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Waste Not, Want Not

by Judy Wolfram


Updated on Wednesday*:

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I don’t care what the calendar says about the first day of summer. It’s June and summer has already started according to me. That means everybody is planting things, putting summer furniture on the porch or patio, or setting up the grill for cooking outside.

Use an inexpensive product to clean outdoor furniture or your grill, plus it will help your plants and flowers. It’s called baking soda. Yep, that’s right--baking soda.

Geraniums, begonias and hydrangea can be watered occasionally (once a month) with one part baking soda and three parts water. Tomato plants will love you if you sprinkle baking soda lightly around each one. To keep clay pots fresh smelling, coat them with a thin layer of baking soda before adding the soil and plants or seeds. Cut flowers will last longer if you dip them in a solution of half water and half baking soda before placing them in a vase.

Oily stains on the deck? Sprinkle them with baking soda and let set for one hour. Repeat if necessary. Lawn furniture dirty? Mix 1/4 cup baking soda in one quart warm water. Wipe and rinse. The same solution works for plastic or vinyl pool toys.

To clean your barbecue grill racks, mix one cup baking soda and 1/2 cup ammonia and put the rack in a large heavy duty plastic bag. Pour the mixture over the rack and close the bag up tight. Leave it outside overnight. The next morning, open the bag carefully and have a hose ready to spray them down.

To control flames that pop up from fat dropping on the coals, keep a spray bottle handy that is filled with one teaspoon baking soda mixed with one pint of water. When the flames shoot up, just spray lightly.

Hope this helps. Happy cleaning.


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