Mother Earth Living

Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Add to My MSN

17 Uses for Baking Soda

11/1/2011 3:24:29 PM

Tags: baking soda, uses for, cleaning, health, beauty, natural cleaners, homemade cleaners, silverware polish, kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, grease, mildew, tooth care, bee stings, heartburn, indigestion, natural hair care

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 


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.

Related Content

Spring Clean with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Spring clean your home with natural, food-safe Arm and Hammer Baking Soda instead of harsh cleaners.

You Don't Need Borax: Simple, Natural Nontoxic Cleaning Ingredients

You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baki...

Clean Your Home with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Here are some highlights from my workshop, "Make Your Own Green Cleaners—for Pennies" at the Mother ...

Natural Spring Cleaning: Simple, Cheap and Healthy

With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's a...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


1/26/2013 2:53:11 PM
Until last year, I was unaware that off the shelf Baking Soda and Baking Powder, contained an Aluminium compound which several studies have shown to have a detrimental effect on brain function when ingested. Since learning this I have switched to Aluminium Free Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Not to sound like I am pluging a company or product, but I use "Red Mill" aluminium free products now. It amazed me how many toxic metal and chemical compounds are used in our food as emulsifiers and additives to keep things from caking or for freshness.

Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.