Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

3 Spring Cleaning Pinterest Hacks: Tested and Approved (Part 2)

Now that my glass-top stove, grout, and washing machine are clean, it is time to move on to other spring cleaning projects. This week, l tested out Pinterest cleaning hacks for the oven, stainless steel appliances, and silver.


An accidental spilling-over of a homemade pizza was the last straw for our oven. Aside from all the other splashes and messes, this was a pretty large spill that would create a smoky disaster unless cleaned properly. My experience using the self-cleaning option on our oven has not been very pleasant (stinky fumes!). So, a few clicks on Pinterest later, I found this hack using a cleaning paste of baking soda, (vinegar), and Dawn dish soap. Being a preschool science teacher, I mix a lot baking soda and vinegar together as a fun “first chemical reaction” – remember the fizzing, bubbling volcano experiment? Sometimes, we even create fizzing rainbows with baking soda and vinegar!

Because I know that baking soda + vinegar = salty water + carbon dioxide (fizz!), I decided against using baking soda and vinegar as my cleaning paste. Salty water and fizz do not make a great cleaning agent! By just adding water to the baking soda, I made an mild abrasive cleaner – effective though not as fun without all the fizz.

I slathered on the baking soda, water, and Dawn soap mixture, and then patiently waited a few hours…

*I used about 1/4 cup baking soda, a few drops of Dawn soap, and enough water to make a nice paste*

Oven scrub

I wore rubber gloves, and just used my hands to smear the mixture all around


Oven - before and after cleaning

This was pretty easy – and no stinky fumes involved!

This was an easy and effective cleaning hack. The most difficult part is removing all traces of baking soda from your oven. I just used a dish towel and wiped out the oven several times. You might notice that my before and after pictures do not show the glass oven door – that is because it looks exactly the same. This mixture did not clean off my glass oven door at all… I am still trying to find a good hack for this! Any advice???

Stainless Steel Appliances

Though I do love the look of stainless steel, it can be hard to keep it looking nice between all the fingerprints, water marks, etc. I saw this hack on Pinterest, and had to give it a try. It only requires vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Pour or spray the vinegar directly onto the cloth, and then rub the stainless steel appliances along the grain. EASY!

Stainless steel cleaning supplies

I poured vinegar into an empty reusable spray bottle, and then sprayed the vinegar onto a microfiber cloth.


Stainless steel before and after

This shows our refrigerator before and after using vinegar and a microfiber cloth.

Stainless steel before and after

This is a before and after picture of our dishwasher

I am very happy with this cleaning hack, and have decided to store my vinegar spray bottle under my kitchen sink so it is always ready for action.


The lovely silver champagne flutes we used on our wedding day were no longer looking very lovely. I have unpleasant memories of stinky/messy silver polishing cream, and decided to look to Pinterest for an alternative. Luckily, this hack pulled up quickly during my search. Aluminum foil, baking soda, and hot water… I have every thing I need!

First, line the bottom of your sink with aluminum foil. Then, sprinkle baking soda on top. Finally, fill your sink with very hot water. Soak your silver items in this mixture for a few minutes, then polish with a microfiber cloth. WOW! I was very impressed with these results!

Silver cleaning process

The silver cleaning process

Silver flutes before and after

Our champagne flutes look as good as new! Cheers!

I was also very pleased with this silver cleaning hack! But I had to know, what kind of magic was going on in that sink?

The Magic of Chemistry

Over time, silver combines with sulfur to form silver sulfide, which is black, and darkens the silver. Silver can be made shiny again by removing the silver sulfide coating from the surface.

3Ag2S(s) + 2Al(s)+ 3H2O(l) → 6Ag(s) + Al2O3(s) + 3H2S(aq)

silver sulfide + aluminum + water → silver + aluminum oxide + hydrogen sulfide

3 NaHCO3(aq) + 3 H2S(aq) → 3 NaHS(aq)+3 H2O(l)+ 3 CO2(g)

baking soda + hydrogen sulfide → sodium hydrosulfide + water + carbon dioxide

*You will notice the CO2 gas bubbles escaping from the most tarnished parts of the silver.

Ahh, the magic of chemistry. Maybe you care, and maybe you don’t, but at least now you know a good way to clean any tarnished silver in your home!

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2 Responses to 3 Spring Cleaning Pinterest Hacks: Tested and Approved (Part 2)

  1. Even with the smelly 500° cleaning of my oven the glass window is not cleaned. I use a single edged razor blade with dawn dish detergent to scrape it clean. I need an oven rack hack since I clean them by hand. I’ve used the dishwasher detergent in the bath tub trick and ruined my nonslip strips. Then I tried ammonia in a garbage bag outside overnight. Both worked good but were extremely strong. Usually I use scouring pads which is a nightmare!

    • Thanks for the advice! I had not thought of scraping the glass window- I’ll give it a try. I did try a Pinterest-inspired orange essential oil degreaser – which did nothing – but it does have a delightful scent!


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