July 25, 2012
A little while ago, while digging out goods to put in our yard sale, I came across this:
Filthy beast! Surely it was bound for the twenty-five cent pile. But what if it could be salvaged. What if we could bring it back from the scungy dead? TO THE INTERNETS!
Having done a bit of research into claims for products that would take the scunge off my Pyrex, I assembled the challengers:
The recommendations for these all came from internet cleaning forums where people gather to talk a good scrub. In the centre we have, unsurprisingly, steel wool impregnated with soap. A classic. Another classic, at the back, is Borax. I have no real experience with Borax, but it’s old-school and the packaging embraces that so I’m all for it. Then we have two surprise contenders who, should they win this competition, will be touted round the world by me for their unexpected cleaning tendencies: the Tide To Go pen and a regular dryer sheet. The little dark horses.
So first up is the dryer sheet. The explanation I read online said that you were to wet the sheet and stick it to the baked-on surface for about half an hour. On it goes:
It was hard to stick it to anything, as it was very stiff even when soaked, but some lady on a random internet forum said this was the cure for scunge so who am I to argue? I let it sit for some time, with tentative peeks underneath to scrape at the scunge.
VERDICT: Really? How did any of us think a dryer sheet was going to do here? It’s like sending a live chicken to negotiate peace in the middle east.
Next up we have the Tide To Go pen, being put to a task I think the Tide engineers never intended:
I scrubbed away for a bit with this before stopping to think “You are rubbing a baked on dish with a Tide To Go pen. You’re like Martha Stewart, but on meth. Know any meth-heads making good decisions, Cheryl? No. You do not.”
VERDICT: Meth may have been involved in the addition of this to any list of recommended scunge removers, as it accomplished little more than to scrape away at my self-aggrandizing outer shell.
Next up, Borax. I’m pretty excited to try this, but I’m not going to lie – I looked it up first to ensure that it wasn’t going to burn my skin off should I touch it with my bare hands. What? People used this back in the day when they also thought that asbestos made a delightful addition to the roughage in one’s diet. Folk were crazy back in the day.
Armed with the knowledge that I would not be rendered skin-less by this stuff, I got some on a wet rag and went to work.
I scrubbed and scrubbed. What the hell, olden-time folk? This is bollocks. It was so bollocks that I went straight to the steel wool without even stopping to stage a thoughtful photograph of it.
VERDICT: Borax and steel wool both did roughly the same job initially, but the Borax petered out. Should I have decided to continue on scrubbing with the steel wool for another half hour or so, I am sure I could have made some real headway on the scunge. Just a bit of elbow grease, and this Pyrex could be salvaged.
It was about that time that I realized I had spent an hour with this pan, and I recalled that at one point during that hour I had stared hopefully at wet dryer sheets stuck to a dish, as if that were a perfectly sane thing to do in one’s kitchen.
That’s when the urge for a cocktail kicked in and my kitchen got itself a new drip pan. That’s a victory of sorts, right?