Thursday, June 17, 2010

A blond walks into a kitchen store...

If I were not blond, I might not have this little tip to pass along this afternoon.

But I am.
So I do.

I say this because today's discovery was a result of my scatter brain putting a pot to boil on the stove before heading upstairs to wash, dry, style, and apparently admire the aforementioned blond head...

When I finally returned to the kitchen, I heard that clicka clicka sound that an empty pot makes when it is about to burst into flames.

Brunette readers will just have to take my word for this.

So I ran to the stove. Sure enough, the entire contents had boiled out of the pot, and the copper clad bottom was now solid black. 

Well, great.

Now, if you are new around here, you may not know that I married Mr. Clean.

Therefore, I had not one but two reasons to drop everything and try to conceal the evidence before the man of the house got home. First, I really wasn't in the mood for the blond arsonist lecture, and second, I knew that he would attack this pot with his Scotch Brite sponge and Mr. Clean arms, and I would probably end up with yet another Revereware amputee for my collection.

So I went to the computer, and I googled Copper Cleaners. 

This is what I found:

Make a paste of equal amounts of salt, flour, and vinegar.
 Cover the copper and allow to set.
 Wipe off and buff.

It couldn’t possibly be that easy, but I had nothing to lose by trying. So I covered the pot and stood there staring at it. After about five minutes, I took a peek.

Woohooo! It really was that easy! The black literally vanished into thin air, and the copper looked at least ten years younger. I seriously considered slathering some on my face as well. Instead, I ran for the shiny red Kodak so I could yak all about it.

Then, I went back to the computer and googled something like cleaning stainless cookware

I found this:

Rub stainless cookware with lemon juice and a little salt.

I didn’t have lemon juice, but I had lemons. So I sliced one, salted it, and very gently and easily rubbed the stainless clean. This may be an old and well known method, but it was new to me. I was delighted, and the fact that I meandered on a great cookware cleaning adventure rather than attend to my previous plans for the day should in no way negate this little tip.

I polished all of my stainless cookware. I even washed an old tea kettle that had somehow become burned as well.

It went from this:

To this:

With no elbow grease involved.

Notice how the handle is still firmly attached to the kettle....
True, the original shine is gone, but that is actually the fault of Mr. Clean and his Scotch Brite sponge and not Mrs. Clean and her salted lemon.

Since I was on such a roll, I decided to go for the triple crown.

I googled silver polish and found this:

Line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water.
Add one teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. 
Bring to a boil. Immerse silver. 
Wipe clean.

I felt a little iffy on this one. I have polished a lot of silver in my time, and a solution couldn't possibly be that easy. So I grabbed a cheaper, likely silver plate, creamer that I got at an estate sale rather than the good stuff.

I boiled and immersed.
Then I boiled immersed some more.
And I rubbed.
 And I rubbed some more.

Not pleased.
Perhaps it works better with the good stuff?
 I didn’t feel like trying.

At any rate, I couldn’t leave it looking like a leopard so I dragged out a stool and climbed up to the high shelf in my laundry to see if I could find some actual silver polish.

Yes, I realize that for most people, that would have been done before all that googling.

I'm not most people.

   I found some.

That's better...

I did a little more polishing.
Then, I got back on the stool to return the polish to that high cabinet.

And guess what I found hidden up there when I did?

Well, of course…
However, I still believe the little paste and lemon discoveries are keepers. Therefore, I'm yakking them along to you.


Amy Kinser said...

Great cleaning info. Thanks... I do have copper bottom cookware.

Funny how we things stashed away that we forgot we had. I love cleaning out cabinets and making discoveries.

ButterYum said...

I cooked with the copper bottom revere for the first 10 years I was married. I learned through trial and error that anything acidic will do the trick polishing that copper - soaking in tomato sauce or ketchup, lemon and salt, white vinegar and salt - the longer it soaks, the better.

Now, I can't let the opportunity pass without telling you that your cooking escapades will be much more fruitful when you replace that revere with better quality stuff (really heavy bottomed stuff, or better yet, fully clad ss that covers not only the bottom of the cookware, but the sides as well).

ButterYum said...

PS - I really enjoyed reading your post!


Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

LOL...I LOVE this post. Confession time...I am a brunette and once burnt a beautiful Le Cruset (red) tea kettle to smitherines...I got busy watching It's A Wonderful Life for the 1000th time. Went dry and eventually melted to the electric burner. I still mourn over the loss of that sweet kettle. My dear son bought me another one (not red) but it has a whistle on it :)


gnee said...

Almost a home run! Two of these were new to me, so thanks for sharing..and from one blond to another, how many times have you almost burned the house down? My man calls it homemaker ADD and I've tried Focus Factor and everything else. Google it for me when you're on another roll! Have a good one and everything looks new and beautiful, WITH HANDLES:D Congrats!

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Too funny!
Isn't that how it is?
Find something after you don't need it anymore!
It's good to know that there are ways to clean things naturally- thanks for the lemon and salt tips-good to know!
I'll bet your house is just shiney all over!
Hugs, you good little homemaker!

Kelli said...

I have done this more than I'd like to admit! Unfortunately my poor pot could not be salvaged! Thanks for the giggles and smiles!!

BECKY said...

You had me in stitches, gal!! Too funny!!
And then finding the cleaners...AAAAAAAAAH!

Just look at all you accomplished!! That is awesome!

AND thanks for the tips on homemade cleaners! Isn't it amazing how easy it is to find what we need online?? Love it!
Have a joyful weekend looking at all your pretty polished stuff!! :o)

Oh and I love the old creamer!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, am I ever glad to see this!

I had fun boiling eggs the other day, and I destroyed a very nice pot in the process. Maybe there's hope for it yet!


Sheila :-)

Manuela@TPOH said...

LOL! Well I've done that too, put something on to boil and walked away from it and forget about it and I'm brunette!

Isn't it great out these natural cleaners work! So much better than messing with chemicals. Sorry the silver cleaner one didn't work out. I've read about that one but never tried it myself.


Katsui Jewelry said...

I just got back from an estate sale and this is so interesting to me! I will remember the tips! Like magic!
I see from your list that you have, too.

FrouFrouBritches said...

I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who leaves pots burning on the stove! Great tips. Thanks!

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

This was "SO DARN CUTE"!!! Mr Clean MUST have been SO PROUD of you when he got home!!! I would have made him take me OUT TO DINNER so you didn't dirty your gorgeous pans!
Thank you for the tips! I have a WHOLE collection of whistling tea kettles that "WELL, I'm Blond SO what can I say"!!! I have already WARNED my guys that if I EVER LIVE ALONE,NEVER EVER let me have a tea kettle!!! I "WILL" burn the house down... Did you know that ketchup cleans copper too. I don't know about the burnt stuff BUT try it on a penny, just dip and wipe...I have a HUGE COPPER Farm Sink that I have to clean, UGH! It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be...
Now I MUST Copy down your cleaning methods...
Hugs to you,


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