Category Archives: Household tips

Mr. Clean Giraffe – Or how I learned to stop smelling and clean his butt

Today’s post is about a giraffe. A sweet, fluffy, adorable giraffe that often hangs with Caleb in his crib. Said giraffe has been banished to the laundry room for a month or so now. No, he didn’t bite or hit, he was an innocent bystander. A helpless victim of a horrible incident. In short, he got ralphed on. Yup, I said it. My child hurled all over his crib in his sleep, leaving us a lovely find in the morning. Thanks to my Rockin’ Green detergent the sheets, clothes, bumper all came out clean and fresh.

No-longer-fluffy and now-very-smelly giraffe could not be submerged in the wash, so surface scrubbing was the only option. I sniffed once, to make sure where the ick was since it had dried and blended cleverly in with the drool spots, and then proceeded to wash with warm water and soap at the kitchen sink. Result: giraffe’s butt still stank like a week old diaper. A few days later I did the same thing. Yup, even down to the sniffing because I thought maybe the air out had helped. Nope. Same awful stench. Round 2 wash with warm water and soap. Result: now giraffe’s butt smelled like a week old diaper that someone attempted to perfume with honey.

After relaying the Plight of the Giraffe to my mom, a sympathetic giraffe-lover, she suggested baking soda. Baking soda! AHA! It soaks up smells and is gentle, except when mixed with vinegar of course (VOOOOOOLCANO!). She suggested that the giraffe was probably clean now but that the smell had settled in the stuffing and fur fibers. Yum. After her advice I put off cleaning the giraffe yet again. Don’t ask me why, I just did. A few days ago I finally got around to giving the baking soda a try. I dumped some into a small bowl and mixed with water to create a paste. I then pasted giraffe’s booty, tail, legs, etc. in a generous helping of the salve. This was actually pretty fun. I felt like a medicine woman concocting pastes and ointments to save the world, or in this case, save the giraffe from his own smelly bum.

After a few minutes of sitting to really soak in the baking soda, or I suppose to let the baking soda soak up the stink, I washed giraffe’s booty off. This was messy and took some effort since baking soda likes to stay behind a bit. I let giraffe dry for a few minutes in the dryer and then set him to air dry once again. Result: Clean smelling giraffe, tush and all! Finally, a success for this poor, abandoned animal. He could once again resume his proper place in the Court of the Crib. Now because I let him air dry his fluff was a bit more spiked. Today I used my blow dryer with diffuser to refluff and unspike his fur. Now giraffe not only smells nice, but he looks good, too!

Reunited and it feels so good!

Did you know that baking soda can be used for a lot of things around the house? Not only does it help you bake cookies and keep the smells out of the fridge, but it can be used in a large variety of ways to cheaply and effectively clean all around the house! Check out these helpful tips from Arm&Hammer’s website.

  • Got a stinky drain/sink? Pour baking soda down the drain while running warm water.
  • Need to freshen your carpets? Sprinkle baking soda, let sit for 15min, then vacuum away! I suspect too, that for a stain you could make a magic carpet healing salve, er paste, with the baking soda, scrub a little, let it sit, then vacuum it away.
  • Clean your entire kitchen with a damp sponge and baking soda, including the sink, appliances, and counters!
  • Run out of Dawn? Soak dishes in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes, then wipe away the grease and grime!
  • To clean baby toys, mix 4 tablespoons baking soda with a quart of warm water, then rinse. A much better option to me than bleach!
  • Did little Johnny draw his latest masterpiece on your wall? Make a paste with baking soda and water to gently scrub away his canvas for tomorrow’s work of art.
  • Pamper yourself! Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water and gently scrub to exfoliate away dead skin and bring on the youthful glow. Even gentle enough for daily use!

These are only a few of the hundreds of uses for baking soda. Check them out on Arm&Hammer’s site. The thing that attracts me most to using baking soda for cleaning certain things, especially baby-prone things, is that it is chemical free and generally safe. While there are warnings on the box about using baking soda orally on a full stomach or giving it to children under the age of 5, I suspect that a small amount would not be cause for calling poison control. Dog gifts, juice and coffee stains typically have to be cleaned from the rug while Caleb is awake. I hate this because he cannot touch the Resolve on the floor beneath that tempting soaked paper towel. From now on I will try baking soda instead so I don’t have to live in fear that Caleb will end up sick, thereby causing more stains to be cleaned (haha), or worse, dead, from using baking soda on the carpet. You don’t have to use much and any small amount that he might get in his mouth before I catch him would likely produce nothing more than a strange look on his face from the salty taste.

Have you used baking soda in a non-conventional way? Please, share with the class! Give some of these tips a try and let me know how they work out for you and your family. I’m very interested to see if I was the only one living under a rock about baking soda’s many powerful skills.

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