Whenever there’s a mishap and your world becomes a little fuller with colour you really didn’t ask for, it’s tempting to grab a chemical product and banish the bother in a spray or two.
However, next time it happens, before you lunge for the usual, why not try something a whole lot less harmful to the planet and to you, as well as being just as effective?
Today we’re talking about the wondrous cleaning properties of club soda. The chances are pretty high that you’ve got some ready and waiting for action in your fridge or drinks cupboard.
So, here’s how to put some fizz into your cleaning.
Picture the scene. Everyone’s having a blast. The chat’s raucous. The tunes are rocking. The wine’s flowing. Straight onto the carpet. Nightmare. Panic not.
Get someone to blot the wine as much as possible, while you quickly get a bottle of club soda and cover the stain with it.
Get a clean dry cloth and dab the stain for a little while. Then use a paper towel to get the moisture up. Then douse for a second time, dab and towel dry.
As long as you get the club soda onto the stain straight away, the effect is remarkable.
Club soda also doesn’t contain any ingredients that are likely to interfere with any stain protection that the carpet may have.
There will be no harmful residue or unpleasant smell. The party can resume and the good times can roll once again with minimal delay.
If you’ve double-doused it and the stain remains, apply again, but this time add some salt, dab and leave, ideally overnight.
The party can move to the kitchen, after all, all the best ones do eventually. Next morning, towel dry the patch and give yourself a pat on the back.
Club soda’s good for all sorts of common clothing stains. If you get wine or coffee on your favourite shirt, you can use the same method described for carpets, above.
Mix one cup of club soda with a squirt of washing-up liquid. Spray the mixture on the area. Leave for 10 minutes, then wash off the mixture by hand, followed by a good rinse.
Urine and blood
Apply club soda all over the area, then leave for 10-15 minutes. Then put in the machine.
Full disclosure here: many people warn against using any liquid on grease, as it can set the stain.
However, it’s been our experience and that of many others that a little club soda on a grease spot can help to loosen it.
Apply with moderation, then soak up with a paper towel. Then pop in the washing machine.
Any non-porous surface throughout the house can be cleaned effectively with a spray of club soda and a good wiping with a clean soft cloth.
You can also use it on stainless steel taps etc. to give them a real sparkle. Spray on, wipe off. Easy.
Cast Iron Pan Stains
It’s tricky when your favourite cast iron frying pan gets a hard-to-shift stain on it.
If you do more than give it a loving wipe with a paper towel then a caring dab with olive oil you stand the chance of ruining the seasoning, at which point you have to go through the whole troublesome process of applying it once again.
So, next time you’ve been frying and you’re left with stains that seem keen on staying around, give the pan a dose of club soda while it’s still hot.
Then, once the pan’s cooled down, empty the club soda out and wipe with a damp cloth then finally dry well (or your pan may rust). Your pan will be cleaned and its all-important seasoning will be intact.
How Does Club Soda Remove Stains?
The jury’s out. A lot of the effect may be down to the slight acidification that carbonation brings to water. That, and the citric acid, of course.
Acid is one of the reasons behind vinegar’s effectiveness, for instance, so it’s a plausible agent here.
It could be the minerals that are in there (see below). Bicarbonate of soda is well-known for its cleaning credentials, so club soda comes packing some serious weaponry here.
It might be the effervescence – the movement of the bubbles will give a slight dislodging to the dirt in the fabric. Not much, but perhaps enough to make a difference so that subsequent rubbing brings the stain out.
Or it could be mainly down to the water itself. There’s a lot to be said for timely dilution – if you can get clean water to a stain in good time, you stand more of a chance of that stain not setting and ruining whatever it’s decided to discolour.
In truth, it’s probably a mix of all these elements. The important thing is: it works.
What Is Club Soda?
Just so we’re all on the same bottle, club soda is basically just water with carbon dioxide dissolved in it to give it sparkle.
You might think that this is just soda water, or fizzy water if you’re the sort who likes to call a spade a manual digging implement.
However, club soda also has minerals added to it after the carbonation process, such as disodium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate, together with common salt and citric acid. This sets club soda apart somewhat.
Make sure that if you’re using some to help you clean, you don’t have a club soda that has flavourings beyond those minerals we mentioned. Some of them are fruit-flavoured – steer clear of these.
You can buy it ready-made or you can leap aboard the resurgent trend for home carbonation.
Over the last few years, Soda Stream, the fizzy drink machine you use at home, has marched effervescently into the kitchens of people across the country, bringing cheap sparkle into the lives of millions.
You can make a home-grown version of club soda with five presses of the CO2 lever. Add a little table salt and baking powder. Done.
Before You Put the Bottle Back…
What else can club soda do? A whole bunch of other things! Such as making pancakes fluffier, giving plants a mineral treatment, making windscreens and jewellery shine, taming frizzy hair, getting rid of rust and even banishing tummy aches.
Club soda’s a fabulous help in the war against all kinds of woes, being effective, harmless, cheap and readily available. And once you’ve got rid of that stain or given your plants a treat, you can pour a little in a glass with something tasty and toast your success. Cheers!
Martin’s life revolves around films, dogs and food, but rarely all at the same time. At least two out of these three like to give clothes and furniture a hard time, and Martin enjoys discovering and writing about new ways to stop them doing their worst.