my purse or our social security cards, passports and birth certificates. hehehe. :P

Do beans leave a residue in your pot too? What do you think- is it more likely to have that skillet grease residue if you have a gas stove?

43 comments

Julia said...

Argh, Mandy! Now I am fully convicted that I ought to clean the same three items in my house. (Shakes fist!) I'm scared of my stainless skillet and crockpot mostly. And is that gorgeous enamel cast iron pot a Le Creuset?

Bekah said...

Impressive!! We are having a natural cleaning products lady on our show next month and I can't wait to learn tricks using stuff I already have! :) As for what I'd grab in a fire - ONLY THREE THINGS???? Scrapbooks...journals...computer (cause it has all the pictures on it). That was a tough call!!

Sophie from France said...

I have the same iron pot but not of the same color; I did not know they exported their products (this is a French brand!) For baking soda: biscuits, toothpaste, cleaning pots and sink, to soften the bath water (for children who have eczema, if the water is too limestone ...), cooking dried vegetables (beans!)-this makes them more digestible and shortened the cooking time- for the pain of stomach (this is disgusting to drink, but it is miraculous!) ....
Are you tried to put oil with a brush in your skillet or your pan? You put in less and it also burns less (I have a small pot with oil in it and a brush that serves only for that ...).
If there was a fire in the house, I think I would take my purse too! I never have time to take the rest ... as my children are safe, I think eventually I will very practical!

Aliesha Caldwell said...

I just tried this on a pot I had been soaking since lunch, and it worked perfectly! Thanks for reminding me about this little trick! ;-)

Mellissa Rose said...

I used baking soda for two things this week! I added it in my shampoo for a clarifying effect and I made a baking soda & honey face mask. Fabulous!

Three things I would take: my laptop, my husband's desktop and a vintage chair my husband bought for me years ago.

Nice job on the pot/pan cleaning! I will have to remember that. We don't eat beans unfortunately. I know they are healthy for you but I'm not keen on the taste.

Susan said...

I was just wondering about how to get some staining off my cast iron dutch oven, thanks for the tip! :)

Mindy said...

Three things - my kids "lovies" (stuffed animal, favorite blankies they sleep with), pictures, safe deposit box. Though, once while I was discussing this with my neighbor, she reminded me that if your photos are uploaded to various sites (snapfish, etc.) you can always get those reprinted....made me feel so much better!

Mere said...

Get a firebox and put the ss cards and birth certificates and any other paperwork/valuables you'd fear in a fire. I even have my wedding cds in there so I have all the pictures from my wedding at least.
I love baking soda for a number of things. I recently started scrubbing pans with it but, love the baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar (kids will love this one!) Let it sit and rinse with hot water. Great for cleaning the gunk out of the drains. I also use it in my homemade laundry soap.
Not really sure on the fire thing. Thinking that I'd be freaking out too much to think of anything but my family being out and ok. If I did have the mind, I'd need my phone and purse cause it has everything relevant and necessary and just for the sheer hassle it would be having to renew everything, lol. But, seriously not sure it'd even come to mind in a panic.

Kelly R. said...

Amen! I love baking soda for cleaning! I've used it to clean numerous pots and pans! It also shines sinks and is perfect for making old ovens look like new! Well, newer. I've also used it to clear out drain clogs! Pour it down the drain, then pour vinegar down, after it goes crazy for about 10 to 15 minutes, run hot water down the drain! I saw that on pintrest! It's awesome! Also, it is a great scent nutralizer. Good for the fridge and the trash can. I just use it for baking and since you should replace your baking soda for baking every 28 days, I always use the rest for cleaning. I love your cast iron pot! I've been looking for one in that exact color too. It's beautiful. If my kids and dog were safe, I have absolutely no idea what I would grab. All I can think of are photos. I probably should condense them all together onto something. That way I'm not running all around like a mad woman in a fire. :) Anyway, I don't eat a lot of beans here because my husband hates them. I have been known to puree them into his chili though because it just doesn't seem like chili without beans. He doesn't know that though. ;)

Mandy said...

It is! :) And I totally get you on the pot thing- had the baking soda not come to mind, I would've left them! :) Before and afters made it exciting, though too! :)

Mandy said...

oooohh I'm interested to hear what she says! And I think you made a good call on the 3- those are all things you can't replace! :)

Mandy said...

They are the best pots aren't they? :) I need to try it in my beans too! And then the oil trick is very smart- I do it with meats but having a brush would be so much better- is it a natural kind of bristle? And the purse is very important! :)

Mandy said...

yay!! absolutely! :)

Mandy said...

oh, I do remember using baking soda on my hair once now! And I love that you would take a vintage chair! I have an old radio that was a gift from my husband our first year of marriage and if it weren't so heavy I would be carrying it out too! :D

Mandy said...

Awww- that's such a good mama!

it's so funny how different our world is now- I was just thinking how I could replace nearly everything but my pictures- and I need to back mine up now that I think about it! :)

Mandy said...

This is true! We have a firebox but we still don't have it all in it. :/ . It might take a thought out plan to grab the things you wanted if you had time. I have no idea how I would react in reality! And I need to try that recipe for the drain cleaner!!

Heather said...

Lately my toddlers having been loving baking soda for its reaction with vinager. So that is the top use. I have recently had to use it to put out a small stove fire and do also use it for baking and some scrubbing. My mom mentioned recently that for real stuff stains use it along with hydron peroxide

Courtney said...

I'm new the baking soda as cleaner scene, too. I even clean our kitchen sink with it and it makes it sparkle without me having to breathe harsh chemicals. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I couldn't STAND the smell of bleach at all and needed an alternative. Baking soda is the best thing ever. I use it in our laundry as a booster to the detergent, in my kids' baths when they have diaper rash, for pots and pans, the coffee maker AND I used it to clean my wedding ring today!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing you're discussing baking soda as a cleaner, because I've just found a fantastic use for it this week! I burned milk onto my ceramic cook top and it was tough to clean! I did a google search and it came up with a baking soda paste - it was fantastic!! So quick and easy and no harsh chemicals!

Diane said...

I use baking soda to scrub out the tub as well. And I love using vinegar to clean anything and everything. I am totally used to the smell, and it is way better than bleach or chemical smells, plus it goes away once dry, and even deodorizes, so it's perfect for cleaning things like milk spills that can go sour and stink or other stinky messes, which we as mothers tend to see quite often =). The other day I was looking for a natural way to clean sticky residue, because I used to use Goo Gone but I know it's pretty toxic so I didn't want to buy any, and found online that you can use baking soda mixed with coconut oil (or any oil I think) and it worked so well!

In a fire I'd grab our external harddrive which as all our backup files including pictures, my purse and... hmm, maybe my camera. I'd say old journals but they would not be quick to find.

Sophie from France said...

Yes, it's natural bristle. From time to time, I wash the brush in the dishwasher, and it is (as it is only used for the oil, I put back in the pot between uses).

Sophie from France said...

Oh, I use baking soda for making face scrub, too! This is the best scrub I've tried, the skin is really clearer. But I will try your face mask, Mellissa!

Molly Byrd said...

Too funny--we eat beans all the time too and I never could figure out the bean stain situation. Just this past weekend my MIL showed me to soak vinegar in the pot, and the stains cone right out! Love cheap easy cleaning "products" like baking soda and vinegar!

Brooke said...

I love baking soda - I use it all the time for so many different things! You should give vinegar a try, the smell really doesn't last but a few minutes and it's such a great cleaner. You can always put orange peels or lemon peels in a large glass jar and cover them with white vinegar and let it sit for a few weeks, then the vinegar will be orange or lemon scented.

Sophie from France said...

You can also use essential oils to flavor vinegar (Tee trea t is disinfectant, or lemon, depending on your tastes ...).

Julie @ Logger's Wife said...

Baking soda, vinegar, and Dawn are my favorite things to clean with. The vinegar even worked on a pan the baking soda didn't.

3 things I could take- laptop for sure as 99% of my info/pics are on there, phone, purse because I don't want to deal with getting a new bank card, license, etc. I might try to be sneaky and grab my camera too. lol

Marian said...

If you add baking soda and vinegar to your laundry they also work well for deodorizing/whitening. My favorite two cleaning products by far!

Anonymous said...

I use baking soda to scrub all the time, pots and pans and I use it on fruits and veggies with skins we will eat like apples and cucumbers! Cleans them so well and I hope it removes some of the pesticide ;) I know it removes the wax they apply!

Anonymous said...

I keep my baking soda by the sink in pampered chef container I got at goodwill it has a stainless steel ring top that is mesh with a lid I think it was for possibly powdered sugar ;) works perfect to shake a little on pans and such!)

Mandy said...

oh that's a good idea!

Mandy said...

that's such a GREAT idea! I always hate those waxes and you know there's all kinds of chemicals!

Mandy said...

dawn is the best!! And I'm going to try vinegar too!

Mandy said...

that's smart- I don't like to use bleach but I love bright whites!

Mandy said...

that's a good one! I'm going to keep my eyes out now! thank you!

Angel Hernandez said...

Loved loved loved the post because I have the black cast iron that I am new to using but use for everything now and try not to use soap on them. Also loved reading the comments. About to go try a ton of them! Keep blessing God's people. Your love for the Lord shines through even in cleaning posts. Love how real you are. Its so encouraging!

Angel Hernandez said...

Loved loved loved the post because I have the black cast iron that I am new to using but use for everything now and try not to use soap on them. Also loved reading the comments. About to go try a ton of them! Keep blessing God's people. Your love for the Lord shines through even in cleaning posts. Love how real you are. Its so encouraging!

Niki S said...

A paste of baking soda and peroxide will remove burn on stuff from cast iron and stainless pans with little scrubbing. Let it set over night and clean in the morning.

Niki S said...

A paste of baking soda and peroxide will remove burn on stuff from cast iron and stainless pans with little scrubbing. Let it set over night and clean in the morning.

bettercountry said...

I also use baking soda as an exfoliating scrub/mask, once a week!

bettercountry said...

My apartment building DID catch on fire once, and so I did learn my response to that age old question. I grabbed my computer, a sweater (it was night), and my passport (I live overseas).

Adrienne Reina said...

I love baking soda I use for alot of things. I have a white table and have used it to get out stains. Ive also used it on clothes, carpet, walls, stovetops, my teeth. Really its great for anything and its dirt cheap, you can even use orgainc ones. If I was in a fire and if I could grab somethingsafter family was out I would grab first my bible, my ipad and my purse. I'm not sure on the beans, but they do leave a residue and so does grease. but you did the best thing for it.

Blessings,
Adrienne

Meghan said...

Hi Mandy, I wanted to thank you for your creativeness and honesty in what you share. I have been following your blog for only a couple months now and you have inspired and helped me in many ways. I will be teaching a fun workshop at a women's retreat this coming Saturday on how to re-use, re-create, and re-love. If it is ok with you, I will be featuring your blog as a great resource for ladies to go to. Your 31 days of thrifting is perfect!!! Thank you for your many many fun ideas!! Keep them coming!!

Mandy said...

oh sure you can! thank you so much for sharing and for your sweet encouragement! :)