Baking Soda: The Eco-friendly Budget-wise Jack-Of-All-Trades!

Clever uses of Baking Soda as a household cleaner!

 

Environment friendly money saving cleaning tips.

Did you know that Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate is a great cleaner, a deodorizer, a mild abrasive, a stain remover and has hundreds of other uses?

More and more of us are becoming aware of the hazards of using toxic chemicals around the house, especially when small children and pets are around. Even though Baking Soda is mild it is highly effective and makes even tough cleaning jobs easy. It is a naturally occurring mineral that has been on the market since the middle 18 hundreds. Comparing the cost of any commercial cleaning product to baking soda, which is just a fraction of the price, it's a wonder that not everyone has switched over already.

"Over all home" cleaner!

I make my own carpet and upholstery freshener. I use a bucket that has a tight fitting lid. You can buy Baking Soda in large cartons from restaurant wholesalers. To 4 ½ lbs/ 2kgs of soda I add a ¼ cup of orrisroot powder and a few drops of my favorite scents; lavender or fressia's in spring and summer, apple & cinnamon in the fall and pine in the winter. (I use essential oils because they're non-toxic; but remember that essential oils are volatile, that means they evaporate, use a tight fitting lidded container... if it's not strong enough scented anymore just add another drop or two)

~ To use as Carpet Freshener sprinkle Baking Soda mix on carpet or couch and let it sit for ½-1 hour. It eliminates pet and other odors quite effectively. Remember to add some to the vacuum bag too.

~When spring cleaning sprinkle mattress and box spring; leaving it on for the full day before vacuuming it up.

~By using the prepared mix or just plain baking soda you can reduce the odor in garbage cans and bags by sprinkling in a generous amount.

~If added to the bottom in a diaper pail, kitty's litter box, used in ashtrays in the house or the car Baking Soda will neutralize odors and freshen up any room or area.

~Use the Baking Soda mix between the pages of old and musty smelling books. Let sit on book shelves for a month or two, shake out and repeat if needed.

In the Kitchen

~Some of the most common uses for plain Baking Soda are as fridge and oven odor neutralizer.

~ Baking Soda is the un-chemical drain un-clogger. This is another well known use for it however with a bit of a twist. Just pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of flat coke and a cup of vinegar and let it sit for some time before 'flushing' out with boiling water. If it's a severally clogged drain let it sit overnight before flushing with boiling hot water.

~For that great tasting coffee clean your coffee pot once a month by adding ¼ cup of Baking Soda and ¼ cup of vinegar to the water and running it through your coffee maker's cycle once. Run it again with just ¼ cup of soda, then twice more with just clear water. The insides of the coffee machine will be as clean as a whistle and your coffee won't have any by-flavors.

~Remove tarnish from silver by mixing a thick paste of Baking Soda with water. Apply to the silver using a damp sponge or an old toothbrush (for items with raised patterns and grooves etc.) rub gently then rinse and buff dry.

~Use it as an oven cleaner. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your oven and spray a little water and lemon juice just enough to moisten. (vinegar work well too with the baking soda) Leave overnight and wipe clean in the morning.

~Use it the same way for washing out the fridge and freezer too.

~For dishwasher maintenance run a full dishwasher cycle by adding baking soda and vinegar in both the compartments. Then run it one more time with just baking soda. The dishwasher will not be just clean but by removing all the soap buildup in the inner mechanisms it will do a better cleaning job on the dishes.

~Increase the strength of the dishwashing liquid by adding a small handful of Baking Soda to the usual amount you would use in a sink-full of soapy hot water. This doesn't only make your dishes cleaner but this also disinfects them.

~Use for scrubbing burned-on pots and pans. Sprinkle Baking Soda on the bottom of a pot or pan and moisten to make a paste with lemon juice or vinegar if the pots are made of stainless steel or enameled, If aluminum just use the baking powder moistened with water, let sit overnight and then wash out. (In most cases will not even need to be scrubbed because the 'burnt-on' will just lift in chunks.)

In the Laundry room

~Once a month run a full washing machine cycle by adding baking soda and vinegar in each of the compartments. Then run it one more time with just baking soda. The washing machine will not be just clean but by removing all the soap, softener and water scale buildup in the inner mechanisms it will do a better cleaning job on the laundry in the future.

~Increase the strength of liquid laundry detergent by adding a ½ cup Baking Soda with the regular amount of soap to your normal wash cycle.

~You can also increase the power of bleach by adding a ½ cup of Baking Soda with the liquid bleach. This also increases the freshness of your whites.

~Use Baking Soda as a fabric softener. For clothes that are cold water washable use ½ cup in the rinse water. Baking Soda removes all the remaining soap and thus softens the fabric of the clothes. There is no need to use a commercial fabric softener.

In the Bathroom

~Use Baking Soda for cleaning combs and hair brushes. Add a small handful to the water and clean your combs and brushes in it. The hair, hairspray, and dirt etc. that have built up in them are easily removed.

~Use weekly on toothbrushes too. Soak them individually in a glass of hot water with a tablespoon of Baking Soda added for 20 minutes. Rinse.

~Use Baking Soda for cleaning all the bathroom surfaces including the taps. For built up soap scum in and around bathtubs make a paste let sit for ½ hour, wipe, then rinse.

For Personal use

~Use Baking soda for triple duty when you deodorize your shoes or runners. By sprinkling 2-3 tablespoons of Baking Soda in each shoe not only will it freshen up the shoes but it will also help to keep the bottom of the closets floor fresher smelling. Before wearing shake out the shoes over the sink and wash down with vinegar or hot water for regular plumbing pipe maintenance.

~For ‘Odor-eating socks' combine 3quarts/3litres of hot water with 1/3cup/75ml baking soda. Soak freshly washed socks for an hour in the solution. Do NOT rinse, wring out and dry. (the inside of the socks will feel a little gritty).

~Keep a small container of Baking Soda in your diaper bag for when you're out and about and when your baby spits up onto your shirt after feeding, moisten a cloth, dip it in baking soda and dab at the dribbled shirt. The odor will go away.

To clean stuffed animals add ½ cup of plain or the Baking Soda mix (my carpet and upholstery mix recipe in 'over-all-home' cleaner paragraph) and ½ cup of salt per 3-4 items into large plastic bag add stuffed toys. Tie up tightly, shove into clothes dryer and with no heat air fluff cycle spin bag for 10-15 minutes. Don't add too many items into bag at once. Remove from bag and spin in dryer again for 10 minutes on air fluff.

As pest control

~Ants in your house? Keep them out by mixing up equal parts of baking soda and salt together. Then sprinkle the mixture wherever you see the intruders coming in.

~For earwigs mix equal amount of sugar and Baking Soda. Place in cupboard. Not liking this free menu bugs will either croak or pack their bags. (I'm told this tip works on roaches too but I haven't had to test it out anywhere yet, thank God)

In the garden

~And finally, in the garden many flowers, fruits, and vegetables need to be planted in acidic soil in order for them thrive properly. To test the soil if it's acidic or not mix up a quarter of a cup of baking soda with two cups of water add a cup of the soil. If the mixture foams up, then the soil is acidic.

Miscellaneous uses:

First aid ~When you've been a chewing toy for the mosquitoes at the camp site make a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and spread it on the bite marks. It will give a bit of relief from the itching. Same for bee, wasp or yellow jacket stings.

~As a substitute for Alka seltzer dilute 2 teaspoons of baking soda in lukewarm water and drink it down in one big swallow.

~Sun burn? Take a lukewarm bath in which you've dissolved a hand-full of baking soda and 5 drops each of lavender and geranium essential oil.

~Scrapped skin from a face-plant on a gravel road combine 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with 2 teaspoon of baking soda and gently rub over scrapes. leave on for 1/2 hour and then wash off with warm water... the in-bedded dirt and gravel should come away with washing.

Science project ~ the kids can find all the particulars for a baking soda/vinegar volcano on-line for that perfect science project.

Mouth care

~If you run out of toothpaste dunk your toothbrush into the baking soda and it will do just as good maybe even a better job then regular toothpaste.

~Canker sores on gums and tongue are generally gone within 24 hour if you make a paste by combining 1teaspoon baking soda and a 1/2 teaspoon of distilled rose water (food grade) and add a small amount of warm water. Gently rub onto canker sore 4-5 times a day. (it might sting a little the first time but it will feel better soon)

~Sore throat? Gargle with two teaspoons of baking soda diluted in 8 ozs/125ml of warm water several times a day.

All these tips have been tried and tested by me and I or my family uses them on a regular basis. In my opinion the only way to find out how good something really works is to try it out for yourself.

Additional tips:

A friend who is a car mechanic gave me another 2 good tips about baking soda...Thank you Sieg!

***use an old toothbrush with baking soda to clean off the battery posts and battery connections***

***to clean hands after mega greasy jobs make a paste of a generous amount of baking soda and a little water in your hands, really massage it in well, do the whole process twice... hands should be as clean as a whistle...***

Thank you for another tip SweetiePie! She cleaned her electric toothbrush charger connections with baking soda.

Thank you for another tip KT pdx! She gets rid of Kool aid stains off formica counter tops, tile and linoleum by using baking soda.

Thank you for another tip and the site Hovalis! ~uses Baking soda as a hair care product too http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174054.html

 

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Comments 42 comments

jessica 4 years ago

Baking soda is useful for all purpose cleaning it is really very effective and helpful. It can also be used as stain removal or odor removal. Thanks for sharing this information through article. I’ll be back for more information.

http://www.emergencycleaningservicemiami.com

Fire and water Damage Cleanup


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

anmarie2 thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


anmarie2 4 years ago from Imus, Cavite, Philippines

One of the handy and very useful things I never try to miss having around the house.Tried and tested for it's usefulness.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

jamiesweeney thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


jamiesweeney profile image

jamiesweeney 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Great information.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you stayingalivemoma for checking out the hub and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


stayingalivemoma profile image

stayingalivemoma 4 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

I am for sure with you on this. I've only ever used it in my refrigerator and cooking, well brushing teeth too. Never knew it had so many uses! Thanks for sharing! Will be following. Voted up and awesome!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

MysteryPlanet thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


MysteryPlanet profile image

MysteryPlanet 5 years ago

We use baking soda in our house for a lot of these, now I have learned even more uses for it. Voted up and rated as useful.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Elyse Haldeman, thank you for reading and commenting.

I have been using baking soda in my laundry soap for many many years. Over the summer I ran out of baking soda and had company coming... it was too hot to go out to buy more so I did a couple of loads of laundry without... I really noticed the difference... the sheets and pillow cases didn't smell fresh at all. So that confirmed it for me once again

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

PaperNotes, thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 6 years ago

Indeed, baking soda is an all around ingredient that you can use not just for coking but also for other household tasks especially cleaning.Thanks for this helpful hub.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Vintage tidbits thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


VintageTidbits profile image

VintageTidbits 6 years ago

Great hub with lots of good info for green cleaning. I bookmarked it for future reference. Thanks.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CGull! The awesome part about baking soda is that it's not a harsh chemical. Thanks for taking a look.

regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks Zsuzy love these natural tips for home. Instead of buying all the chemicals, glad to see Baking soda has so many uses. I use Bleach for drains once a week, gives a fresh smell and clears the drains very well.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Princessa! Glad you were able to check out the hub. Baking Soda is definitely a product that Our Grandma's knew about and used extensively.

Let's face it it has everything going for it a natural product that is really useful in so many applications all at a low price... Where can we go wrong?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

C.W. Thanks for taking a look.

regards Zsuzsy


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

great advice. My granny has been taking Sodium Bicarbonate instead of Alka Seltzer for more than 70 years and she is in excellent health. She also uses it instead of deodorants!

It is a surprise for me to hear all the uses it can have. Thanks for the discovery :)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Great tips, Zsuzsy. Such a handy product to have around the house!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hovalis! Long time no talk... How is the world treating you 'Down Under'... Glad you had a chance to pop over, thanks for the additional tip about using baking soda instead of shampoo and for the extra site. I'll add them to my list.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sally! So glad you came by. Thanks for reading and for commenting. Baking soda is as I said in the title of this hub a "Jack-of-all-trades"

regards Zsuzsy...


Hovalis profile image

Hovalis 7 years ago from Australia

Wow I've used Bicarb for cleaning and deodorising before, but there's so many more uses, Here are a couple to add to the list:

1. You can wash your hair very effectively using bicarbonate of Soda. A tablespoon dissolved in hot water does the trick. You don't need conditioner afterwards, either, because your hair has not been stripped of its natural oils, and you'll find after a while that you don't need to wash your hair as often. You can find more here:

http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174054.html

2. I use a variation of your drain cleaner and don't add the coke, and use bicarbonate of soda instead of the baking soda. It works well on certain types of blockages. 

This is a fantastic hub. Thanks for writing it. :-)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Magnificent! It's so easy to get sucked into the newest, freshest, most improved cleaning and freshening products featured in the TV and print ads, but baking soda is the true gold mine. It's a smart product.

I use it for cleaning and deodorizing drains, the refrigerator, laundry, and sprinkling straight on carpets, letting it sit there for an hour or so, and then vacuuming, plus a dozen other things. The baking soda / vinegar combo is a very neat volcano experiment for kids.

And thanks so much for the couple of dozen extra suggestions, Zsuzsy!

I love this Hub!!!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jyoti Kothari! Thanks for coming by and commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur

Indians have ben using baking soda in place of detergent since a long time to clean clothes etc.

Nice tip, it will help in financial crisis.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jerilee! You're back... How are you? Great I hope...

Glad you stopped in, I was just thinking about you yesterday wondering how you were making out.

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Very useful reminder of a great product!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

SweetiePie! I get the baking soda at a restaurant supplies store in the city. They have anywhere from 2kg to 25kg sacks. I always get the 5kg/11lbs size then it lasts a while.

regards Zsuzsy


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I use the store brand baking soda because I am a cheapo gleapo and it works just the same. Thanks for mentioning my tip Zsuzsy Bee!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks Em for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these tips come in helpful for you too.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Isabella! Arm and hammer were the only pics I could find.

Baking soda is baking soda. Any brand will work the same. I just finished making a new batch yesterday. I went a little heavy on the cinnamon scent. So it really smells like I've been baking apple pies all day around here.

Which I will be doing tomorrow anyway (apple and pumpkin pies) as I'm getting ready for my gang to come home for our Thanksgiving weekend. Would you like me to e-mail you a pie?

Glad you stopped by. kindest regards Zsuzsy


Em Writes profile image

Em Writes 7 years ago from Upstate NY

This is a fantastic hub! So many useful tips!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 7 years ago

Does this work for all kinds of baking soda? Or just Arm and Hammer? I want to make carpet freshener!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

KT pdx! Thank you for taking a look. And for adding the stain removing tip. I'll add it to the list.

regards Zsuzsy


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 7 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Yay! Also works great for kool-aid stains on tile, linoleum, and formica. Just moisten a little with water and scrub.

Oh, and one other thing, if you do use it for kitty's litter box, be sure they don't eat it. It can be toxic to pets. If I'm cleaning, I just lock them out of whatever room I'm cleaning, then let them back in after I've fully rinsed the surface.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

NYLady! Glad you came to take a look. I bet there are still a whole bunch of uses for baking soda that I forgot or just don't know about. I use baking soda constantly. Glad you found some uses in the hub.

regards Zsuzsy


NYLady profile image

NYLady 7 years ago from White Plains, NY

Holy moly, Zsuzsy Bee! I had no idea how many great ways existed to use baking soda. What a great list and an informative hub. I'm going to try a few of the things you've mentioned, especially cleaning toothbrushes and the inside of my washing machine. Awesome.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

SweetiePie! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. What other stuff is there out there that is so great at multi tasking? and inexpensive too...

regards Zsuzsy


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I love baking soda and when it expires and I can no longer use it for baking, I demote the expired package to cleaning. The other day I used a tiny bit of baking soda and water to clean off the charger for my electric tooth brush and it worked beautifully. Thanks for the interesting hub about baking soda.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Bob! Glad you came by. If you have other uses that I didn't list please add them.

Thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

It is a standard in our home and has been for years.

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