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Oops, Wrong Baking Soda
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Categories: Experiences and daily life

Word count/read time: 344 words; 1-1/2 minutes

Before moving, I want to clean everything. Powerwash all the stuff, get rid of all the dust and grime that's been accumulating on some of these containers and equipment for years. I'm not a clean freak but this is the right thing to do.

That means all clothes will be put through a final special wash. I arranged two super-large plastic bins. One was about half filled with a dilute vinegar bath and the other was a catch bin with two strips of wood holding two milk crates above it. Clothes were soaked, squeezed out, and put in milk crates to finish draining.

I'm not gonna torch the insides of my machine with an acid bath.
Many people use vinegar as part or all of the "detergent" and it de-smells like nothing else. Works great in the dishwasher, too. However, it is corrosive to all the internals. You only have so many washes before things go awry. Expensively awry. I'm not gonna torch the insides of my machine with an acid bath.

I'd use the laundromat but I bought the largest home washer and dryer units a number of years ago specifically so I wouldn't have to. King size comforter capacity. Plus, smokers use laundromats and clothes will pick up that stench.

Back to cleaning. After the clothes had a vinegar douching, I did a rinse cycle with 1/2 cup of baking soda thrown in to neutralize the remaining acidity and effervesce the clothes. Finally, it got a regular wash with both detergent and another 1/2 cup of baking soda.

There is no shortage of baking soda around. I grabbed what I thought was unmolested soda. As I looked at the wastewater discharge - the most beautiful indigo black color - I realized it was the silver cleaning baking soda. The silver molecules had oxidized giving it the blackness and the inevitable copper and nickel turned it a deep sapphire. Chemistry where none was expected.

As dark as the water was, only a couple pieces showed any signs of collateral damage - black/blue shows up real good on white. Looks like I'll be dyeing some clothes soon!

Posted by M: September 15, 2021

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