In a previous article, I mentioned a soapy tip that will minimize the forming of soot and hence make cleaning a bit easier. Well, let’s step a bit further. Do note that soot will form. So how do you get rid of it? Steel wool, a plastic scrubber or a brush comes to mind. How about something you just pick from the backyard and quick throw away when done?
Shown below is the Is-is plant also known as Alagasi (Leucosyke capitellata). Some call it Iis. It’s a plant that grows up to 10 feet or so.
Here's an entry from the website on its botany:
An erect shrub or small tree, up to a height of 6 - 14 feet. Leaves are oblong or ovate, 10-15 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, felty and harsh to touch, gray or chalkly white beneath and green on the other side; pointed at the apex, broadly rounded and 3-nerved at the base. The flowers are capitate, on 8 mm peduncles, single or clustered, 1 cm in diameter. Male flowers are white on short pedicles. Fruiting heads are dark green, nearly spherical, with compressed achenes.
Here’s the bottomside of the leaves and looks veiny. Both top and bottom sides of the Is-is leaves have a rough feel to it and are suitable for scrubbing away soot.
Pick a few leaves from the Is-is plant. Shown below is a cooking pot blackened with soot.
An Is-is leaf is wide enough to be held by one hand to comfortably wipe on the pot like a sandpaper. Soak it in a soapy solution and rub it to-and-fro just like a piece of sandpaper.
The nice thing about the leaf though is it doesn’t leave deep scratch marks on the pot like steel wool would. And look at how the soot just seemed to easily stick on the leaf!
A few more scrubbing of the leaves and you’re left with clean pot. Throw away the leaves when done. What an earth-friendly solution, eh?
Tip: The leaves from the Is-is plant are also great for polishing hardwood floors.