30 August 2009

How to Get Your Tea Kettle to Sparkle Again

Do you remember these lyrics to My Favorite Things?
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things.
I agree with those lyrics, especially the part of about bright kettles. I love shiny tea kettles—they bespeak homeyness as well as the hygienic quality one prefers in one's Temple of Eats. But Alas! and Woe is Me! my tea kettle has not sparkled for many a year. It has been coated with a thick layer of grease and dust that all my scrubbing with Dobie, or SOS, or baking soda could not affect. So I was resigned for a long time to a tea kettle clean on the inside and horrific on the outside.

Until this week.

I was reading the fabulous tome, Home Comforts, my go-to guide on pretty much every housekeeping emergency, because for the first time in my life I had to clean out my oven. This seemed an alarmingly difficult task, but my Home Comforts book suggested first cleaning out anything I could with fine steel wool. I didn't know anything about fine steel wool, but, determined to have corn bread with my collards, I purchased some steel wool from the supermarket.

I got to thinking. If this stuff was such a super-material that it could handle an oven, maybe it could do other things. So I tentatively scrubbed my tea kettle, and suddenly it was shiny silver again! Such a relief! I tried it on my 4 quart pot as well, and all those brown lines I thought burned in forever also came off. I think it goes without saying that you should never use fine steel wool on non-stick surfaces or surfaces with any sort of coating that you don't wish to remove. But there you are.

I still haven't cleaned out my oven.


LizzieVelten said...

I thought SOS pads WERE fine steal wool. What's the difference?

Sarah said...

Dunno! But my steel wool is all coiled and shiny.

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