It’s the worst feeling, making an absolutely wonderful meal only to realize that the burned remnants of cheese have permanently attached themselves to your favorite pots, pans & dishes. Scrubbing, washing, steel wool and your finger nails will only get you so far, but why waste all that effort when there are much simpler ways to get rid of the pieces of gunk?
Many places will tell you to use vinegar for those hard to break pieces, but I’ve found that a mixture of lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar will work wonders! You remember those childhood volcano experiments, a little bit of baking soda, some red food coloring & a dash of vinegar and you have a roaring, foaming explosion! When you break it down, it makes more sense.
Lemons are acidic, and using them in your cleaning supplies adds antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It works well to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, and also naturally freshens your kitchen!
Vinegar works as a disinfectant, and with its strong scent also works well as a deodorizer.
Baking Soda is an abrasive cleaner, a little gentler than your standard steel wool, but it cuts through tough grease, mildew and hard to break stains really well.
When baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice are combined, the acetic acid from the vinegar and lemon mixes with the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda which forms carbonic acid that decomposes into carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles from that reaction are the carbon dioxide escaping from the solution as gas, which in turn get into the grease, grime and burned on foods which coat your favorite pots & pans!
So for once, when you wondered as a child how all of this seemingly useless knowledge would come into play sometime down the road, here is a great example of how science is always improving our lives!