17 Uses for Baking Soda

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A common kitchen ingredient, baking soda has uses in almost every room in the house, from tackling dirty dishes in the kitchen to unclogging stubborn drains in the bathroom. If you’ve limited the use of baking soda in your home to soaking up smells in your refrigerator, it’s time to dig deeper. Baking soda can dissolve dirt and cut grease as well as conventional cleaning products (but without the toxic residue). Baking soda's cleaning powers extend to personal hygiene as well—not to mention some unusual household uses, too. Discover the many uses of baking soda with these 17 ideas.

baking soda in a glass dish 
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison 

Cleaning 

1. Polish prized silverware. Line a large glass baking pan with aluminum foil, then add the silverware to the pan so that it touches the foil. Sprinkle the silverware with ½ cup of baking soda, then pour boiling water into the pan until the silverware is completely immersed. Soak for five minutes; rinse and dry silverware.

2. Remove scuff marks from the floor. Sprinkle the marks with baking soda and wipe clean with a warm, damp cloth.

3. Remove caked-on food from dirty pots and pans. Sprinkle the offending dishes with baking soda, add water and let them soak for a few hours. The baking soda will help loosen the caked-on food.

4. Remove dirt and grease from clothes. Add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle.

5. Clean unwanted messes and hard-to-remove stains from tubs, skins and countertops. Mix one part water with three parts baking soda to create a scouring paste that will scrub away unsightly messes.

6. Kill mildew. Combine baking soda and vinegar to create a paste; apply to bathroom grout, let stand for 30 minutes, then scrub.

7. Unclog drains. Snake the drain with an untwisted wire coat hanger. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain; follow with ½ cup of white vinegar, added slowly. After the combination has finished fizzing, following boiling water from a tea kettle. Snake the drain again.

Beauty and Health 

8. Clean teeth. Mix together three parts baking soda with one part sea salt to create a basic dentrifice for cleaning teeth and gums.

9. Soothe bee stings. Apply a paste of baking soda to the sting. Because baking soda has alkaline properties, it will help neutralize the formic acid in the bee sting.

10. Relieve heartburn, indigestion or upset stomach. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to glass of water and drink it to create a natural antacid.

11. Soothe sunburned skin. Add ½ cup of baking soda to a tub of cool water and stir well to dissolve. Soak for 15 minutes or more.

12. Clean retainers, mouthpieces and dentures. Soak oral appliances in a small bowl filled with two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved in warm water.

13. Reduce hair buildup. Shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products leave behind a residue. Add a sprinkling of baking soda to your shampoo before you massage it in to make your hair cleaner and easier to manage.

14. Clean brushes and combs. Remove natural oil buildup from hair brushes and combs by soaking them in a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda combined with water. Allow them to air dry.

General Household 

15. Deodorize. Use baking soda anywhere you want to absorb odors: the garbage can, your cat’s litter box, an old pair of sneakers, etc. Pour a dusting of baking soda into each new garbage can lining; sprinkle baking soda on carpet odors, wait 10 minute, then vacuum. Or leave dishes of baking soda in strategize spots to absorb odors.

16. Keep flowers fresh. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to vase water to lengthen the life of cut flowers.

17. Put out grease fires. Small fire in the kitchen? Douse it with a box of baking soda.