We all know that no kitchen is complete without baking soda to fight odors in the fridge or add to a batch of cookies. But next to vinegar, baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) is the next most basic household product which has a lot more uses than you probably have ever realized. With just a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda, you can clean your entire house…and I often do!
Some of the major factors why baking soda is an ideal product to keep in the house:
- It is non-toxic, therefore it is safe even when consumed quite a large amounts.
- It serves so many purposes around the house, especially as a household cleaner, so you don’t need a lot of bottles cluttering up the space under your sink.
- It is cheap. It costs far less than any other special cleaning agent that you would usually purchase for your house.
So let’s get starting with 15 great uses for bicarbonate of soda.
Baking Soda in the Bathroom
- Clogged drains are best treated with ¼ cup of baking soda rinsed with hot water after letting it stay for a few minutes. For really stubborn clogs, add 1 cup of vinegar. Use baking soda in your drains regularly to prevent blockages.
- Your hairbrushes and combs need regular cleaning and that can be done with baking soda solution. Remove the hair, mix enough baking soda and water together to cover the bristles of your brush, let it sit 30-60 minutes and rinse. Or fill your sink with warm water, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of bleach, stir and then add all your brushes and combs.
- Remove stains on mirrors and other surfaces in the bathroom. Apply bicarbonate of soda paste on them, use 3 parts of baking soda in one part water. Apply to the area, let it stand for a few minutes and then scrub or wipe it clean.
- Use baking soda to cleanse your hair. Add about 1 teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo, massage in, let it sit for 3-5 minutes and then rinse.
- You can also use bicarbonate of soda as a water-less shampoo alternative to remove oil from your hair. Just sprinkle about 2 teaspoons onto your hair, brush or comb through and you’re ready to go.
- Deodorize and clean your toilet. Dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and let sit for about an hour. Then flush. Your toilet should be looking good and smelling fresh.
- Clean your skin. Create a thick paste by combining baking soda and water. Rub it onto your skin and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse. Works better than any acne medications, but is very drying for skin so following with moisturizer is usually needed.
- Removing grease stains has often proven to be a difficult task… but not anymore. Adding baking soda to the wash can treat all your shirts with grease on them. Or pretreat those stains before putting your clothes in the wash by applying a baking soda paste.
- Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to keep your clothes fresh and clean.
- If you find a lot of unwanted odors coming from your laundry hamper, sprinkle a bit of baking soda to the hamper daily.
- Wash your fresh produce with a bit of baking soda to remove wax buildup and pesticides, without leaving any unwanted flavors behind.
- With everything that goes inside our refrigerator, unpleasant odors can develop. To do that, place a small box of baking soda in the fridge or freezer to keep the unwanted odors away.
- Removing stale smells from plastic food containers is not as hard as you think. Simply rinse it out with hot water and baking soda. If the smell persists, soak the container in a bicarbonate of soda and water mixture overnight to remove the smell.
- Baking soda can also be used to clean silverware. Prepare 3 parts of baking soda and one part water and mix them together. Rub the silverware with the paste and rinse it with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.
- Add a teaspoon to each dishwasher cycle to deep clean dishes and cut grease.
Yard and Garage
- After a short camping trip with the family, packing away the gear is one of the things that you must do. But before storing everything away, sprinkle it with baking soda to keep stale odors at bay.
- Furniture in your lawn is easily cleaned by rinsing it with ¼ up of baking soda in a quart of warm water.
- Cleaning up grease spills and burnt food from the grill after a family barbecue is not so much hard work anymore. Sprinkle some baking soda on the grill and let it sit. Charred pieces will come off easily through this technique. Baking soda can also be applied directly to grease spills, then wiped off with a cloth.
- Sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto your car windows and wipe them with a damp rag to repel water. You want to use a lot of baking soda to achieve the best results.
‘Round the House
- If you have children in the house, you always want to make sure that their toys are clean. You can do this by using a quart of warm water and ¼ cup of baking soda. Either submerge the toys in this mixture or wipe the toys down with a cloth that has been submerged into this mixture. Rinse with clean water afterwards.
- Remove scratches and crayon marks from walls and vinyl floors by applying a bit to a dry rag and gently rubbing the marks.
- Deodorize your vacuum cleaner by sucking up baking soda or dumping a bit directly into your vacuum bag. This can also help to deodorize rooms as you go into each area of your home.
- Pets can get smelly, and especially dogs can start to smell pretty bad between baths. To avoid that “wet dog” odor, you can quickly clean your pets by sprinkling baking soda on them and brushing their fur.
- You can also reduce the smell from your litterbox by putting baking soda on it. Just sprinkle a bit on top after emptying the box — or between cleanings to keep it fresher.
- If you’ve got a smoker around, sprinkle baking soda on the ashtrays to make them smell less…and to quickly squelch an smoldering.
If you’re living in Germany and having trouble finding an inexpensive course of bicarbonate of soda, give eBay a try. I usually pick up 500 gram bags of it for just a few Euros — a considerable savings to those tiny packages they sell in the grocery store here. Look under the name “natron”, “kaiser natron” (which is actually a brand name) or “Natriumbicarbonat” — with the latter usually giving the best results for bulk pricing (around EUR1-2 per kilos if you buy 10+ kilos.)
Do you have another use for baking soda around the house??
Tune in next week for 20 great uses of vinegar to help you keep your home spotless…
Natural Living Spotlight
Laura at Laura Williams’ Musings wrote a great post about where to find food for free and being open to receiving blessings in whatever form they come. Whether it’s a unexpected gift from someone, becoming a coupon expert, foraging or just not being afraid to ask, there are countless ways to fill your pantry, freezer and home with free food. Be sure to go on over there and check it out if you haven’t already!
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