June 22, 2013

Holy Pinterest, Batman!

Pinterest has changed our lives. It has inspired us to craft to greater heights. It has taught us that Everyone Can Cook (or was that Ratatouille?). It has feed our inner Geek. It has inspired us to think about working out. It has turned us all into the next Martha Stewart. And it has made us all feel lazy and worthless, too.

We have jumped on the Pinterest Bandwagon with both feet. We've cut up our old t-shirts to make ill hanging infinity scarves. We've hot glued our fingers to ribbons more times than we'd like to admit. We've dipped our nails in polish floating in cold water. We've slathered coconut oil on everything that will sit still long enough. We've tried to furnish our homes with nothing more than old books and tossed out pallets. We've coveted our neighbor's wardrobe.

But by far, my favorite thing about Pinterest is all the things it has convinced us we can clean absolutely anything with baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide. And we've tried. Oh, how we've tried.

I will fully admit to attempting to clean my oldest, nastiest of baking sheets with baking soda and peroxide. The before and after pictures on Pinterest were undeniable. There was even a pan divided down the middle with one side gleaming and perfect, the other grungy and stained. But scrub as I might, it was to no avail. My pan was no more "like new" when I'd finished (and chipped away my Pinterest office supply manicure) than it was when I'd started.

So when I saw the "clean your oven burners with ammonia" Pin, I thought it certainly couldn't hurt to try.

 My burner tops have seen better days. The stove was brand new when we moved in 10 years ago (have I really been in the country that long?!) and as much as I've tried, I haven't been able to keep it looking that way. They've been soaked. They've been scrubbed. They've been scoured. They've been run through the dishwasher. Nothing was cutting through that seared on nastiness. Nothing.
 We spent the last 30 years being promised cleaning products were ammonia free. We've demonized ammonia. After smelling it, I can understand why but I also love the idea of a half gallon of dilutable cleanser for under $2. It's just the smell I can't get past.

I crammed my burners in their bags last night before bed, put in a half a tablespoon of ammonia (it calls for 1/4 cup but all you really need are the fumes; the burners do not need to soak in ammonia), and sealed them up for the night.
It wasn't an instant, no scrub miracle, but the 10 years of gunk that has never budged an inch no matter what I've done became much more forgiving. A bit of scrubbing with a nylon scrubber, and (while not perfectly spotless) my burners look good! I scrubbed all 4 down and the two that were the worst off are in for a second fumigation in their bags of ammonia.

So now the big question is, where to I find a ziploc bag big enough to hold my entire stove?

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