I like it clean and shiny. "What", you are asking, do I like clean and shiny? Metal containers of course! I have a few vintage ones from old friends that I keep around and use. This one particular cannister that I am referring to is aluminum (aluminium for any Brits out there), has a lid and originally was used for draining fat into until it could be reused or pitched. It even says GREASE right on it. I was given the choice of some select items that belonged to a great friend who passed on and this is one of three items I chose.
I like remembering friends who have passed before me by having some of their useful items in my house. This particular friend was one who enlightened me about the perspective of people long on years. Berenice was always candid with her answers to my questions. Once I asked her what age she was in her own dreams. “Well, I’m twenty-six.” she said at the tender age of 92. I think of that often. It reminds me that we all were younger than we are in age, of course, but also in spirit, experience and maturity. So much in that little statement. Wow.
Back to the cannister. I have been using this to hold my DIY dishwasher detergent powder. I thought it the perfect container, but discovered soon after filling it how wrong I was. Not air tight so my powder, in the humidity of July and August, became a solid cylindrical mass that had to be chiseled from with knife and hammer to use. It was HORRIBLE! Anyhow, I did finally manage to use it up, but there were some crusties left inside, so I put it in the dishwasher to get the last use out of it. Yeah, I didn’t think that through. So, it came out black, but the lid, which did not go in the dishwasher, was still shiny aluminum. You know I don’t like to use chemicals, and I didn’t want to scrub this aluminum canister fearing it would scratch up the outside. What to do? I found a string of comments on a solution that surprised me. An actual
solution became the solution. It was almost magic! I got out my pasta pot and filled it up with water to cover my container. Then I added a tablespoon of Cream of Tartar.
I simply boiled the container and turned it once. Less than half an hour later my container was shiny again! No elbow grease involved and no harsh chemicals. Love it! I even took the leftover hot tartar water out to a place where poison ivy grows and poured it on the noxious plant. So, there you have my confession of chemical frugality with a dash of water conservation. That was easy!