Greener ways to keep your vitreous china (ceramic) basin clean

IMG_7297In a previous article about caring for your vitreous china, we discussed how to keep your ceramic basin clean using normal cleaning methods.

However, for a greener alternative try the following:

Use bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda) and white vinegar. Bicarbonate of soda can be found in the baking section of your local supermarket.

Basin Cleaning Instructions

  1. Put the plug in the basin.
  2. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda around the basin, concentrating mainly on the hard to clean areas with limescale build-up and greasy marks.
  3. Pour on a small amount of white vinegar and watch it fizz.
  4. Take a clean sponge or scourer and gently work the mixture into the surface. You will soon begin to see the limescale and scuff marks lift from the surface.
  5. Rinse clean with cold water. Make sure all residue is washed away to ensure that the rubber seals in the waste are not damaged.

Keeping your Seima ceramic basin clean in this environmentally friendly way will keep it looking like new for years!

What happens when baking soda and vinegar mix?

So what exactly happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda? Since vinegar is actually acetic acid (with low pH) and baking soda is a base (with high pH), they undergo an acid-base reaction when combined. Generally when an acid and a base are mixed, the acid and base tend to neutralise each other to form water with a small amount of salt as a bi-product.

In the case of baking soda and vinegar, they combine to form water, carbon dioxide (that’s what makes the bubbles), and sodium acetate.

Both the baking soda and vinegar are themselves useful cleaning agents when separate. When combined the water that is produced works as a “universal solvent” (because almost anything can be dissolved in it) and the sodium acetate acts as an abrasive.

All these factors make this old-fashioned recipe a great way to clean your ceramic basin and other vitreous china, without resorting to other less natural and more expensive options.

Image by katerha on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

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