Baking soda is one of the most versatile products on the market. Plus, it’s really, really cheap. Its official name is sodium bicarbonate, and it’s great for neutralizing odors, cleaning, and deodorizing. And the best part is that it doesn’t contain some of the toxic ingredients present in many of today’s products.
Baking soda has dozens of uses. From clearing up skin rashes to removing offending smells and making flower blossoms last longer, it’s surprising that more people don’t take advantage of its properties. Check out some incredible uses for baking soda…
Ease Insect Bites
Everyone hates bug bites. Not only are they unsightly, they can also be uncomfortable and itchy. If you forget to use bug spray and are suffering the consequences, simply mix baking soda and water together to create a paste. Then use it as a salve to treat the infected area and make it heal quicker.
This is a great home remedy if you are mosquito bait and want to get rid of the insect bites as quickly as possible. Plus, it takes very little effort to create the concoction.
Clean Your Hairbrush
Admit it, you probably have a comb or hair brush in your bathroom that you haven’t cleaned for years. It probably has some build up on it that is pretty gross. The good news is that baking soda is a great way to revive your brush and make it look brand new.
To remove oils and other residue on your comb or brush, soak it in water and baking soda. Use about one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Then simply rinse the brush and dry it.
Deodorize The Refrigerator
Stinky refrigerators can be disgusting. Perhaps it’s due to some leftovers, or maybe you haven’t cleaned it in a while. Regardless of the source, a foul smell can be a big turn off if it’s embedded in your food.
The solution is incredibly easy. Just open a box of baking soda and place it in the back of the appliance. This will neutralize any odors lurking inside. The only maintenance you need to do is replace the box with a new one every couple of months. It’s as simple as that.
Freshen Your Breath & Polish Your Teeth
No one likes having stinky breath. If you don’t have a mint, simply add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Swish the mixture in your mouth and then spit it out. Voila! Fresh breath.
Baking soda can also be used as a natural toothpaste. While some experts only recommend occasional use because it can be quite abrasive, the substance can give your chompers a nice, clean, polished look. Simply add it to your homemade toothpaste every few weeks.
Soften Your Feet
Our feet go through a lot on a daily basis. We walk and stand on them throughout the day, whether we’re working, exercising, or spending time with family and friends. It’s no wonder they get tired and sometimes hurt. Why not pamper them a bit?
Create a solution with three tablespoons of baking soda and a small tub of warm water. Then soak your feet to soothe and soften them. This is a great way to unwind after a long day at the office or a harrowing day with your kids.
Mop The Floor
No one likes cleaning, and mopping the floor can be a pain. But if you’re out of cleaning fluid or want a more natural solution, simply pour 1/2-cup of baking soda into a bucket of warm water. Then mix the solution and mop and clean the floor.
What’s great about this is the solution is much less toxic than some other cleaners you find at the grocery store. Avoid bleach and other chemicals and use baking soda instead for a simple, carefree cleaning solution.
Ward Off Ants
Ants can be annoying. They build ant hills in the yard, some of them bite, and many of them end up in the house, wandering around aimlessly looking for food. The good news is that there is a way to get rid of them off without investing in traps from Walmart.
First, mix equal parts baking soda and salt. Next, sprinkle the mixture in the area where you see the ants coming into your kitchen or another area of your home. This solution acts as a ward to keep the insects away.
Clean The Microwave
The microwave is one of the dirtiest areas in your kitchen. Somehow it easily accumulates food grime that we don’t always clean right away. As a result, it gets stuck on the inside surface, creating an unsightly mess.
Fortunately, a little baking soda and some elbow grease can go a long way. Simply pour some on a damp cloth and scrub the oven’s interior to remove any residue. Not only does the baking soda clean the surface, it also deodorizes it. It’s a super way to clean the appliance with very little effort.
Polishing silverware is a thankless task. It can also be very time consuming and a little messy. For a simpler method, make a paste using three parts baking soda and one part water. Then rub the paste onto silver flatware using a cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry.
The next time you receive a bunch of silverware for a wedding or other occasion, you don’t have to worry because it’s not as hard to keep clean as you would think. Baking soda can do wonders!
Unclog A Sink
There are some homemaking tasks that are worse than others. Cleaning a clogged drain is one of them. If you don’t have any Drano on hand, you can take care of the problem by mixing 1/2-cup of baking soda, one cup of vinegar, and some hot water together.
Pour the solution into the clogged drain and wait. It won’t take too long for the clog to dissipate. This is a clever solution to an annoying problem, and you can use it on both wash sinks and bathtub drains.
Clear Up Foggy Headlights
If your car’s headlights have gotten foggy and/or yellowed over the years, there’s a simple fix for it. You can restore those lights in just a few steps. First, use a soft microfiber cloth to thoroughly clean the headlights, being sure to get rid of any dust and dirt.
Then, mix a tablespoon or two of liquid soap with enough water to make a very thin soapy solution. After cleaning the headlights with this solution and rinsing it off, mix one or two tablespoons of baking soda with white vinegar until you’ve made a thick paste. Apply it and polish the light gently using a dry cloth. Rinse and repeat as needed until your headlights are bright and clear again!
Make Flowers Last Longer
Most women (and maybe some men) really enjoy getting a fresh bouquet of flowers. It’s even better when they last a really long time. There is a way to make them more durable. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase, and they’ll stay fresher much longer.
So the next time your son or daughter brings you some flowers from the garden, or your significant other surprises you with a special bouquet, show them how much you appreciate the gesture by keeping the arrangement around as long as you can.
Wash Your Fruits & Veggies
As you probably realize, produce can be really dirty. Everyone knows it’s important to wash fruits and vegetables, but we often just do so in plain water. Instead, mix 1/4-cup of baking soda with a full sink of water. Gently wash the produce and then rinse it with clean water.
This is a safe and effective way to ensure that your fruit and vegetables are as clean as possible before you eat them. It’s just one step to make sure that the pears, apples, tomatoes, and other produce you consume is as healthy as it can be.
Remove Crayon Marks
Kids can be messy. They leave toys and clothes all over the house, and they can be really sloppy eaters (especially when they’re small). They also tend to color on things that aren’t meant to be drawn on, including walls. While you may love Joey’s drawing of a unicorn, you don’t want it on the bedroom wall.
To get rid of crayon marks put baking soda on a slightly wet cloth and lightly rub the wall. Then wipe the wall with a clean, dry cloth. Fortunately, crayon marks aren’t too challenging to remove.
Freshen Your Coat Closet
A coat closet is very handy, but like the rest of your home, it needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. It can get damp and musty, particularly if it’s left unattended during the summer or other times of the year.
To keep the contents of the closet in good condition, put an open box of baking soda on the shelf (just like you do in the refrigerator). This will repel odors and keep all your jackets and winter coats inside feeling fresh.
Abolish Toilet Odor
The toilet is probably on the top of the list of your home’s worst smelling spots. It gets a lot of use, and if it’s not properly cared for and cleaned, it can stink pretty badly. But you can repel some of the odor with just a few simple steps.
Just put a cup of baking soda in the toilet, and let it sit there for about an hour. Then flush it. The baking soda both cleans the commode and absorbs odor. Everyone should start doing this one simple task to make life easier (and better smelling).
Remove Odor From Clothes
Just like baking soda can help remove odors from your refrigerator, it can help reduce and remove odors from dirty clothing. Bacteria can dramatically increase odor, which means taking an extra step to get it out.
Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to a load of laundry can help neutralize the pH level of the water in your washing machine. It also gives your laundry detergent or bleach a boost, making it more effective.
Remove Odor From Your Hands
Have you ever gotten a strong odor on your hands that you can’t get rid of? This is a common problem for home chefs who frequently work with powerful-smelling ingredients such as garlic and onion. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to remove the stench.
Rub your hands together with baking soda and water, and that will help remove the odor. You can also use this solution to remove dirt or other residues on your hands. When your hands smell, it’s hard to concentrate on other things, so this is one tip you should not ignore.
As you know by now, baking soda is a natural deodorizer. It makes sense that you may want to use it as a natural deodorant on your skin. Some people just sprinkle the substance on their armpits to avoid being stinky. Note: it won’t work as an antiperspirant.
For some people, baking soda alone may be too harsh if they have sensitive skin. However, it can be combined with other ingredients to make a good deodorant. This is a great solution if you’re in a pinch and run out of your regular product.
Clean The Bathroom Tiles, Sink & More
We mentioned previously that you can use baking soda to mop your floors. Well, you can also use it for bathtubs, sinks, and wall tile. You can sprinkle it on the desired area and wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Then just rinse and dry. Or you can make a paste by mixing baking soda with water.
This is a great way to get your bathroom and/or kitchen looking nice and fresh. It’s also easy and not very time consuming to do. It’s surprising that more people don’t use the product for their home cleaning needs.
Deodorize The Litter Box
Everyone loves kittens (unless you’re a dog person). And while the furry felines can be our best friends, one of the worst parts of pet ownership is cleaning the litter box. Frankly, it’s a stinky job. But you can make the task a little easier with baking soda.
All you need to do is sprinkle the bottom of the litter box with baking soda, and then cover it with the litter itself. It will act as a deodorizing agent. In between litter changes, simply sprinkle some baking soda on top.
Get Permanent Marker Off Washable Surfaces
When we were kids we’ve all been tempted when we see a white board or slippery play surface to throw away the washable markers and reach for those Sharpies. Unfortunately, some kids actually do and you’re left with a mess of crazy scribbles.
Our old faithful baking soda will work magic on those doodles. Just put a little water and baking soda on a sponge and go to town just like this mom did. We definitely heart this discovery!
Transform Your Spaghetti Into Ramen
Sometimes you’re craving delicious ramen noodles but all you have are on hand is regular old spaghetti and angel hair. Don’t let pasta be your masta’ and transform your spaghetti or angel hair into ramen noodles with baking soda!
All you have to do is boil water with a little baking soda and salt, add the pasta and don’t let the water reduce. Wait until it’s cooked and voila! You’ve got yourself some springy yellow ramen noodles ready and waiting to be made into some delicious soup.
Replace Your Expensive Dry Shampoo
We all know what it’s like going to the store and feel the pain in our wallet when we buy that $5 can of dry shampoo that we know is only going to last us 2 weeks. Baking soda is here to help save your pennies and your hair by being your new go-to dry shampoo!
Just take one tablespoon of baking soda, mix it with water until it becomes a paste, scrub and let it sit in your scalp for 3-5 minutes then rinse it off! It’s not the driest, but it’ll save you a wash on your hair.
Clean Your Rugs And Carpets
Reach for that baking soda in your cupboard and say goodbye to borrowing the rug cleaner machines from your mother-in-law. Those things are a huge pain to lug around and leave your carpets wet for days after. Not our trusty baking soda though. It will leave your carpet smelling and feeling clean!
All you have to do is sprinkle it over your carpet, rub it into the fibers, and then vacuum it up. Simple as that! An added bonus is that it cleans your vacuum’s guts as well.
Remove Rust From Your Stainless Steel
Just because it says “stainless” doesn’t mean it won’t rust. Eventually, it can get damaged or worn. Get rid of those pesky rust spots on your car, appliances, or any other stainless steel surface with baking soda of all things.
All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water and put in some elbow grease by rubbing it into the stain with a toothbrush. Then simply rinse and wipe with a wet paper towel.
Put Out (Small) Grease Fires
If you’re cooking with grease you should always have the right fire extinguishing equipment on hand, and you should never use water. With that being said, if for whatever reason baking soda is all you have then you can put out small grease fires with that. Just be safe and use common sense,.
If there is a small grease fire in your pan, turn the heat off, put on the lid, pour on a lot of baking soda, and then spray a fire extinguisher as a last resort if the fire is still burning.
Get Your Non-Stick Pots Looking Like New Again
No matter how non-stick something advertises it is, chances are it’s always going to get a few brown spots. It’s one of the laws of the universe. Whether it’s on the basin of the pan or on the underside, make your kitchen gear sparkle with a little baking soda.
All you have to do is boil a large pot of water, put in a cup of baking soda, let your pots and pans soak in it for 20-30 minutes, and give any tough spots a scrub. Now you have gear that even Gordon Ramsay would respect.
Hardboiled Eggs Never Peeled This Easy!
That hardest part of making hardboiled eggs is always peeling them at the end. No matter what you do it’s always a process that involves you picking, smashing, and ultimately getting eggshells all over the floor and your counter. Remove this particular headache from your life with our hero baking soda.
By adding just a tsp of baking soda to the water when you boil your eggs, the shell will come off way easier. We promise it won’t make your eggs taste like baking soda either.
Stop Garden Pests
For everyone with a green thumb who loves to grow their own fruits and vegetables, we all know one of the biggest gardening challenges will always be finding new ways to combat those invasive critters. Take a stand against cabbage worms with a little baking soda!
All you have to do is mix an equal amount of flour and baking soda and sprinkle the mixture onto the produce you’re trying to save. When the worms take a nibble the mixture will kill them. Enjoy eating nature’s bounty with baking soda!
Get Rid Of Those Annoying Blackheads
We all have blackheads. They’re those annoying little black dots on your nose that are really just pimples without the skin over them so the gunk just sits there and turns black. They’re the worst, but thankfully baking soda is here to help.
All you have to do is mix a tsp of baking soda and a tsp of water to make a paste and then rub it on top of your wet face. Let that sit for a minute then rinse off. The baking soda will help clean the blackheads out and prevent more from forming. Yahoo!
Make An Organic Facial Cleanser
Save your money and give your skin a break from harsh chemicals by making this DIY facial cleanser. It’ll leave your face feeling clean and refreshed without stripping it of all its oils, and it’s made with none other than our good friend baking soda.
Grab 4 drops of melalucea essential oil, 3 of cedar wood, 3 of lavender, and mix with 1/2 a cup of baking soda, and 1/2 a cup of coconut oil. This combo will gently exfoliate without being too harsh on your skin.
Iron Out The Crud On Your Iron With Baking Soda
If you’re seeing a buildup of minerals or scale on your clothing iron then it’s probably time you gave that puppy a scrub…with baking soda of course. With your iron good and clean again you can go back to steaming without worrying that the deposits are affecting your clothing.
All you have to do is make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub it onto the metal part of the iron and then wipe it off. A bonus is that this hack also works with hair straighteners and curling irons!
Clear Out Your Drains Too
It’s such a hassle when our sink gets clogged — it’s one of those things that bug you until you fix it but you put it off because it’s so annoying to fix. Spare yourself the heartache that comes with dumping nasty chemicals down the sink or scrubbing it with a brush and reach for baking soda instead.
Mix baking soda with apple cider vinegar and pour it down. Let the combo bubble for 15 minutes before you dump a pot of hot water in to clear it. Your sink will be in the clear thanks to you!
Your Shoes Won’t Smell Awful
We’ve all got stinky feet and that’s a fact. Sometimes it gets so bad that you can smell it even when you’re wearing your sneakers and that’s just no good. Take a stand and say no more odor to your little piggies with baking soda!
To combat the foot smell you can sprinkle a little baking soda in your shoes and the smell will be gone within minutes. All you need to do is tap the loose powder out and you’re good to roll. Or walk.
Working At The Car Wash, Woah, Woah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Next time your ride gets a little dirty don’t go running to that expensive gas station car wash to get a quick clean. You don’t have to buy that specialty soap from the hardware store either! Just go get that baking soda and leave the rest to it.
All you need to do is create a paste with a 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water, and then rub that paste onto your car with a sponge. Make sure you give your car a thorough rinse and dry because baking soda is abrasive.
Help Soothe Congestion With A DIY Shower Soother
Shower soothers are those little lifesaving pucks you put on the floor of your shower that vaporizes and mixes with the steam to help calm a congested nose and sinus. They’re basically lifesavers when you’re sick. Save your coin and make your own with baking soda!
All you need to do is mix 3 cups of baking soda and a 1/3 cup of water then pour the mixture into a cupcake tin lined with cupcake papers. Dry it by baking for 20 minutes at 350 in the oven then drop a few drops of essential oil on top. Easy!
Weed Out Pesky Sidewalk Crack Weeds
We’ve all been confused about how to tackle the weeds growing in between the sidewalk cracks. Do you try and dig it out with a chopstick or do you just ignore it and hope it stops growing? Stand up to those tiny menaces with a little baking soda.
All you need to do is moisten the greens of the weed then sprinkle a little baking soda evenly on top of it. You can also just dump tons of baking soda into the cracks. This is a great way to avoid nasty pesticides and kill those suckers!
Dive Right Into Your Clean Pool!
Baking soda is a great way to also get that pool in your backyard looking good after a long winter or fall of disuse. Scrub away those nasty algae, dirt, and bug remnants with a little elbow grease and a simple water and baking soda paste.
A bonus of using baking soda is that it’s a natural alkaline increaser for your water. All you have to do is add 1.5 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water to increase the alkalinity by 10 ppm. It’s a great all-natural alternative to those other chemicals!
Tackle Cold Sores
Cold sores are so annoying and so embarrassing. When you have one it’s all you can think about all day and all you want to do is pick at it. Don’t buy those expensive creams from the drug store and instead pick up the ol’ faithful baking soda.
All you need to do is mix a simple paste out of water and baking soda and dab it onto the cold sore. The baking soda will dry out the cold sore and flatten it on contact. It really can do anything.
Add It To Your Coffee To Make It Less Acidic
We all love coffee but we all hate it when it’s so acidic that it burns your stomach a little and you spend the rest of the morning in discomfort. Avoid the rumbly stomach that acidic coffee gives you by using baking soda.
Now don’t go mixing it in your cup like sugar — that would be pretty gross. Since baking soda is alkaline it will neutralize coffee’s acid. Just add a pinch to the top of the grounds before brewing and voila, the coffee will be easier on your stomach.
Clean Retainers And Dentures And Keep Them Smelling Fresh
Cleaning your retainer or dentures is required for odor neutralization. Wearing a piece of acrylic and metal in your mouth all day won’t do wonders for your breath, and baking soda can help without much hassle.
Simply add two teaspoons of baking soda to warm water and allow the baking soda to dissolve. Place your mouthpiece in the baking soda for several minutes. Dry your mouthpiece and re-insert for a fresh outcome.
Clean The Terminals On Your Car Battery
Using baking soda to clean the terminals on your car battery is a great way to remove dirt, grime, and even a little bit of rust. The team at Autozone recommends this method on their blog and who are we to argue with the professionals?
First, unplug your battery from the car. Second, apply baking soda to each terminal, covering the terminals completely with the product. Next, add water to the baking soda. Add water slowly and the mixture should start to bubble. After a few minutes use a light wire brush to clean the terminals. Next, dry the terminals. Finally, re-attach the battery to your vehicle.
Clean Vinyl Shower Curtains Without Removing Them
Cleaning a vinyl shower curtain is one of the easiest steps you can take for a quick bathroom refresh. You can choose to leave the curtain on or remove it before cleaning.
Sprinkle baking soda all over the vinyl shower curtain and then gently scrub the curtains using a damp brush to remove any dirt and other unsightly residues. Once you are satisfied with the results, rinse away any remaining baking soda and hang the curtains so they can dry.
Fix Holes In A Wall With Baking Soda And Super Glue
Don’t feel like running off to the hardware store to buy plaster, only to mix the substance together and spackle holes in your wall? Why not try some baking soda and super glue instead? Home fixer legend Bob Vila recommends mixing a little bit of baking soda to super glue.
Vila says to combine the two products together using a toothpick. Just be sure that you immediately apply the mixture directly to the wall. Once fully dry, sand the surface level to the wall. It’s not an elegant solution but it creates a super strong hold you can then paint over.
Create Your Own Air Freshener
If you’re a fan of essential oils and you want the smell of those oils to linger throughout your home, try making your own simple air freshener with just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Add a single tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle and then add five to six drops of essential oils to the bottle. Shake the bottle to even out the mixture. This will create a noncorrosive mixture that will freshen the air in any room. As an added bonus, you can also use it to freshen up couches, carpets, and other areas. Always be sure to test a small area of any furniture before going all out.
Freshen Up Smelly Garbage Cans
This simple baking soda hack shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are already garbage bags with built-in baking soda, so why not use the same product to freshen up your actual garbage can? Simply sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of your trash cans and it will help keep bad smells at bay.
As an added bonus, when you’re ready to give your garbage cans a deep clean, you can add water and use the already included baking soda to start the scrubbing process.
Keep Your Gym And Sports Gear Smelling Fresh(er)
Let’s be honest, there are very few smells worse than a gym or sports bag that is holding your sweaty, recently worn clothing and gear. To keep your bag from smelling like it carried around rotten fruit for weeks, why not use some baking soda?
Sprinkle some baking soda into your bag after placing sweaty workout clothing or sports gear in the bag. After you remove your gear for cleaning, your bag should remain relatively fresh, at least compared to the normal smells you’re used to carrying around. Arm & Hammer even recommends this gym bag baking soda hack on its Amazon product page.
Clean Toys With Baking Soda And Water
Children love to put toys in their mouth, drag them across dirty floors, and find other inventive ways to spread germs. But cleaning their favorite toys doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive process, thanks to baking soda.
Start by placing 4 tablespoons of baking soda into one quart of water. Let your child’s non-electronic toys since in the mixture for a few minutes and then scrub them gently with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse off the toys with fresh water and dry them off. This is especially useful after a birthday party if a lot of children were at your house.
Stop Bean Bloating With Baking Soda
Love beans but hate feeling “bloaty” after you eat them? A little bit of baking soda can go a long way. Beans can be gas-inducing because they contain oligosaccharides, a sugar that our bodies don’t digest well.
In 1986 a study found that adding just a little bit of baking soda to water before soaking dried beans can decrease that sugar, helping to fend off the gas-inducing effects of eating beans. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll be left with an unpleasant texture and a reduction in the great taste of your selected beans.
Change The Taste Of Tea
Many Southerners have known about this tea and baking soda hack for years. If you can’t stand the bitter caffeine taste of tea or the astringent tannins that it often contains, a bit of baking soda can go a long way.
Add just a pinch of the product to your tea and the bitterness and cloudiness of the tea will immediately improve. This is especially true of sweet tea, which explains why it’s a more commonly known hack in the South.