Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Image from Live Simply

We are in full fledged spring cleaning mode over here. Of course we are starting with our favorite room of the house!! The kitchen!!! We love using simple and effective solutions, so we started with our favorite natural cleaners, baking soda and vinegar. Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar have long been used as safe alternatives to toxic chemicals. But we were shocked to learn that when they are used together, they are pretty much ineffective!!! What?!?! Read on to learn more…

If you’re shocked, you’re not alone. But the reason makes complete sense.

Baking soda (a base) reacts when it is mixed with vinegar (an acid). This reaction results in the bubbling action we’ve been playing with since our grade school volcano projects. It is fun to watch. But that reaction causes the vinegar and baking soda to cancel out the cleaning properties. You are left with water and a little sodium (salt!). Basically, mixing baking soda and vinegar leaves you with a very mild salt water. Hmmmm. Not exactly the cleaner we were dreaming of.

Image from Live Simply

Left alone,cleaning with baking soda is fantastic. Pot and pans, sinks, cooktops, grout, left shiny and clean after using this powerful powder. Read more uses for baking soda here.

Vinegar is also a great cleaner! Countertops and dishwashers are cleaned and disinfected! Read more ways to use vinegar here. 

They just should not be combined.

If you like scientific explanations (I do!), read this from Live Renewed:

“The chemical reaction actually occurs in two steps. First, there is double displacement reaction in which acetic acid in vinegar reacts with sodium bicarbonate to form sodium acetate and carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is unstable and undergoes a decomposition reaction to produce the carbon dioxide gas.

The carbon dioxide escapes the solution as bubbles. The bubbles are heavier than air, so the carbon dioxide collects at the surface of the container or overflows it… A dilute sodium acetate solution remains after the reaction.”

Dilute “sodium acetate solution.” Salt Water!!!! Fascinating and enlightening!!!

Tell us, have you been using them together?

Do you have natural cleaning solutions you love to use? We’d love to hear your favorites. Apparently we need some new ones….



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