2.28.2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Baking Soda

I don't know about you, but in our house we go through a LOT of laundry stain remover.

When you have little boys, they get their clothes extremely dirty, and they get your clothes extremely dirty. And when they have a little sister, they get her clothes dirty, too... not to mention teaching her to get her own clothes dirty, and contribute to the dirtiness of their clothes, and your own clothes. Sometimes we would go through a bottle of Zout in as little as two weeks. It's insanely expensive.

But recently we've discovered that we can use baking soda instead. If you buy it in the huge bags, it's dirt cheap, and it works just as well as the expensive toxic substances. In fact, baking soda has removed set in stains that nothing else would touch.

Of course stains just need Zout. And some stains just need OxyClean. But baking soda is now my stain remover of first resort.

The best thing about it is that since baking soda is non-toxic, the wuggies can help with the laundry. And toddlers LOVE helping with chores. A sense of purpose is such a deep-seated sou-need of children... of everybody, really. Toddlers are such naturally industrious creatures, and nurturing that sense of industry is one of our most important tasks as mothers, I think. It's so easy to relegate them to the sidelines of our existence, to occupy them with arbitrary, meaningless activities while we quickly get through our chores so that we can spend quality time with them, doing "fun stuff." But over and over, I keep finding that the best "quality time" is time spent doing chores together. And right now, they think that working hard is the most fun possible. Laziness is a learned behavior... and come to think of it, not one that I really want to teach.

Turning chores into a family affair? Works for me!

3 comments:

Ashley said...

Sounds like a good idea. I like the idea of having toddlers help, but I have a few questions? Can you buy baking soda in bags at any grocery store? Do you wet it when you apply it to the stain? What exactly do you let the toddlers do?

Elena said...

Oops! I didn't explain very well... I use a spray bottle of water to wet it, and a basic cleaning brush to scrub. Or one of those Shout gel tubes with the brush on the end.

I'm pretty sure I bought my big bag of baking soda at Stater Bros... could have been Costco, but I'm pretty sure it was Stater Bros.

agodlyhomemaker said...

i love using baking soda on everything too :)