What’s easy to find, cheap and has a thousand uses? For those that haven’t had their morning coffee yet, the answer is baking soda! This kitchen cupboard staple has long been used in baking, of course, but its uses far surpass just cooking up culinary delights. So no matter the make and model of your kitchen, make sure you never run out!
Officially known as sodium bicarbonate, it has a neutralizing effect on both acids and alkalis and is perfect for regulating PH levels. This, combined with its slightly abrasive qualities, makes it ideal for cleaning, while its neutralizing properties keep odors at bay. Countless additional uses make baking soda a champion all-rounder.
Baking Soda to Clean Surfaces
Simply sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp cloth and use it to wipe sinks, tubs, tiles, marble countertops and other surfaces clean in an instant. Alternatively, make up a paste of 3 parts water to 1-part baking soda and use it to wipe away dirt — a great solution for removing crayon from walls, for example. Baking soda can also be added to warm mopping water to create a cheap and hygienic floor wash.
Baking Soda to Polish Metal
Baking soda can bring back the shine to a variety of metal items, from silverware to gold shields and brass. For brass, mix equal parts lemon juice with baking soda and scrub, then rinse well and enjoy the glow. For gold, simply mix 3 parts baking soda with 1-part water to create a thick paste. Apply the paste to the item of gold, place in a cup or container and cover with distilled white vinegar. Leave covered for 5 minutes and rinse well.
Silver can be washed by lining a tub with aluminum foil and laying each piece on it. Mix 1-part baking soda to 4 parts boiling water and pour over, covering the silver entirely. After the bubbling and fizzing has subsided, leave to cool and enjoy your shiny new silverware.
Baking Soda to Boost Your Laundry
Give yourself and your clothes a boost by adding half a cup of baking soda to each load. This will help keep your clothes fresher, cleaner and softer, without having to use overpriced, specialized softeners. Many of our lifestyle choices are pretty harsh on the wallet, but with these solutions, you get all the benefits without the disadvantages.
Baking Soda for Stain Removal
Baking soda’s special neutralizing properties make it ideal for stripping away all kinds of stains, with minimal scrubbing. Red wine stains on white carpets are a classic. Simply soak up as much wine as you can, before covering in a paste made from 3 parts water and 1-part baking soda. Leave the paste to dry, then sweep or vacuum the area and be amazed at the result.
Similarly, oil and grease stains in the garage can be obliterated by sprinkling baking soda on top of them. Scrub with a damp, hard bristled brush before rinsing the area.
Baking Soda to Deodorize
Baking soda is fantastic for deodorizing anything from toilets to fridges. Clean and absorb any unwanted odors from your toilet by adding a cup of baking soda and leaving it for an hour before flushing. For fresh fridges and closets, leave an open box of baking soda at the back, remembering to replace every 2 months or so.
Baking soda sprinkled at the bottom of bins and litter boxes will also keep bad smells at bay, while letting baking soda sit on your carpets overnight, before hoovering up the next day, keeps them smelling fresh. Finally, make your own air freshener spray by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with distilled water in a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to liven it up a bit.
Baking Soda in the Kitchen
In the kitchen, baking soda can be used for far more than baking. Use a teaspoon of it in the water you soak beans in, to prevent gas and aid in digestion. Scrub your hands in baking soda to get rid of strong, unwanted odors like garlic, and sprinkle some on chopping boards, scrubbing with a damp sponge to achieve the same effect.
The cleaning solution mentioned earlier is great for microwave messes, while adding a teaspoon to your dish soap will aid in cutting through grease. Baking soda also makes a great oven cleaner: just sprinkle some in the bottom of the oven, spray with water and let it sit overnight. The next day, scrub the solution off and rinse well.
Baking Soda for Pest Control
If ants are invading your home, mix together equal parts baking soda and salt and sprinkle in the areas they frequent. This acts as a non-toxic barrier, encouraging the ants to search elsewhere for whatever they’re looking for.
Baking Soda for Unblocking Drains
Clogged drains are just one of the kitchen or bathroom issues that can ruin a perfectly good day. But don’t despair! Baking soda is great for unblocking drains – often far more effective than the toxic concoctions you can buy. Mix together 1-part baking soda to 2 parts distilled white vinegar – the ultimate cleaning combo! Pour this mix down the drain and hear it fizzle – put a plug in to ensure the solution works its way down the drain. Slowly flush out with boiling water and enjoy your clear drains!
Baking Soda for Health and Wellbeing
Besides cleaning and deodorizing, baking soda can be a cheap and healthy alternative to many products you might use for yourself. A teaspoon stirred into a mug of water and sipped is an excellent antacid and will cure heartburn almost instantly. For white teeth, mix baking soda in with toothpaste and for a fresh breath, swill and spit 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water.
Make a thick baking soda and water paste and use it to exfoliate or rub on insect bites or irritated skin to soothe the stinging. It can even be used to create a homemade deodorant, by mixing with coconut oil and arrowroot. Finally, if you love using cut flowers to decorate your home, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase to keep them alive a little longer!
Baking soda can be essential for those looking to save the pennies and can provide a very cheap – and much healthier – alternative to dozens of other expensive and potentially toxic household goods. So if you want to make more green choices, and not just for energy, just opt for these solutions instead of the toxic products available in stores. These nine amazing uses for baking soda are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how useful this product is. Just make sure you always have it around the house and know when and how to use it!