1 Ingredient to Shine a Baking Pan? Seriously?

Holy crap, it worked!!!

I found a pin on Pinterest yesterday that looked pretty simple to put to the test.  The pin came from DIY Home Sweet Home, a blog written by a woman who used to be a jet mechanic.  The fact that she was once a jet mechanic has absolutely nothing to do with the pin, of course... it's just really, really cool.

So how could I not mention it?

Anyway, all coolness unimportant to this post aside, I found a pin that really stood out.

image from http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/2012/04/make-your-pans-shine-1-simple.html
This isn't the pin, obviously... it's the image on the pin,
direct from her blog.

The pin sent me to a post entitled Make Your Pans SHINE!!! - 1 Simple Ingredient

"Ha!" I said.

"I'll show YOU!" I continued, 
"Nothing can make my pan start to shine!  You'll see, Ms. Smarty-pants!!!"

I took out my nasty pan that was coated with five-plus years of baking grit and grime.  The stuff was baked on, burnt on, and texturally yuck.  It was so vile that I had placed it at the very bottom of my pan drawer, where I would hopefully never see it again unless I searched.

pan coated with baked-on grime
Yeah, I know... it doesn't look as horrid as the pic from her pin,
but trust me.  It's just as bad... if not worse.

So naturally, I did search.  I brought it out in an attempt to prove this pin wrong.  

Why, you ask?

I mean, normally I only try to learn something new.  The last thing I want to do is set out to try and prove someone wrong just for the fun of it.  I leave that to other people.

And no, I didn't have anything against this writer.  The problem was that she used Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap with Tea Tree.  That was the one ingredient.  

Well, I had used another one of the Dr. Bronner soaps in the past, simply to wash dishes in general after I had run out of dish soap and went scrambling.  It cleaned dishes just fine, but it didn't have any magical ability to remove the years worth of nastiness and make the dishes shine. 

This couldn't possibly work.  It was another Pinterest flop.  I knew it.

Or, I thought I knew it, at least.

Turns out, I was wrong.

I didn't have the particular soap that she used, but I did have Dr. Bronner's Unscented Baby-Mild variety.  And I had my beloved tea tree oil.  The ingredients in the two soaps were almost the same once I added the tea tree oil, so I blended 3/4 cup of the soap with 1 1/2 teaspoons of tea tree oil, and had a go.

Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap, unscented baby-mild and a small bottle of tea tree oil


I used the scrubber that I had gotten at the farmers market, the one that had plastic netting blended with yarn.  It's a pretty decent scrubber, and works perfectly for my needs.  She did mention in her post that it took "quite a bit of scrubbing", so I scrubbed for a decent while.  Then I dried it off and looked at my results.

pan starting to shine a bit

It wasn't great, but it did remove some of the nastiness, and there was a bit of shine that wasn't there before.

Hmmm...

I decided to dig out my old metal scrubber that I had on reserve.  I really hate those things, as we all know, but I decided to give it a go, anyway.  This grossness had accumulated over years, after all, so using the metal monstrosity was worth a try.  

angry kitchen scrubber of doom drawing


It hadn't worked in the past, granted, but since I was seeing a bit of a difference, I decided to go all the way.  I scrubbed some more, this time with the metal kitchen scrubber.  

It indeed worked.

Mostly clean - and shiny - baking pan


No, this one isn't completely pretty and shiny like the one in the DIY Home Sweet Home post, but that's only because I elected to stop.  I had shoveled snow from our very long driveway 3 times the day before, and my arms just weren't up to the task.  

But look at that difference!  Here's the original, pre-scrubbed pan one more time:

pan coated with baked-on grime

See?

I have no idea why this worked.  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap alone doesn't do the job.  Nor does tea tree oil,  when used on its own.  It's the combination of the two.

I can't help but wonder if it has to do with the blend of tea tree and the hemp oil that's found in Dr. Bronner's soap.  Hemp oil, after all, isn't common in dish soaps, due to our society's fear of hemp, in general.  

A fear I've never truly really been able to understand...

Why do you think this blend works to shine pans?  

So the author was indeed right, and I was wrong... and I'm perfectly ok with that, because I have a shiny baking pan!!!

And as a side bonus, the oils within the soap did a great job of moisturizing my hands.

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