100 Amazing Uses for Baking Soda – Detailed Descriptions
100 Extraordinary Things You Can Do With Baking Soda
Detailed look at ways to solve 100 common problems using baking soda
Baking soda is a must for everyday life, and in many situations it can be of great value to preppers and survivalists looking for ways to deal with extraordinary events that disrupt their lives. The U.S. military has even suggested it for use in case of a nuclear war.
It of course has numerous applications for everyday life as well, which I’ll show you in this article.
The primary property of baking soda is its alkalinity, which helps to break down proteins and neutralize acids. This is why it can be used in such a wide variety of ways, from quickly eliminating heartburn to being a leavening agent in baking.
And it’s also why its most known use of being an effective deodorizer for the refrigerator and other things. Almost anything that needs to have pH balanced, baking soda can be used for.
Since it is a nontoxic fungicide, it can also be used safely in a wide variety of garden applications as well.
In this article we’ll look at the numerous ways baking soda can be used across many different categories. For prepping and survival, it’s one of the most inexpensive and practical items we should have ready for use. Of course in normal times it also helps to have it handy too, as it’s a cost-effective way to take care of many different circumstances and situations that arise.
When you’re done reading each section, you’ll know exactly how to use baking soda in that particular scenario. This is far more than just a list of baking soda uses, it describes to you how to successfully apply it.
After reading its many and various uses, you’ll want to grab baking soda in bulk. If only a few uses apply to your needs or circumstances, there are smaller baking soda options to buy as well.
1. Nuclear war and radiation
In the past the U.S. military has recommended that in the case of a nuclear war, those exposed to radiation should take baths with 2.5 kg of baking soda included. The idea is to protect kidneys and other organs from being damaged, or further damaged. The absorbent property of baking soda is what’s in mind here.
Another thought is if there is no access to water in the home, going to a place where you can get water and fill a small, portable swimming pool like we used for our children or grandchildren to swim in. Even a barrel that is waterproof would be a good alternative. Just remember to add the baking soda if you’re exposed to radiation.
I’ve never heard it talked about, but it would seem this would be a good idea after having an x-ray as well or radiation treatment related to cancer or other diseases.
2. Deodorize your kitchen or other rooms
Another lesser known use for baking soda in regard to deodorizing is with smells in rooms outside of the fridge and kitchen. Under those circumstances just put your baking soda in bowls in the desired room and let them sit out overnight. That should take care of all foul odors.
If there is odor in larger open spaces, it’s likely coming from a localized area that shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
3. Leavening with baking soda
Maybe more than any other use, baking soda used for leavening is the most common.
A couple of things to consider are the reaction to baking soda in the dough or batter is immediate, so if you wait too long you will have a recipe that falls flat.
Also important is, baking soda has a shelf life of approximately 18 months. Check a small sample of your recipe if you’re not sure whether or not it’ll generate the desired result.
4. One of the best bug out products to have
Probably outside of water and food, baking soda may be the most practical and valuable product to include if you face a prolonged emergency situation.
If you want to try a practice run, which I recommend if you’re not the type to do a lot of camping, take a camping trip with friends and family, including enough baking soda to meet your various needs. Not only will this give you confidence in the product, but it’ll give you valuable experience if a challenging situation unfolds in the future.
Among the many things it can to is be used as a personal deodorant, for washing hands, cleaning pots, washing dishes, toothpaste, putting out a small fire, and many other things. We’ll look more into those individually as we go along. I only wanted to show that we need to think beyond an individual or small set of uses.
Finally, it may be the best preventative health item you have in your possession if you can’t reach a medical facility for a prolonged period of time.
I just mentioned toothpaste as a good alternative to tooth care, so let’s take a look at that. Some people have made a paste of baking soda and mixed it with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution as a substitute for non-flouride toothpastes.
You can of course try different ingredients to make it more palatable to your taste. Some people will simply wet a toothbrush and brush with baking soda, while others will use regular toothpaste and dip it into raw baking soda.
Either way, it’s a great way to care for your teeth under any circumstance. My wife has used baking soda as part of taking care of her teeth, and I wish I had followed that practice as she did.
She partook in more of a hybrid version, dipping her toothbrush with toothpaste on it into the baking soda to increase its effectiveness.
6. Body deodorant
There are a lot of deodorant uses for baking soda, and among them on the human side is for underarm deodorant. There have been some concerns about the safety of many deodorants, so using baking soda is a very safe and effective alternative.
If you’re not certain about this in social situations, just give it a try at home and see how it works when you’re busy throughout the day. It could be tried with essential oils or another fragrance-enhancing product to add a nice smell.
7. Acid reflux or heartburn
This is one I can vouch for myself, as I’ve used this numerous times to take care of heartburn or acid reflux, indigestion, etc., and I’ve never had a better result than all the other solutions I’ve tried.
All I do is take a half teaspoon or so of baking soda and put it in a glass of water and stir. If it’s especially bad, I may add a little more to ensure it fully works.
Never have I had something work so quickly and with perfect results. It goes away in a relatively short period of time.
The reason it works so well is sodium bicarbonate neutralizes stomach acid, relieving symptoms.
8. Make you mouth and breath fresh
Since the taste of baking soda in and of itself isn’t that great, it seems counter intuitive that it is a great way to freshen your breath; and yet it does a great job.
The way to think of it is in terms of it not just being a solution that masks or covers up your breath, but one that neutralizes it. Mints or similar breath fresheners only temporarily deal with the issue because it doesn’t help with halitosis, which is the source of the problem.
Just put some baking soda in a half glass of water and swish it around in your mouth for a bit, and also gargle it. Afterwards just spit it out and rinse, and you’re good to go.
9. Deodorize a hamper
As you’ll hear over and over again concerning different uses, baking soda is a great way to deodorize almost anything; it’s a matter of thinking through what needs to be neutralized, and figure out the best way to apply or use baking soda to take care of it.
In the case of a bad-smelling hamper, all you need to do is sprinkle some baking soda into the bottom of the hamper, or if you have clothes in the hamper, over the clothes, which will help maintain a fresher smell until you’re ready to do the laundry.
Whether it’s odor associated with the smell of dirty clothes permeating the hamper over time, or the immediate need of odor relief from dirty clothes in the hamper, baking soda will take care of it.
10. Clean pesticides off of fruits and vegetables
Commercial pesticides are still a big part of agriculture, and for those that have to buy fruit or vegetables with pesticides on them, baking soda can be used to scrub off the pesticide residue.
Normally one part lemon juice and two parts baking soda mixed in water will do the trick. I don’t want to use specific amounts because the number of fruits and vegetables being cleaned could vary widely.
What is most efficient is to place the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on the fruit or vegetables you’re cleaning. Spray and let sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off completely using a paper towel.
11. Insect bites and itchy skin
Whenever those insect hatches come about, we get the usual invasion of pests that bite, and in many cases, leave the secondary symptom of itching.
To deal with the initial bite or sting, make a paste from water and baking soda, and apply it to the area of the skin that needs it. In the case of itching, you can leave off the paste part and just take some loose baking soda and put it in your hand and rub it over the infected area. This should be done after you take a shower or bath.
If you need some quick relief, just apply some water to the skin and sprinkle the baking soda on the wet area.
12. Getting rid of odors in the refrigerator
Now let’s look at what is probably the most well known and used application for baking soda, and that is to remove strong food odors out of the refrigerator. Almost everyone I know uses baking soda for odor control, and for good reason – it works!
Not only does it generate a nice smelling fridge, but it keeps odors from mixing with others and changing the flavor of some foods.
Just open the box and put it in the back of the fridge.
13. Cleaning oral appliances
For those that have dentures, retainers or mouthpieces, baking soda is a great way to clean them by soaking them in a dissolved solution.
Add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to a container of warm water and let it dissolve with the particular appliance you’re cleaning. As usual, the baking soda neutralizes odors, and in this situation, helps removes particles.
Similar to regular teeth, you can brush your appliances with baking soda to make them cleaner and brighter.
14. Chicken Pox
If you or a loved one ever has to endure chicken pox, a good way to relieve the itching is to put a half cup of baking soda in a warm, but not overly hot, bath.
Another option is to put one-half of a tablespoon of baking soda in water, and then take a washcloth made of a soft fabric to apply the solution directly to infected areas. After applying the solution, give it time to dry; don’t wipe it off right away.
15. Cleaning grout
Most of us have grout areas that get dirty over time, and we know how hard they can be to get clean. Using baking soda, make a paste by mixing it with water, and apply it to the grout with a toothbrush. After that, use the toothbrush to scrub the dirt away.
To further enhance it, some people mix in vinegar with the baking soda to make what they consider a superior paste. Others will spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the paste after it is applied to the grout, which causes it to bubble up and clean easier.
If the grout still stubbornly resists your efforts, mixing in hydrogen peroxide should be able to deal with it effectively.
16. Unclogging drains using baking soda
One thing to keep in mind when using baking soda for anything is, it’s environmentally friendly. So when considering it as an alternative to chemical cleaners, it’s a no-brainer from that point of view. The question is: does it clean as well? The answer is: yes.-
Something to keep in mind is when your baking soda gets to the end of its use in the fridge, it can be recycled for other uses, such as unclogging the drain or using it as a preventative to build-up.
If you already have a clogged drain and that’s not an option, that’s no problem. But if you have a clog and remember the baking soda in the refrigerator has been in there for a long time, you can use that while replacing the one in the refrigerator for ongoing odor management.
The first thing to consider when unclogging a drain is it’s best to do it at night before going to bed, as you can led things sit while you’re sleeping to get the best effect.
There are several things people do to unclog a drain using baking soda, including one method where you pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with a cup of vinegar. Some people heat up the vinegar with a microwave before pouring it in.
If the drain hasn’t been cleaned for a while and is really clogged up, it may take a couple of times before it loosens up.
Also effective for cleaning drains is to pour a cup of baking soda and a half cup of salt down the drain. This way will work better if you let it sit longer; preferably at least several hours. Using this method works better if you can allow it to stand over night.
17. Helps remove splinters
Splinters are one of those things that confirm that fact if one part of the body hurts, all the members suffer. To me, there’s nothing worse than a splinter I can’t immediately get out. While baking doesn’t help normally in the immediate relief category, it does help speed the process up for those with a little patience.
The best way to do this is to make a thick paste from water an apply it onto a bandage. Then place the bandage with the paste directly onto the area the splinter is located. Let it sit for about a day and then take the bandage off.
What this does is encourage the splinter to come to the surface of the skin, making it easier to pull out with tweezers. For those hard to get splinters, you may have to repeat the process for another day. By that time almost all splinters are ready to be extracted.
This works better for most people that prefer a less painful experience. Some would rather endure some short-term pain than allow the splinter or splinters to remain in their skin.
18. Baking soda and carpet odor removal
Like with most odors, baking soda is terrific for removing odors from smelly carpets. There a few things to consider though, which will help to get the most success out of the process.
Having owned a cleaning business in the past, it’s common knowledge to be sure to vacuum a carpet before dealing with other remedies. The reason for that is the dirt in the carpet, if only mixed in with the baking soda, will eventually break through the neutralizing effect of baking soda, which will allow the odor to return quicker.
Also important is if you have a busy house with lots of foot traffic, it may be better to treat a section at a time so the baking soda isn’t removed by heavy traffic.
Finally, when everything is ready, cover the entire carpet with baking soda. Be very liberal here or you’ll get an inferior result; probably having to do another treatment to remove the odor if it’s strong.
As for ease and effectiveness of application, you could use a sifter or larger shaker in order to more evenly distribute the baking soda on the carpet. Again, the key is to cover all of the carpet.
After waiting for at least several hours, and better yet, a day, then lightly brush the baking soda into the carpet. If you have longer carpet fibers, you should take a little more time to get the maximum effect.
If concerned about ruining the carpet fiber, use something less abrasive than a scrub brush or sponge. Even an old t-shirt would do fine.
After working it in and letting it sit overnight, vacuum it up. One thing to be sure of in order to make your job easier, is not to spill any liquid on the carpet once the baking soda is applied. It’ll make it harder to vacuum.
Take your time when vacuuming because it will take awhile to get it all up. Also know your vacuum will bag will get heavy.
If after doing this a little odor remains, simply repeat the process.
19. Get rid of smelly garbage and odor with baking soda
Being the great odor absorbent it is, baking soda works great for managing garbage can odor. In most cases it involves nothing more than sprinkling some baking soda on the inside of the can and letting it sit and do its job. A couple of tablespoons should be enough to do the job. If you have a small garbage can, it could get by with half that amount.
If you have just started a new bag and it’s a little stinky, you could toss some baking soda directly into the make to eliminate the smell.
For those with trash cans made of different material like metal or wicker, you can put the baking soda in a bag or bowl and place it in the bottom of the can.
Once you take your garbage out for the week, you can mix baking soda with vinegar and/or lemon juice to clean it.
20. Using baking soda to clean microwave
For an easy clean of a microwave, by which I mean one that doesn’t include baked-on residue that has been sitting for a long time, put some baking soda on a clean, slightly wet sponge, and softly clean the interior and exterior of the microwave. Afterwards, rinse with water.
IF it requires a little more work, mix baking soda in water, and put in a microwave-safe container. After heating it up for several minutes, the inside of the microwave will have some damp, hot moisture all over it, which loosens up he baked on food and makes it much easier to clean.
There shouldn’t be much scrubbing involved at all with that method, and in most cases a paper towel or soft cloth will be enough to get the job done.
If there are any odor problems afterwards, you can leave some baking soda in the microwave in the same way you do the refrigerator to get rid of the smell.
21. Cleansing and softening hands
Many people use baking soda to clean their hands, and there are a number of ways to make a solution to get the best results. I’ll share a couple here.
The first is to simply make three parts baking soda to one part water paste, or if you prefer, three parts baking soda to one part liquid soap. Just apply it to your hands and scrub gently.
Another fairly popular way to do it is to add some drops of the antibacterial essential oil you use the most, to baking soda. Have the baking soda in a container you can close in order to shake it up and evenly distribute the oil throughout.
Some users like to put in a shaking container like is used for Parmesan cheese, in order to shake out the amount they want to use in a controlled manner. Always remember to rinse.
What should be thought about when using baking soda in contact with the skin in any way, is a small amount of people may be sensitive to it, and either shouldn’t use it, or use it sparingly in a milder form. In other words, use less baking soda when putting it together if your skin can handle it, and you prefer a natural and inexpensive way of cleaning your hands.
22. Patio cushions
Since patio furniture can cost hundreds, and even over a thousand dollars, it’s definitely worth knowing they can be preserved and cleaned under almost any circumstance.
There are a couple of things to consider when cleaning patio cushions. One is to prevent odors from occurring during the long winter storage period, and second is, what to do when it rains on the cushions, and stains and odors are the result.
Assuming you’ve prepared your cushions for winter storage by cleaning them, all it takes to ensure they don’t develop an odor over the winter is to get large plastic bags and put the cushions and baking soda in them. Sprinkle the baking soda on and seal the bag. That’s all it takes.
During a prolonged period of rain and humidity, your patio cushions can develop mildew stains and odors. Nobody wants to sit on them then.
Rather than throwing them away because you think they’re a lost cause, use baking soda to clean them up. This includes the furniture itself if it develops stains and odors.
Use about one part baking soda to five parts water, making sure to have enough to clean everything that needs to be cleaned. Simply take a heavy duty sponge and scrub the furniture. After you’re through, be sure to rinse the cushions and furniture to remove the residue.
23. Cleaning the oven
The next area to look at, cleaning the oven, is one that most people love to hate, but with a few changes using baking soda, it can actually turn into a fairly pleasant job; or at least one that is quick and tolerable.
The worst of the job is in removing baked-on drippings. It seems few products, if we don’t mind using the strong chemicals, perform as expected. The result, even after spraying the oven, is almost always accompanied by heavy scrubbing that wears our arms out.
The process of preparing for an easy oven cleaning is a simple one. Just sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda on the floor of the oven, and then spray it with water until it’s very damp. Let it sit for at least several hours.
In the vast majority of circumstances you should be able to come back and wipe off the oven bottom with minimal effort. In the case of the walls, you can make up a paste and liberally apply it.
When done wiping the oven off, be sure to rinse it with vinegar in order to keep a white film of baking soda residue from remaining.
24. Remove dead skin from body and face
Another terrific benefit of baking soda is in its use as an exfoliant, or product used to remove dead cells from the skin. There are a couple of ways to approach this, including a simple, general scrub, and one that is more customized for your specific skin type.
In the case of the general scrub, a light paste can be made and applied to remove the dry skin using a circular motion. Rinse afterwards. Most people, including those with sensitive skin can do this without irritation. There are exceptions, but it works for most people.
Having said that, there are ways to customize the paste according to whether your skin type is sensitive, dry, oily, or prone to acne. The best way to do that is to add oil conducive to your skin type.
For dry skin, the best oil to use is Lavender and Ylang Ylang. Some people choose Clary Sage as an alternative. Essential oils to use on oil skin or skin prone to acne, are Lavender and Tea Tree Oil. Sensitive skin will respond best to Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Those are of course general guidelines I’ve found most people use. There could be different oils others used that better complement their skin type. For a body scrub, add more oil.
If you’re not sure how your skin will respond, do a patch test on your inner wrist or elbow and wait for half a day to see if there are any reactions. If there are, rinse it off right away and no longer use it.
For the most part you’ll want a thin paste, so blend it with the baking soda at about a three or four to one ratio.
25. Coffee pot and mug stains using baking soda
In this part we’ll look at cleaning coffee and tea pots, along with cups we drink them in that result in hard to get rid of stains. When talking about pots here, it needs to be understood I’m not talking about the coffee maker itself. If you attempt to clean out the system itself, it could make it worse.
For cleaning the pot or carafe, just add about a quarter cup of baking soda to a quart of warm water and wipe away the stains. For tougher stains you can add some dishwasher detergent and let it sit for at least several hours. Doing it and letting it sit overnight is even better.
After, dampen a sponge and add a little baking soda and wipe away the stains. Always remember to rinse when you’re finished.
For mugs you can do something similar, placing the baking soda in first, and then adding some hot water and letting it sit for a minute or two. Use a scrub brush to scour it until the stain is gone. Do it again if the stain doesn’t all go away.
26. Removing tea stains with baking soda
For tea stains, clean the cup out first to get rid of anything that may be in it before starting the rest of the cleaning process. When that’s done, go ahead and get the inside of the cup a little wet or damp, using warm water. This is for the purpose of having a surface the baking soda can cling to.
Then sprinkle the banking soda into the cup. It shouldn’t take any more than half a teaspoon to get the job done. You’re only making a little paste to do the cleaning with.
Use a soft cloth to rub on the stain to remove it. You’ll identify it by a thin film covering parts of the cup. Don’t be afraid to apply some pressure to clean the cups out.
As always when cleaning with baking soda, rinse out the cup with warm water to remove the residue.
27. Use baking soda for a foot soak
There’s probably nothing much more satisfying after a day on your feet to treat yourself to a foot soak. One the best and most natural ways to participate in a foot soak is to use baking soda in warm water.
Interestingly, people can get quite elaborate with baking soda foot soaks, adding vinegar or essential oils to create their own desired concoction that works best for them. All of those will work great, depending upon how much effort you want to put into the foot treatment.
For me, I just want to get add it and feel the immediate relief of putting my feet in a warm water, baking soda solution. Fill warm water in a basin and add about 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Just soak your feet in from 15 minutes to half an hour, or until you want to quit pampering yourself, or the soreness or itch is relieved.
If you want to do more than one thing during the foot soak, before you finish give yourself a massage on rough foot calluses in order to smooth them out.
Another benefit is it helps to remove foot odor if that’s an issue. For that and other reasons, some people choose to add essential oil to the water, or in some cases vegetable oil, or even whole milk. The vegetable oil or milk is used to help incorporate the oil into the water. Using your hands to mix it up is the most effective.
After the foot soak, just rinse your feet off and wipe them, and you’re good to go.
Doing this on a fairly consistent basis will help get rid of foot fungus, infection, odor, and soreness. It’s definitely something you should try.
28. Baking soda can help manage fires and flames
In almost any situation where a fire starts, baking soda can be used as an extinguisher to put out the fire and flames. Bear in mind I’m talking about smaller fires, not fires that have already gotten away from you.
Baking soda is good if you’ve caught the fire before it takes off. It does this by releasing carbon dioxide which helps to smother the fire. If the fire is too strong, it can pull in more than enough oxygen to offset the effect of carbon dioxide released from baking soda.
Let’s look at flame management first. If a flame gets higher than you feel comfortable with, you can sprinkle a little baking soda on it to shrink its size. This is usually done when enjoying a cookout using coals.
As for grease fires, the solution is different. In that case, if the fire is small enough, throwing on a significant amount of baking soda can quickly snuff it out.
Before trying that though, if a fire breaks out and you’re close at hand, first turn off the burner and then put a lid over the pot or pan. Be sure the lid is one that is made of metal and can cover the entire pot or pan; you don’t want oxygen able to seep in and give further life to the fire.
A fire triggered by grease is the result of cooking oil turning too hot. The process is it starts to boil, then smoke, and finally it will catch on fire. If using lard or an animal fat, it’ll start smoking at about 375°F. With vegetable oils it’s higher, at about 450°F.
Best practices for grease fires is to be in the room while it’s heating up. Any acrid smell or sign of smoke should be responded to by turning down the heat, or quickly removing the pot off the burner. If there is smoke, it’s not necessarily a sign of imminent fire, but it tells you it’s not far away from catching on fire.
Again, the steps if a grease fire starts is to turn off the burner, place a lid over the pan or pot, and if that’s not available or a small fire slightly spreads, quickly and liberally throw some baking soda on the fire. This isn’t a time to think or act in terms of being frugal.
29. Baking soda for garden pest control
Baking soda has a wide variety of uses for gardens, and one of the more valuable is pest control; both of the small and large type.
For example, it can ward off spider mites, aphids and ants, while at the same time protecting against pesky rabbits that can be so devastating to a garden if we aren’t aware of, or ready for them.
Being nontoxic, it can get rid of a variety of pests without doing any harm to the plants; although direct contact with unmixed baking soda in its raw form can do damage if applied directly on plants.
Like in other mixtures, people use different ingredients with water and baking soda. One of them includes one gallon of water, two tablespoons of baking soda, several drops of liquid soap, and a tablespoon of olive oil.
It’s mixed and placed in a spray bottle spritz on the plants for most effective use. Do it every three days or after a rain.
As for the mixture itself, some people choose to go with a gallon of water and several tablespoons of baking soda.
30. Baking soda and healthy hair
There are two basic ways to use baking soda to improve your hair, with one of them being to add it to your favorite shampoo. Those choosing this method are motivated more by retaining the preferred shampoo, while helping to eliminate the residue left behind by most hair products. It results in cleaner and shinier hair.
The method would be to place a little baking soda in your palm while adding shampoo to it. From there just go through your usual shampoo routine, being sure to pay attention to rinse your hair thoroughly.
Other people want a more complete organic solution, so choose to mix baking soda, water and apple cider vinegar together to achieve the best results.
How they shampoo under that method is to first use the baking soda mixture, which is normally comprised of one tablespoon of baking soda in one cup of water. From there they shampoo their hair with it.
After that, apple cider vinegar is mixed with water using the same measure above, and then used in a similar way a conditioner would be used after a regular shampoo.
I haven’t used the above method, but those that do are extremely happy with the sense of their hair feeling much cleaner than when using other methods. The smell of the apple cider vinegar also leaves after the hair dries.
If you’ve never done something like this before, it’s different than a regular shampoo that generates a lot of lather in your hair. The experience is similar to just pouring water over your head.
That’s important to understand, first, psychologically in regard to your hair being cleaned without the usual accompanying lather, and the fact you still need to work it into your scalp in the same way you would with the lather, even though there seems to be nothing much there.
Also important is to not prejudge the results immediately. According to practitioners, your hair doesn’t feel the same as it does when doing a regular shampoo, and it feels a lot better after it dries.
Keep in mind that everyone’s amount of hair oil is different, so each person will have to experiment with different mixtures of baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar to get the best results. If your hair is more oily after washing, add more baking soda to the mix. If it’s too dry, decrease the amount.
One thing almost everyone says, is their hair is much shinier cleaning and treating it this way.
31. Ridding sponges of odor
One of the easier, but still important uses of baking soda is in the removal of odor from used sponges.
Using a quart of warm water as the size of the mixture, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to it. This could be downward or upward adjusted depending on the size and number of sponges being cleaned.
Just soak the sponge or sponges in the mixture to get rid of the odor. Think in terms of at least several hours, but a usual, doing this in the latter part of the day and letting them soak a little longer through the night works the best.
32. Cleaning concrete with baking soda
Anything that can help with a thankless job like cleaning concrete is a godsend to most, and once again, baking soda plays a prominent role in ridding concrete of all types of dirt, including grease. Part of the reason is its slight abrasiveness, along with ability to cut through grease and clean it up by dissolving it.
Under normal conditions, concrete can be cleaned directly with a mixture of baking soda and water. Usually about a half-cup to a gallon of water is the normal rate of mixture, although that will depend upon the size of the area you’re cleaning, and in some cases, its porousness.
For dirtier, more porous concrete, adding an equal part of salt to the mixture can help in cleaning the tougher areas.
Also used to finish the cleaning by many is to spray the concrete afterwards with a vinegar solution in order to remove the residue. This can produce a chemical reaction of carbon dioxide gas and water, which is harmless.
To scrub the concrete, use a brush with stiff bristles for best result. Dip it in the solution and start working. I would also use rubber gloves for the job.
Another concrete cleaning option is to mix 3 parts baking soda to two parts bleach, using the same method of cleaning mentioned above.
33. Better laundry with baking soda
Baking soda works great for any condition of the laundry, meaning from slightly dirty to heavily soiled clothes.
Under normal cleaning conditions, adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash will help to brighten up the clothes and make them smell fresher. If the laundry represents heavy play or work and needs some extra attention, adding a cup of baking soda should handle most difficult jobs.
If the stains are extra tough to get out, you can make a paste from water and baking soda and manually work it into the stain. You could use a tooth brush if you need a little leverage. After working it in, than wash the laundry as usual after allowing it to dry. The stain should be removed in the wash.
34. Cleaning stainless steel with baking soda
Stainless steel is very desirable for many people because they like how it looks and it’s very durable. It’s an iron alloy that includes more than 10 percent chromium. It’s used in numerous appliances, cookware, and kitchen decor, among other uses.
While the chromium is the reason for the hard coating we all recognize with stainless steel, after some wear and tear on it, an item or object can start to lose the protective coating, and that exposes it to typical corrosion associated with regular steel.
For that reason, when we clean stainless steel, we need to use a cleaner that is low in abrasiveness, and baking soda fits that category very well.
Even with the tendency for some things to get burned into or stuck on stainless steel, the properties inherent in baking soda can remove them without damaging the exterior of the item being cleaned.
The first step in cleaning stainless steel is to clean the surface with water to get rid of any dirt, grime or food from it. Mild soap and water could be used to clean if you wish. The reason for this is partly to not have any residue on the surface that could be rubbed into the stainless steel while applying the baking soda cleaning process. That has the potential to possibly secondarily scratch the surface.
Baking soda under that circumstance could be blamed for scratches, when it was the lack of cleaning the surface beforehand that caused it when pressure was applied.
There are two ways of taking the next step, with some preferring to sprinkle baking soda over the wet area just cleaned with water, or soap and water, or choose to apply warm vinegar by spraying it on the item until it’s damp. Then it’s left to sit for a few minutes. If there are larger or tougher spots to clean, it could be wet more and then left a little longer to give it time to work.
After that, baking soda can be applied liberally to the areas being focused on, and then taking a sponge that includes vinegar and baking soda, the area can be cleaned to satisfaction.
As mentioned earlier in a different use, the combination of vinegar and baking soda together produces a foam-like chemical reaction that is harmless but effective in dissolving the grime or dirt. The foaming itself isn’t harmful to the skin.
After scrubbing the area, rinse it off with warm water and your job is done.
As always, if the dirt is extra tough to remove, repeat the process.
Once its clean, add some mineral to the stainless steel surface to help bring out the shine once again.
35. Baking soda and acne
There are a couple of ways baking soda helps to reduce pimples and acne, and we’ll look at those before we get into the remedies themselves.
One thing little known about baking soda is its amphoteric quality allows to act as a base or an acid. What that means is it works to neutralize pH balances, including those on the skin, which is the main source of acne.
When using baking soda on the skin, it also dries it out, which eliminates a lot of the extra oil that produces blackheads, which is a catalyst for breakouts. The anti-inflammatory property of baking soda also aids in the reduction of the size of pimples.
There are four basic ways to use baking soda to manage acne. One is to make a paste and apply it to specific areas the acne is located. A mask can also be made of baking soda, water and lemon juice, which can be applied and left on for up to 15 minutes before being washed off.
Skin can be exfoliated using baking soda and water. When finished, rinse your face. Finally, for acne on larger parts of your body, you can make a baking soda bath and stay in the water for about 20 minutes or so.
For the spot treatment, use two parts baking soda and two parts water to make a paste that can be applied directly to specific areas. First wash the area and then apply the baking soda paste to the pimples.
Once in place, allow the paste to sit for about 15 minutes, and then rinse off. Some people trying to accelerate the process leave the paste on through the night; but that can make the skin very dry, and probably shouldn’t be done in that way.
After rinsing your face or other areas, moisturize them.
For the face mask, use two tablespoons of baking soda to two tablespoons of water. That’s just a general guideline. If you need more, don’t hesitate to customize it to your specific requirements. Also, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the mix.
Once your face has been cleaned and dried, after that apply a light layer of the paste to your entire face. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. With a face mask, always moisturize afterwards.
For an exfoliant, use the same amount to make the paste as mentioned above, including the lemon juice. The citrus in the lemon juice, because of the acid, also helps to dry the skin out and remove a lot of the oil, which will work to dry out the pimples.
After lightly dampening your face with warm water, apply the paste to your skin. Softly massage it in using circular motions. Don’t try to scrub too hard, as it won’t help the process.
Again, use warm water and a washcloth to wash your face when done. Finish off with a moisturizer.
For the bath soak, put about a half cup of baking soda into the water. Only use warm water, don’t add anything else to the water during the treatment. Use your hands to stir it in. Remain in the tub for about 20 minutes, being sure the area with acne on your body is covered with the treated water. When finished, take a shower to quickly rinse of the residue.
This will help to reduce or eliminate acne breakouts and the amount of blackheads on the areas you’re prone to get them.
This is an excellent way to manage acne and pimples, but the treatment shouldn’t be done every day because it can upset the pH balance of your skin because baking soda is alkaline.
Also be aware if you have really oily skin, the treatment will need to be done more often. If your skin is only slightly oily, it should be done only 2 to 3 times a week. Balancing of the pH is what you want, but you don’t want to overdo it.
36. Deodorizing and cleaning cutting boards
Whether you use a wooden or plastic cutting board, or possibly both for the slicing up of food, baking soda is a great way to deep clean them to remove traces of stain and residue that sometimes embed themselves in these types of objects.
For best results I would use a combination of baking soda and salt, mixing it together in hot water. Use two parts baking soda, one part salt, and three parts hot water to create the cleaning solution or paste. Using a tablespoon as the measure works for almost all individual cutting boards. If you’re cleaning more than one at a time, it may take a little more solution to clean them.
Just apply the paste to the cutting board and scrub it clean. Rinse and wipe afterwards.
Some people choose to just sprinkle some baking soda on the cutting boards and scrub it. Under that scenario, simply dip a sponge or scrubbing brush in warm water and clean the board.
To further enhance the baking soda and salt, a lemon can be used to do an even better job. The acid in the lemon is the reason for using it give the salt and baking soda a boost. Those choosing this method do so because of hard to remove stains.
37. Cleaning brushes and combs
While there are a lot of good things baking soda can do directly with the hair, one thing many people don’t consider is the brushes or combs they use to manage their hair, which can fill up with oil over time. What you take away with hair management products can be reintroduced if you don’t keep brushes and combs clean of oil.
Before thinking of cleaning the oil off, the first step needs to be the removal of all hair from the brush or comb. For most people this isn’t a big deal, but if you have problems from arthritis and can’t pull hard enough, just take a pair of scissors, open them up, and pull the blade through the bristles; that has proven to remove the hair with little effort.
Take a container or basin that you can place a brush or comb in that will allow them to be fully submerged, adding about a teaspoon of baking soda to warm water. Put the brush or comb in and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove the brush or comb and rinse it off. All the oily build-up should be gone.
38. Use baking soda to hand wash dishes, pots and pans
Two things to consider when thinking in terms of hand cleaning dishes, pots and pans, is it can be done as a standalone job, or it can be a way of easily prepping for cleaning them in the dishwasher. Either way, it is great to making dish washing easier and more effective.
If your main purpose is to get the dishes done quickly by washing them by hand, all that needs to be done is liberally add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your dish water, using it in conjunction with your regular dish washing detergent.
This cleans them better by helping to cut the grease and foods left on the dishes.
For more stubborn foods that have been cooked or baked on, soak them in baking soda before scrubbing them. After being soaked, then take some dry baking soda and put it on a damp cloth or sponge and use it as you would a scouring powder.
If a meal was cooked that resulted in extremely coated pans, add water and about a quarter cup of baking soda, then heat them up to a boil and let them soak afterwards for about an hour. Using a spatula or similar utensil, you should be able to easily scrape it off. Complete the washing process as you usually would.
39. Deodorize and clean your garbage disposal
Deodorizing and cleaning a garbage disposal are two different things, as one only deals with the odor issue, while a deeper clean has to do with removal of that which is causing the odor.
In regard to eliminating odor, all that’s needed is to slowly pour baking soda down your drain while running hot water at the same time. This not only helps remove the odor, but also can be used as a light cleaning for the garbage disposal. This should be considered a daily practice that will have to be performed every couple of weeks because of inevitable build-up.
Most of the odor comes from the splash guard because of build-up underneath it.
For the short term it’s a great way to enjoy an odorless garbage disposal, and to extend the time between deeper cleanings.
For a deeper cleaning, take these steps.
The first thing to do is make sure any food in the garbage disposal is flushed away. After that, run some ice cubes through the disposal in order to loosen up any food that may be stuck to the blades. It has the added benefit of sharpening the blades as well.
Next, take about a half cup of baking soda and pour it into the garbage disposal. Chase that with about a cup of vinegar, slowly pouring it in. As those who use this combination for other tasks know, it will result in some bubbling up as the baking soda and vinegar mix. You probably should cover up the disposal and the sink next to it, assuming that’s how your kitchen is set up. Now just let it work for about 10 minutes.
While that’s going on, boil a pot of water. When the water starts to boil, take the covers off the garbage disposal and sink. Then cautiously pour the boiling water into the disposal, while turning it on. That will help remove any other debris that has been loosened from the process.
Something some people don’t think of is the black rubber cover or splash guard on the disposal. This, probably more than anything else, is the source of odors. If you can remove it, do so, and then take an old toothbrush or something similar and scrub away the underneath part of the splash guard.
In case the splash guard isn’t able to be removed, just lift up each individual flap and scrub underneath them. This should remove all odors when accompanied by consistent, light cleanings.
For a natural way of making the kitchen smell nice, run some type of fruit peels through the garbage disposal to release the fragrance into the room. For an alternative, scented oils could be used. Just drip some in and let it sit for several hours before rinsing.
40. Baking soda as a deodorant and anti-sweating treatment
Since sweating and body odor are interrelated, if the sweating is taken care of, the problem of odor will be removed as well. The alkaline, absorption and neutralizing properties of baking soda are what help deliver good results.
This is because sweat includes acid, and baking soda helps offset the acid because of its alkalinity.
One problem for men is this treatment works best for bare and shaven armpits. I believe applying more could work for men, but I haven’t specifically tried that, so someone with experience would have to confirm the validity of that one way or the other. It won’t hurt for men to try it, but it probably won’t do as well as it will for women.
Mix baking soda and water together to make a thick paste. Equal parts of each will work good. Add essential oils of your choice for fragrance. It doesn’t take more than a few drops. Even if the paste evaporates after time, the lingering fragrance coming from the essential oil should continue to provide solid odor protection.
This treatment should last for hours, and can be reapplied as needed. Later, it can be beneficial to add moisturizer to offset the dryness that comes with baking soda.
41. Get rid of chlorine in hair
Swimming is great exercise, but when doing it in a chlorinated pool, it can have a negative effect on the hair because of the chlorine. The result is for the hair to become frizzy and more fragile than usual, which increases the probability of significant breakage.
Baking soda is a great product to get rid of the damage caused by chlorine on the hair.
For most hair the best way to apply is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water, and put it in a water bottle. When done with swimming, shake the bottle to mix the solution, then spray it liberally on your hair.
Let is sit for about five minutes, and then wash your hair.
One caveat. If you use hair coloring, it is best not to use this as a chlorine remover because it could remove some of the coloring out of the hair.
42. Removing book odors
Getting rid of book odors is a very simple and easy action when using baking soda. About all you have to do is get a plastic bag, put baking soda and book in the bag, seal it, and let it sit for about a month.
About the only thing to consider carefully is how to apply the baking soda. Some suggest just sprinkling it around and putting the book or books in the bag. But I’m not sure direct contact is necessarily good for the books.
A better way to me would be to put baking soda in an open container or bowl and let it sit there in the midst of the books.
Since I have a huge library it would take a lot of work to completely take care of the odor issue, but for those with a smaller number of books, or who acquire a few old books at a sale of some sort, removing the odor is a very desirable and doable thing.
43. Baking soda great for cleaning cars
Most parts of a car respond great to a good cleaning using baking soda. I’m not going to go into each individual part, as most use the same technique or two for maximum response.
Under most circumstances, car parts like tires, floor mats, windows, chrome, lights and vinyl seats, are easily cleaned with a modest one quarter cup of baking soda mixed in a quart of warm water.
Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean off the specific items being cleaned, and rinse them off afterwards. It doesn’t take much more than that. Obviously, this is great for a quick touch up of the interior and exterior of the car at one time.
Things that will be able to be cleaned and removed include grime, bugs, tar, sap, and other similar things that dirty the vehicle.
If you do encounter some tough stains or baked in dirt or things from nature, wet a sponge or soft brush and apply the baking soda to either of them and clean more directly that way. Again, rinse off afterwards.
44. Cleaning car battery with baking soda
Although it seems like common sense, a lot of people are unfamiliar with cars and other vehicles, so when I say they should be sure the vehicle is shut off before working with a battery, it actually needs to be mentioned.
Also, when checking the battery, examine it to see if there are any cracks in it with acid leaking from them. If there are, the problem isn’t one baking soda can solve, you’ll need to get a new battery.
Assuming all that is okay, the next thing to do is look for any light colored deposits around the battery posts or terminals. If there are any, it’s fairly simple to neutralize that corrosion with baking soda.
To prepare to neutralize the corrosion, prepare a baking soda paste to apply to the area around the terminals or posts. Use about six liberal tablespoons of baking soda to about four cups of water.
Next, disconnect the car battery. To do this, locate the negative clamp and remove that first (marked “-“) and next the positive one. When doing so, be sure no metal tools being used make contact with the frame of the vehicle.
Use an old toothbrush or rag to rub the paste in the corroded areas. You will start to see some bubbles form. Don’t be concerned, that’s what happens when it interacts with the deposits. Now scrape off the deposits and after using water to clean off the baking soda deposits, wipe the area dry, apply some Vaseline to the posts or terminals, and put the clamps back on, reversing the order. This time start with the positive clamp first, and follow up next with the negative clamp.
Cover up the battery and you’re ready to go!
45. Cleaning a top load washing machine with baking soda
If cleaning a washing machine sounds like an oxymoron, bear with me, as there are a number of reasons to do so, even if it isn’t readily apparent or visible.
Probably the major practical reason is that a washing machine that has odor, will ultimately transfer that odor to the clothes you’re cleaning. Since many of us grow accustomed to a sometimes musty smell in our washing areas, it takes some focused use of our nose to identify if that’s the case.
Another thing to consider it if you live in a humid climate. Under those conditions, continuous moisture in the air results in washers failing to get completely dry between loads. That can produce odor and mildew.
Hard water is also known to cause lime buildup in the parts of a washer and connected pipes, which will make things run slower until the lime is gotten rid of.
Not as obvious is the splashing up of dirt and detergent onto the agitator or wash bin above the water line.
Finally, the design of the washer itself, if inferior, can result in some parts of the washer holding water, which also brings about mold, mildew, and pungent odors.
The good news is using baking soda and white vinegar, it’s not difficult to manage the mold, mildew and odor coming from your top load washing machine.
As for the cleaning process, set the washer to run at its largest load setting, and be sure to set it on hot water. The cleaning is to be done with baking soda and white vinegar alone; don’t include detergent or clothes, or anything else to be cleaned in the washer.
Now add about three to four cups of white vinegar in the water and let the washer agitate for about a minute to work in the vinegar.
Next, take about one half cup baking soda and add it to the water. Let the machine work this in for a little while as well. Now stop your washer and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
If you want to do an exterior cleaning, this would be a good time to clean down the outside of the washer with either baking soda or vinegar water. Include the dispensers in your cleaning, and not only the body of the washer.
After sitting for awhile, resume the washing cycle until water starts to drain. For certain types of washers you’ll have to start another wash cycle to complete the process. If you have a washer that drains the tub while it spins, you can just do that without initiating another cycle. This helps to clean out everything that has been loosened up.
After this is complete, you can focus on the top of the wash bin to wipe off what has accumulated there. At this point is should be very easy to clean.
A washing machine should do well if it’s cleaned about three times a year using this method.
I want to remind you we’re talking about a top load washer here, not a front load washer.
46. Cleaning front load washing machine with baking soda
It’s not too difficult to clean a front end load washing machine with baking soda, as they will include a cleaning setting that allows for easy dispersal of baking soda and vinegar, which together, do a great job.
One thing a lot of front end washing machine owners don’t consider or know about, is there is a rubber-like gasket near the front of the machine that is known to grow a significant amount of mildew if not cleaned. It can also catch a lot of hair and have a lot of build-up if it’s allowed to go on for awhile.
Baking soda is a good product to use because it’s more abrasive than vinegar. A good practice is to apply baking soda to a soft cleaning rag and then spray vinegar into the folds of the gasket. After that wipe it clean.
Unless you let the gasket go without cleaning it for some time, you should never have mold and mildew problems. If you wait for awhile and mold and mildew are there, then apply peroxide to kill the mold. Assuming you have no peroxide, you could give it a quick fix by vigorously scrubbing it with an old toothbrush for quick removal.
When you can, get some peroxide and use it to go over the section that had the mold and mildew once again, to be sure you got it all.
That’s the harder part of cleaning the washer. The easy part comes next.
For the major cleaning, sprinkle about a third cup of baking soda into the drum of the front load washing machine, and then pour a couple of cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.
From there turn on the cleaning cycle, which is most cases lasts from 60 to 90 minutes.
To prevent odor on a daily basis, it’s important to keep the door of front load washing machine open. Front load washing machines become odorous quicker than top load machines.
47. Smooth your nails with baking soda
There are a few things that need to be done to ensure great looking nails. One of them is you have to have a smooth base to work from,. If you don’t start from a solid base, the rest won’t look near as good as it could.
Using three parts baking soda to one part water, mix together a paste and gently scrub your nails with it. Buff them out and exfoliate them for a great foundation to work from when getting a manicure that is easy to achieve the desired results.
Rub your nails fingers in a circular motion to get the smoothing effect on your nails. Next time you get a manicure, you won’t have to wonder why it didn’t seem as smooth as it should be.
Using the same application you can also remove stains from your nails, although some people choose to add peroxide to the mix.
Remember to rinse after you’ve completed the job.
48. Getting stains off of hands
Any of us that have been in work situations, or maybe even picking some juicy berries that leave stains on our fingers that are difficult to quickly remove, can enter panic mode if there is something we have to quickly do to prepare us for an unexpected social situation that makes it difficult to retain confidence if we have stains on our hands or fingers.
One very good way to quickly reverse the situation is to take some baking soda and add it to liquid castile soap. Scrub your hands and fingers and it should do the trick. It could take a couple of times to get the harder stains off.
If it’s really stubborn and you aren’t in a big hurry, you could mix some baking soda in water and let your hands soak in it. You could add vinegar to get out really tough stains.
49. Baking soda and laundry detergent
There are two major benefits from adding baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent. The first is it does really make your whites whiter and your colors pop. Also, because it acts as a softening agent, it means you don’t have to use as much detergent as you would without baking soda.
For better whites and stronger colors, add one half cup of baking soda to the laundry to help your detergent perform better. The reason it does this is it changes the pH balance, which in turn makes the clothes much whiter, brighter and colorful.
If you use bleach in the wash, it also boost its potency, allowing you to only use about half as much as you normally would. That means a better wash using less chemicals that is more cost effective.
In regard to bleach, top load washing machines need about one half cup to improve the impact of bleach, while front load machines need about on a quarter cup of baking soda added for superior results.
50. Cleaning bath tub
When your bath tub ends up with some stains or heavy dirt, baking soda is an excellent solution to get rid of the grime. For extra tough jobs, some people add course salt and liquid hand soap to the baking soda.
Others will apply baking soda to the tub on a damp surface and then spray some vinegar made in a one part vinegar, one part water solution.
Put the baking soda in and then add water. Mix together in the tub until it takes on a paste form, and them spread it across the area you're cleaning. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then scrub it off.
The same steps can be taken with the vinegar, with the exception of spraying the vinegar on the baking soda and then creating the paste. After letting them interact with one another and bubble for a few minutes, scrub it in, and then let it set for about 15 minutes. Wipe off and rinse.
For hard water stains you may have to use paper towels to dip in the white vinegar at full strength and lay them directly on the stains for at least an hour. Afterwards, scrub with baking soda and vinegar paste, then rinse.
51. Using baking soda to polish silverware
I used to work at Oneida, so I know there’s a difference between what we normally call silverware and flatware. Today, what silverware really means when we think of it is flatware that is made of any type of metal or material. So when I talk about silverware here, I mean silver flatware. I want to be clear that it’s real silver we’re talking about cleaning, not flatware in general.
Some cleaning methods remove silver along with the tarnish. Here’s how to clean silverware without taking away the luster and value of the silver.
The way to do it is to use aluminum foil with the baking soda and water. The aluminum foil essentially reverses the tarnish, helping to protect and retain the silver in the silver flatware.
How you do it is place the aluminum foil in the mixture, making sure it’s fully submerged. When the silver of the flatware touches the baking soda and aluminum, it moves the tarnish to the aluminum foil. None of the silver is lost doing it this way.
You can easily remove tarnish with three parts baking soda to one part water, but each time you do the cleaning you remove some of the silver along with the tarnish. Even so, if you prefer to clean that way, use a soft cloth or sponge and rub the tarnish off, then rinse. You can do this with your silver-plated pieces as well.
52. Polishing silver the safe, natural way
If you want to make a total cleaning of all your tarnished silver, you can use the aluminum foil method.
The best way to do it is to take your glass baking pan and line it with aluminum foil. For the purpose of keeping anything from spilling, put the baking pan in the sink is a good idea.
Next, take all the silver you want to clean and lay it on top of the aluminum foil in the pan. The key to successfully cleaning the silver is that every piece must be in contact with the aluminum foil. If it’s not, it won’t work in the way you wish. The purpose is to clean the tarnish off without losing any silver.
Also, if your silver includes other elements like gems, precious stones, or other decorative items, be sure to check out if they could be damaged by the treatment. This method being shared is specifically for items that include silver alone.
If you only have a small amount of silver and use a smaller glass pan, boil four cups of water and add it to the pan. Be sure to boil more than four cups for evaporation reasons. After adding the water, pour in a quarter cup baking soda.
For larger jobs you can increase the size of the recipe. The key to success is to be sure all the silver is touching the aluminum foil and is fully covered by the water.
Don’t be concerned when the mixture in the pan starts to bubble or foam, this is what should happen.
It won’t be long before the tarnish starts to leave your silver objects. What it does is stick to the aluminum foil, which is why all the silver items must be in contact with it.
For silver that doesn’t have a lot of tarnish, it will probably take five minutes or less to complete the job. Silver with a lot of tarnish could require several treatments before being fully clean.
After the tarnish is gone from the silver, take the silver out of the pan and rinse it with clean water, and then dry it with a soft cloth.
53. Removing crayon and pencil marks or smudges
For those with little child artists in the home or visiting your home, there will inevitably be a time when they try do some original artwork on your walls or possibly furniture.
There’s no need to panic. Baking soda does a great job of cleaning up the early stage art work of your children or grandchildren.
All that needs to be done is dampen a rag or sponge and dip it in baking soda, then lightly scrub away the crayon, pencil marks or pencil smudges. It shouldn’t take a lot of work to successfully remove the marks.
As always, clean the area just scrubbed with clear water.
This is easier to do with non-flat paints, as the sheen makes it easier to work with. I personally have never tried it on flat paint, but would assume you have to be a little less aggressive so you don’t remove the paint in any way.
54. Treating tooth pain with baking soda
Recently I started to experience some tooth pain, and with nothing to lose because I assumed I’d have to go to the dentist and get some work done, I applied some baking soda to it.
What I did was dip a cotton-tipped swab into the baking soda after wetting it, and placed it on the area that hurt.
It didn’t take too long before the pain went away. The next day it came back, and being persistent, I applied it again, thinking it may take more than one treatment to make it go away permanently. I knew if it took more than that it would be only a temporary fix and would have to make a dental appointment.
Fortunately for me, after doing this once each day for two days in a row, I didn’t have any more pain. It is highly probable it was something inflamed in the tooth and the anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda got rid of it altogether.
55. Cleaning shower curtains with baking soda
As usual, there is more than one way to clean something with baking soda, in the case of shower curtains, I’ll share two of the most common.
The first way is to take a damp sponge and put some baking soda on it. You can use a brush if you prefer, rather than a sponge. Next, scrub the curtain and rinse afterwards. Put it back in place and let it dry, or hang it up somewhere else before doing so.
Another method that is less physical is to take the shower curtain and place in in your washing machine with a few towels. Add some baking soda to your regular detergent when engaging the wash cycle. For a more thorough cleaning, add a half cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. Let it dry naturally while hanging.
The reason for the towels is to help increase the agitation in the machine in order to rid the shower curtain of mildew.
Before the spin cycle you can check to make sure it’s being cleaned to your satisfaction. If there is an abundance of mildew, you can increase the amount of vinegar during the rinse cycle to a cup.
After the process, let it hang and dry. You shouldn’t try to do this in the dryer.
56. Getting rid of acne scars
As most of us know, acne is a skin condition that normally exposes itself on the face, back or chest. Most concerns center around the face, although in warmer months it can be more of an issue for us on the chest or back if we are out and about in a swimming suit or light clothes.
Cysts, blackheads or pimples will form if the pores of our skin get clogged with dead skin. When these are drained or picked, the result can be some scar tissue remaining, which can interfere with our social life by loss of confidence, along with some embarrassment if it’s very obvious.
The good news that a lot of people don’t know is, you don’t have to endure scarring in most cases if you apply some baking soda to the areas after drainage. And if there is some scarring tissue, baking soda can quickly help with that as well.
Application of baking soda to the skin exfoliates or removes dry skin, helping to open up new and fresh skin that is free of scars.
You shouldn’t need much paste unless you have a severe breakout. Either way, make a paste using one part baking soda to two parts water. You want it thick enough so it doesn’t run down the area where it is applied. If it’s a little runny, just keep adding baking soda until it produces a thicker consistency.
I have found it best to get in front of a mirror to get a good view of the scars. Next, take the paste and cover any areas where the scars or or where you want to prevent more acne from forming. Let it sit for two to three minutes before washing off and drying.
For best results do this a couple of times a day until the scars are gone or not obvious.
57. Best practices for using baking soda on the skin
As with all human beings, one size doesn’t fit all, even with a terrific, safe product like baking soda. For that reason, when using it on our skin, it’s important to do a patch test on our skin so see if it has any sensitivity to it.
Even if we aren’t sensitive to baking soda, we do have to be careful not to overdo it with a good thing. After all, too much of anything can be bad if consumed in to large of a dose. In the case of skin, too much can in some cases do more harm than good.
After a patch test, if there are any negative effects, you shouldn’t use it any more until you find out why your skin is reacting negatively to baking soda.
Usually skin will experience some pain, itchiness or tingling if it doesn’t like baking soda on it. Skin can also get drier and irritable in response to baking soda exposure.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use baking soda in many cases, only that there may be some temporary conditions like sunburn that could be agitated by applying baking soda to it. You may still be able to use it in the case of sunburn, but be sure not to vigorously scrub it on the skin.
In most things you’re going on the skin with baking soda, the best practice is to massage it in gently, rather than applying strong pressure.
Also check out your skin for small cuts or sores to be sure it doesn’t irritate the skin there. The alkalinity of baking soda is likely to produce a stinging sensation.
If using baking soda on the skin before going out into the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen on it afterwards because the skin can become more sensitive after baking soda is rubbed on it.
Whatever you’re doing, if you happen to get baking soda in your eyes, quickly splash on some cold water to remove it right away.
Because skin around the eyes is so sensitive and thin, you should leave some space to protect against exposing it to baking soda.
58. Cleaning stove tops
Earlier we talked about cleaning the interior of an oven. In this portion we’ll look at cleaning the top of the oven; especially when we neglect it some and some baked-on, hard-to-get-off gunk builds up. There are three ways I know of to do the job.
One is to make up a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stove top, using a damp cloth or sponge. When finished applying, let it sit for about half an hour. Afterwards, scrub the area, rinse it, and wipe it dry.
Keep in mind with baking soda it can leave a residue after cleaning, which is why I continually remind everyone to dry after rinsing it off in all the things you clean with it.
Another method is to sprinkle dry baking soda over the stove and the spray it with vinegar. Allow this to sit for up to 30 minutes, then scrub. Use a sponge recommended for cleaning the top of stoves.
Finally, mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Similar to water, do it until it reaches a paste consistency. Scrub and rinse.
Wear gloves when cleaning if you have sensitive skin.
59. Plastic iced tea pitcher
If you use a plastic pitcher for your iced tea, there will inevitably be some stains you have to deal with. Using baking soda, it’s not hard to restore it to a very clean condition.
To remove the stains, fill up the pitcher with hot water almost to the top. Add about a quarter cup of baking soda to the water and stir it in. Then let the pitcher sit for about an hour.
When the hour is up, pour the water out and wash and rinse the pitcher as you normally would. The stains will be gone and any stale taste that may have come with them.
60. Getting rid of tough stains in plastic containers
We all know what it’s like for food or drink to be absorbed by a plastic container, leaving it very difficult to clean by conventional methods. Baking soda can be used to get rid of the toughest stains with little effort.
The most efficient way I’ve found in getting rid of those difficult stains in plastic containers is to mix equal parts baking soda and table salt together, and then dampen a sponge, dip it in the mixture, and scrub out the stains.
At times stains can be tough enough to need a second scrubbing. Just let the container sit for an hour or two with the mixture sitting on the surface of it. Use your nylon sponge to scrub again. All stains and odor should be able to be removed.
61. Remove stains from plastic glasses
Whatever type of stains you may have in your plastic glasses, you can extend the life and improve the desirability of drinking out of them using this simple method to clean them. Even with tough cola or coffee stains you won’t have to throw them away and buy new ones.
Just fill your sink with water and add a small box of baking soda to it. Put the glasses in the water, fully submerged, and let them soak while you sleep for the night.
Get up and clean and rinse off, and they should be good as new.
62. Cleaning soup and juice stains out of plastic containers
All of us like to make extra soup or stews for more than one meal, or place a large amount of juice in big plastic containers for use throughout the day. This can produce a lot of residue which isn’t easy to clean off.
The best way to deal with this is to first clean away the residue of the juice, soup or stew, and afterwards, put about a tablespoon of baking soda in the container. Next, pour white vinegar over the baking soda. Don’t be alarmed when it starts to bubble up when mixed together. That’s normal.
Now take a nylon sponge, or something similar to it, and spread the mixture all over the interior of the container. Scrub it out and rinse it.
63. Hard water deposits on plastic
If you are washing dishes by hand, or even if you take them out of the dishwasher and find hard water deposits, there’s no need to fret, as a easy and quick solution is available using baking soda.
Fill a small, open container or tub that will be larger enough for your plastic to be put into, and fill it with hot water and a quarter cup of baking soda. After normal cleaning of the plastic, dip them in the solution, rinse and wipe, and your problem hard water stain problem will be solved.
64. How to clean cloth diapers using baking soda
Here are some tips on cleaning cloth diapers with baking soda.
When cleaning cloth diapers, some people prefer to do it as a pre-treatment for a regular wash. With that in mind, you can take a dry pail and dissolve one half cup of baking soda in two quarts of water. Let the diapers soak completely.
One warning with this treatment or any other when it comes to cleaning cloth diapers with baking soda is, you don’t want to use it if your diapers are made of bamboo rayon. In that case the properties of baking soda break down the fibers and you can be left with nothing more than mush afterwards. Don’t ever use baking soda with diapers made from bamboo rayon, it’ll totally ruin them.
As for washing the other cloth diaper types, using baking soda and vinegar is a great combination.
First, do a cold rinse with the normal amount of detergent you always use. Add one half cup baking soda and a Downy ball that is completely filled with distilled white vinegar. Next start the hot cycle of your washer.
Once the diapers have agitated, but while the hot water is still there, stop the cycle. Depending on your washer type, this can be as easy as lifting or opening the lid. Then let the diapers soak till morning.
When you get back to them, close the lid and let the cycle complete.
65. Cleaning baby clothes with baking soda
For parents looking for an inexpensive and natural way to clean the clothes of their babies, they need look no further than baking soda. It cleans away dirt and grime while getting rid of the inevitable stains all baby clothes get.
Baking soda will also brighten colors and enhance white to provide your children with great looking clothing … at least for a little while. You know what I mean.
Clean clothes that look good for little cost; you can’t do much better than that for your baby and family budget.
To clean baby clothes add a cup of baking soda to a cup of warm water and mix until it dissolves. Then pour the baking soda mix into your washing machine. For those with a front end load washing machine, put the solution into the soap dispenser you would put the detergent.
Now run through a wash and rinse cycle and dry the baby clothes as you normally would.
If you have unusually tough stains you could add a half cup baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent and wash and rinse. You could also use a pre-wash stain remover if that’s part of how you usually get rid of tough stains or grime.
You may like to give baking soda by itself a try first. Under almost every circumstance it will clean to your satisfaction. Once you’re confident in the results, over time you’ll save a lot of money and enjoy the reduction of chemicals in your baby’s wash.
66. Baking soda and taking care of septic tanks
There is a little bit of controversy surrounding the use of baking soda in a septic tank, primarily I think because people that don’t know how to apply it correctly can overdo it and offset the benefits it has to the system, including leach fields.
Not only can too much be added at a time, but it can be added over too long of a period of time. The general consensus for those that use it is to add about 1 cup per week over a period of a month, and then quit for awhile. If you want to be on the safe side, do it every other week and monitor the results.
The key is you want to do it enough to help regulate the pH so waste is processed in the most effective way. Maintaining a healthy pH is the key to that happening. How it works is it helps to create an environment that allows bacteria colonies to expand to peak levels. That is what digests the contents of the septic tank.
If you add too much where the pH jumps to over the eight mark, it can actually do more harm than good. Under that scenario the bacteria won’t exist or digest at high levels. Consequently, the septic system won’t flow as it should.
As long as too much baking soda isn’t used, and not for a prolonged period of time, it should be a nice boost for your septic tanks and allow it to clean out and eliminate waste successfully through the leach field.
Last but not least, it will also help to manage the odor that a poorly operating septic system will emit.
67. Keep closets smelling fresh
We all know about the odor hanging clothes can leave in a closet that isn’t opened very often. Not only can the odor be eliminated by placement of baking soda in the closet, but it can be reduced in effect by occasionally give the closet a clean using baking soda on a damp cloth.
As for the odor itself, you can take a box of baking soda as you do in a refrigerator. Just open it up and leave it to do its work. If you have a large closet, it may do better to put baking soda on plates or in small containers around the area. You could of course use more than 1 baking soda box, but that may be more than you need to do the job.
If you want to not only eliminate the odor but add a nice fragrance to the closet, you could add a spice or oil of your choosing to the baking soda.
Also, if your closet has carpet on the floors, you can sprinkle some baking soda on that and let it sit overnight to manage the odor. Another tip is to leave the closet door open occasionally to let it air out.
68. Tenderizing meat with baking soda
When using baking soda to tenderize meat, which works very well, there are a few things to know to get great results.
One method is to use baking soda in its original form and cover the meat with it completely. Pat it into the surface of the meat when covering it. Since the meat only softens where the baking soda touches, it’s best to used smaller portions to ensure total success in covering it. Slicing it up in about one quarter inch sections will do the job.
After the meat is covered, put it in the refrigerator for several hours. Afterwards, rinse the baking soda off before cooking the meat.
Another method is to dissolve baking soda in water to tenderize it. Usually about 15 to 20 minutes is enough to achieve desired results. The good news is some have experienced forgetting the meat in the solution, and discovered it has no detrimental effect on it. On the other hand, not leaving it soaking long enough can result in the meat being tougher.
If you’re curious as to why this works, the baking soda and water boost the pH level of the meat, making it harder for proteins to bond on the surface. That is what keeps the meat moist and tender while cooking.
Since that process happens fairly quickly, it doesn’t hurt the meat once it kicks in. Again, the risk is more with not keeping it in the baking soda and water solution long enough.
69. Cleaning toothbrushes
To ensure we’re not spreading germs, it’s important to keep our toothbrushes clean.
You can do that with straight baking soda mixed in water, or do it by mixing white vinegar in the solution with it.
If cleaning toothbrushes with baking soda alone, it would be more effective to let it soak overnight in the solution for the best result. In the baking soda and vinegar mixed solution, it should clean quicker, and a half hour to hour should be enough to get it clean.
For a mix, you can include two tablespoons of baking soda alone, or the same amount with two tablespoons of white vinegar in a half cup of water.
70. Upset stomach and nausea
Baking soda is great for soothing upset stomachs and eliminating nausea. Among the reasons are its ability to neutralize acids in you digestive tract, provide relief for bloating and gas, helping to break down food better, and bring pH balance back to your body.
There are a lot of ways to use baking soda to manage nausea and upset stomachs, but all of them are based on adding one half to one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. If it’s a larger glass, it’s better to fill it up only to about half full for best results.
Just mix in the baking soda until it dissolves, and drink one like this every several hours as needed. If symptoms are severe, it can be applied in shorter intervals. A general rule of thumb is not to exceed about five teaspoons of baking soda a day. So making the solution a little smaller and more concentrated can make it last longer.
As for the other types of solutions, you can add things like vinegar, lemon, peppermint leaves, or apple cider vinegar. To get rid of the sour taste, you can also eat a slice of fruit after drinking it.
71. Deodorizing cars
There are many things that can happen in a car that make it difficult to keep it from developing strong odors. A lot of it is from normal usage and the keeping of windows shut. There can of course be a lot of different spilling accidents, and the usual leaving of food bags in the car that, over time, to say the least, don’t add to the fragrance of the car in the way we would prefer.
With babies or those having too much to drink it can also result in vomit or other strong smells that are difficult to remove. In those cases of localized stains or spill, it should be cleaned up and wiped down first, so the baking soda treatment can do its work.
After cleaning it up some, sprinkle the baking soda directly on the area and let it sit for several hours. Then vacuum it up.
For odors that build up from an enclosed car over time, you can sprinkle baking soda on the carpeting of the car or fabric car seats. Wait about 15 minutes if the odor is overwhelming. For stronger odors let the baking soda sit longer before vacuuming it up.
If you have cigarette smoke smell in the vehicle, or other smells that are part of your daily routine, they can be treated by placing a container filled with baking soda in the car. Keep a lid on it, but poke holes in the lid to allow the baking soda to do its work and to protect it from spilling out.
That can be left in the car for as long as it remains effective. Change it every 6 months, or as needed.
72. Protect garden with baking soda
There are a lot of uses for baking soda in the garden, with one of the more important being to protect it from rabbits and other pests that can quickly destroy it.
Not only does baking soda sprinkled around a garden protect it from pests like silver fish, roaches and ants, but as mentioned above, it keeps rabbits from decimating it completely, as I’ve experienced in the past.
It also works for slugs. But with slugs you have to get it directly on them to do the job.
The best way to apply baking soda in the garden is to use a flour sifter, or if you don’t have that readily available, use a large shaker.
One caution in regard to rabbits. If you have pet rabbits you don’t want to have them near the baking soda; it’s not good for them. This is why using baking soda in rabbit litters is discouraged.
73. Cleaning BBQ with baking soda
If your BBQ grill isn’t too dirty, the quickest way to clean it up is to apply some baking soda to a damp brush and scrub the grill, rinsing it afterwards. If there is a lot of grime caked onto the grill, you could make up a three parts baking soda to one part warm water solution, and scrub the grill with a wire brush.
If you want to go an easier route that takes a little longer (but won’t matter if you’re not in a hurry to get it cleaned) is to take some hefty garbage bags big enough to hold your grill grate, and place it inside the garbage bake in the outdoors.
Then mix some white vinegar and ammonia together, adding baking soda to it slowly into the bag. When that’s done, then close and seal the bag and give it a few shakes to ensure the grate gets covered with the solution. There’s no need to be concerned about the bubbling or foaming, as that’s the normal reaction from mixing vinegar and baking soda.
Now let the grate sit in the bag for a day – preferably in a sunny area, and then remove it and rinse it off. Most times you shouldn’t have to do any scrubbing.
All this takes is a little planning and communication concerning when the next time you’re going to barbecue is. Plan to clean a day or two ahead and you’ll be ready to go with no concerns about getting the grill and grate clean.
74. Reduce gas from beans
A not so well known benefit of baking soda is using it to reduce or eliminate gas as a consequence of eating beans.
Gas from beans is the result of the raffinose in the beans, which is a starch. It’s harder to digest, which can cause the gas associated with beans.
The good news is when soaking dried beans, adding baking soda to it before you cook it will help lower the content of raffinose in them, which in turn reduces the amount of gas it could trigger.
Generally, adding about 1/16 teaspoon of baking soda per quart will do the job.
75. Removing rust from cast iron pans
For the least amount of work cleaning rust from cast iron pans, cover the bottom of the pan with a liberal amount of baking soda, adding water to cover the bottom of the pan. Let is simmer for about 60 minutes.
Then turn off the heat and let it work while you sleep. In the morning you should have no trouble getting rid of the rust or any food that may be stuck to it.
A tip for a quicker clean if you need the cast iron pan right away, is to take a potato, cut it in half, and then dip it into some baking soda. Rub it hard into the rusted area. Once the potato end you’re rubbing with gets too wet, cut it off and dip the new end in the baking soda and continue on. Keep doing it till all the rust is gone.
In case you were curious, the reason the potato works is because it contains oxalic acid, which together with the baking soda, works to break down the rust.
76. Make flowers last longer in a vase
There are good and bad things associated with putting great looking cut flowers in a vase. The good thing is you get to enjoy the vibrant colors, and in some cases, depending on the type of flower, terrific fragrances from the flower filling the house. The bad is you don’t get to enjoy them for a very long period of time.
Many different ways have been tried to extend the appearance and longevity of cut flowers. One of the easiest ways is to add baking soda to the water in a flower vase. It won’t extend the appearance and fragrance for a long period of time, but it should add a couple more days to it.
If you have a lot of flowers to work with, this isn’t to be underappreciated, as over time they could add a number of days to your enjoyment over the seasonal life of specific flowers you grow and cut.
All that needs to be done is add about a teaspoon of baking soda to your vase water to get the benefit of extending the life of your cut flowers.
77. Clean sports clothing and gear
If you’ve ever hung around sports locker rooms, or have your own place to store clothing or gear used for sports, you know that musty odor that can quickly build up when storing sports clothing and gear.
For sporting bags, all you have to do to deodorize them is sprinkle some baking soda in them and let them sit. As with almost all areas that need odor management, baking soda will eliminate the problem.
For cleaning various pieces of sporting equipment, mix four tablespoons of baking soda to one quarter gallon of water to get rid of the musty smell. Clean, rinse and dry.
When needing to remove the odor from your sporting clothes or uniform, you can pre-soak your items in baking soda and water. Either use a pre-soak setting on your washing machine or soak them in a container if you prefer that.
However you choose to pre-soak, just wash them afterwards for desired result.
78. Deodorize shoes or sneakers
Interestingly, deodorizing your shoes or sneakers using baking soda requires a little bit more knowledge than sprinkling it in, as you can in many other situations. In the case of footwear, what the shoes or sneakers are made up determines the best way to use baking soda in them.
For example, sprinkling baking soda directly into cloth shoes and letting them sit overnight works great. It won’t hurt the shoe if the baking soda makes contact with them. Just be sure to shake out the baking soda in the morning before putting your feet in them. Vacuuming them with a narrow extension works even better.
The benefit of sprinkling baking soda in your footwear this way is it has a chance to touch all parts of the inside of your shoe, proving a more thorough result.
Where your shoes could get some damage to them if sprinkling baking soda straight into them is with suede or leather shoes. In those cases the shoes can become brittle from the baking soda. The best way to manage odor with leather and suede shoes is by using a sachet.
It’s really easy to make a sachet for you shoes. Just take a little cloth and put the baking soda in it, wrapping it up and tying it off with a string or something similar. Place it in the shoes and let the baking soda do its work while you’re sleeping.
Another simple way to make a sachet is to take a sock and fill the toe of it up and tie it. If you don’t have a little cloth hanging around, this is a good alternative.
79. Improve your skin tone
Some of us are dissatisfied with the condition of our skin, and whether they’re freckles we’re born with, scars from acne or dark spots from changing skin, we want options to do something about it.
Using baking soda with rose water and aloe vera gel is a great way to slowly change the tone of the skin and make you feel better about how you look.
While this doesn’t have to be exact, a good mixture of the three include up to three teaspoons of baking soda, up to a teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel, and about half a teaspoon of rose water. Mix them together until they form into a paste.
Once that’s ready, apply the paste to the area of the skin you want to treat. Let it sit for several minutes. After that, rub the paste into the area, using a circular motion for a couple of minutes.
When that is finished, use warm water to rinse of the residue of the paste, dry it off, and then apply some moisturizer. Do this once or twice a week for best results.
80. Get rid of crabgrass using baking soda
Some people think crabgrass is impossible to get rid of, but it has no chance against baking soda when it is applied correctly. There are a couple of differing opinions on how to best apply the baking soda on crabgrass.
One is to liberally pour baking soda on the crabgrass after wetting it. The other is to do the opposite. Wet the grass, and then apply only a little dusting of the crabgrass to kill it.
Which is right? The best thing to do is try it on a small area with a small dusting first. If it kills the crabgrass to your satisfaction, you have your answer. If it doesn’t do what you hoped, apply more until the grass is dead.
Some people are concerned about baking soda killing some of the surrounding grass, but unless it’s a lawn that is very controlled and consistent with a desired grass, I don’t see the problem. After removing the dead crabgrass with a shovel, you’ll have to put a plug or seed in to grow where the crabgrass had been. So if some of the grass around the crabgrass being treated dies too, it’s not a problem to easily and quickly replace it.
The reason for caution is baking soda, being sodium bicarbonate, will negatively interact with grass it touches. Another factor is if you put too much baking soda in a localized part of the soil it could damage it.
81. Weeds in cracks of sidewalks, driveways and patios
For those pesky weeds that always appear in the cracks of patios, driveways and sidewalks, baking soda is a good way to manage and eradicate them.
Some advocate for the liberal application of baking soda on weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks, patios and driveways, sweeping the baking soda not landing in the targeted area directly into the crack. This is one way to do it when the weeds are spread out and not located near plants or grass you don’t want to do any harm to.
This can usually do the job, although you may have to do another application in a month or a little longer if some of the stubborn weeds try to re-emerge. You could add some moisture or soap to use as an adhesive for the baking soda to stick to for more direct results. If some of the weeds or tall grass are mature or established, you could add salt and baking soda together to make it more effective.
This is why using baking soda for weeds growing in cracks is best applied in the spring when they’re growing the fastest. Younger plants are more susceptible to the treatment and more easily gotten rid of.
As mentioned earlier, the stubborn plants are usually more mature, which is why it takes longer when trying to get rid of weeds in cracks during summer months.
One very easy thing to do in the spring is wait for it to rain. After that’s over, go ahead and apply the baking soda to the weeds; it’ll stick much better. If rain isn’t cooperating, water the weeds with up to an inch of water and then add the baking soda.
Although baking soda doesn’t have a direct impact on the roots of weeds or unwanted grass, the continual application in one area will make it harder for them to grow. Over time you should be able to almost totally clear the weeds in the cracks.
Another tip is to apply baking soda early in the day while the plant pores are open. Higher temperatures, about 85 degrees and higher, will accelerate the results of the treatment.
82. Getting rid of odor in cat litter box
If you’re having odor problems from the cat litter box on a consistent basis, baking soda will help manage the problem.
The first step is to completely clean out the litter box when wanting to deal with the overall problem. Clean it thoroughly. Either allow it to dry naturally or wipe it with a towel afterwards.
Next, cover the bottom of the litter box or pan with baking soda. You can sprinkle on a thin layer. What I mean by covering the bottom is to be sure to spread it over the entire area. I don’t mean you should spread it on overly thick.
To add a little extra effectiveness to odor management in the cat litter box, you could sprinkle some on the top of the litter as well.
Some cat owners have expressed concerns over whether or not it could harm their cats because consumption could alter the pH of the cats, among other potential risks. Since there is only a thin layer on the bottom of the litter, and the top if you choose to go that route, that shouldn’t be a problem. A cat would have to eat a lot of baking soda to make it sick; about a full measuring cup. Even so, you do have to judge risk by the size of the cat.
If you have more than one cat than I would use the treatment based upon the smallest cat.
83. Deodorize picnic coolers, beverage coolers and ice chests
Baking soda is one of the best ways to manage odor in products that are closed for any period of time. In the case of picnic coolers, ice chests and other types of beverage coolers, it does a great job.
If you find your coolers having that musty odor that we’re familiar with, you can fill the container with warm water and add some baking soda to it. The amount added is determined by the size of the container.
After adding the baking soda, let is sit overnight and then rinse and dry it the next day.
As a preventative, you can sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the containers to keep them smelling fresh while you store them for prolonged periods of time. You could also put some baking soda in a small container or plate and let it manage the odor in the same you would a refrigerator.
84. Cleaning plastic and resin patio furniture
Earlier we talked about cleaning patio cushions. Now we’ll look at cleaning patio furniture made of plastic or resin.
One of the problems in cleaning this type of patio furniture is many of the products made to do so will scratch up the surface of the patio furniture because of the abrasiveness inherent in the product. It can scratch the surface of the furniture, or dull it up.
All that’s needed to clean this type of patio furniture is to wet a sponge and dip it into some baking soda and clean it off. It will dissolve and get rid of the dirt without damaging the surface.
85. Cleaning wood patio furniture
Cleaning wood patio furniture is a little different than cleaning resin or plastic patio furniture because of the obvious differences. In the case of wood patio furniture, combining several cleaning agents together to a better job.
To get rid of mildew that can invade wood patio furniture, mix up baking soda, white vinegar, ammonia, and water to create an effective solution that will clean the patio furniture up nicely.
Include a cup of ammonia, a half cup of white vinegar, a quarter cup of baking soda, and place it all in a gallon of water.
For those hard to get places keep an old toothbrush nearby to get the corners and cracks.
86. Freshening throw rugs or runners
For those that use runners or throw rugs as a means of managing carpet or floor wear, we know it doesn’t take long for them not only to get dirty, but to develop an unpleasant odor that has to be dealt with before it overwhelms the home. I’m referring to carpet runners or throw rugs here, not plastic or rubber runners that need to be cleaned a different way.
While it may seem counterproductive, the first thing to do is to vacuum your carpet runner before the final cleaning. That means vacuuming it before applying baking soda. The reason why is if you mix baking soda into the carpet runner before it’s vacuumed, you’re only mixing the dirt with the baking soda, which does nothing to help the problem.
So to clean the runner and deal with the odor, first vacuum the runner. After that apply the baking soda and let it sit for at least a couple hours; preferably longer. Since it’s a runner, the good news is you can take it off the area of the carpet you’re protecting and let it sit for a long enough time to remove the odor.
It’s not hard to find out if the job is done. Just go and check it out once in awhile to see if the baking soda has done its job of absorbing the odor.
When satisfied with the results, go ahead and vacuum one more time to remove the baking soda or any other dirt you may have missed. Put the runner back where it was any you’re ready to go.
87. De-skunk dogs with baking soda
It’s almost inevitable with dog owners that an emergency situation will eventually arise when your dog ends up with an encounter with a skunk, and ends up losing that battle with a smelly spray from the striped critter.
Since it’s highly unlikely the majority of people have the commercial means of dealing with the issue on hand, it’s certain we’ll have to clean the dog up before it manages to spread the smell everywhere, including on us.
The good news is most of us should have the ingredients available to get the dog cleaned before it becomes a major problem.
What needs to be done first is to make sure you don’t let the dog in the house. If you do, you know you’ve just made the problem a lot worse because everything the dog touches will have to treated.
If you have time to do so before the dog touches you, get a pair of gloves to work with. If you have a work type of plastic or rubber apron, put that on. Although you’re probably going to get some of the smell on you, it will at least minimize the effect of the skunk spray.
Before doing anything else, be sure to get a quick look at the eyes of the dog to see if they have been given a strong spray. If its eyes appear to be irritated and red, take some cool water and flush them out first. That will make the rest of the job easier to do.
Next, take a teaspoon of dish washing soap, a quarter cup of baking soda, and a quart of peroxide, and mix it together.
If you have none of at home, you can substitute vinegar mixed with water.
Do all of this as quickly as possible after you’ve found out the dog has been sprayed.
After preparing the solution and putting on your rubber gloves, start to wash the dog off, being sure not to get the solution in its eyes. After scrubbing the solution into the fur of the dog, rinse it completely off. In the case of peroxide, if you leave it on too long it can cause the fur to bleach.
Once that step is completed, get the pet shampoo and wash the dog, again, rinsing it off completely when done. At this time the dog should be smelling nice with no residue of the skunk spray left on it.
To rid yourself of any skunk smell passed on from the dog to you, clean your clothes with the usual laundry detergent, adding about a half cup of baking soda to it.
88. Cleaning and deodorizing stuffed animals
Stuffed animals, for many, go beyond just childhood play and rough treatment. Many times a favorite that endured our play is one we have saved and want to dig out for remembrance by putting in on display. Others we may buy for decorating in certain places in the home, or of course for our children or grandchildren to enjoy.
Whatever the reason, the constant physical attention given stuffed animals, or the storage of them when we’re done using them for the time being, can generate grime and stains, or end up with that musty smell stored items liked stuffed animals produce. If left alone and uncared for too long, the dust mites can lead to allergy symptoms in some people.
There are solutions for both dirty or smelly stuffed animals; baking soda deals with both of them.
For stuffed animals that have no stains but have been stored or have sat for along time, the best way to deodorize them is to place them in a pillow case of something similar to it, depending upon the size of your stuffed animals. Most of us have seen those big bears that are about two-thirds the size of an adult. They will require a larger type of bag or possibly sheet of some sort to wrap it in to do the job.
How much baking soda you place among the stuffed animals will depend on how many or how big they are. The bigger and more in numbers, the more baking soda will be needed. How will you know when enough is enough? Think of it in terms of a light dusting of snow on your car or other outside object. If all the stuffed animals are lightly covered, that’s enough.
If you’re only treating one or two stuffed toys, you can sprinkle a little on and manually spread it on the toy, covering as much of it as you can. Then close the pillow case or other object you’re using to treat the toy. If you had trouble touching it up completely, you could do some shaking once the pillow case is closed, to provide better coverage.
You do the same if you have several larger stuffed animals, or maybe a very large one. In those cases you can do some manual application, but it’s better to add more baking soda and shake it.
Once that part of the process is over, let the bag or pillow case sit for about a half hour. The oil in the fur will be absorbed by the baking soda. After a half hour, remove the stuffed animals and take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe them off.
With the dampening of the stuffed animal, it requires another step drying it off. The best way to do this is using a dryer. If the stuffed toy is not heat-dried, the dust mites can multiply and mold can grow.
Use a clean bag or pillow case for this. Be sure to wrap any of the parts of the stuffed animal in a towel, or something similar, that are in danger of being removed during the drying process, such as eyes and noses. Then tie up the bag with the animals to be dried in it, placing a dryer sheet inside.
Use low heat to dry the stuffed animals, checking it about every quarter of an hour or to be sure it isn’t shrinking in size. If they’re doing okay, do this for another 15 to 20 minutes. The reason for the heat is not only to dry the stuffed animal, but to kill the dust mites as well.
Now brush off the animal with a soft bristle brush to remove any remaining baking soda.
For stuffed animals that are extra dirty, it will require a little more manual work. There are also the stuffed toys that include electronics, that can’t be put in a washer or dryer, if that’s how you decide to clean and dry them. I haven’t recommended a washer because the agitation could do more harm than good to the toy. It also doesn’t include the absorption you get from baking soda in direct contact with the stuffed animals.
In the case of dirty stuffed animals, first try a direct sprinkling of baking soda on them. Rub it in and let them sit for an hour or so. Then lightly scrub into the fur and measure the results.
If that doesn’t work, apply more baking soda on one part of the toy to see if it’s removing the dirt or not. Repeat the same process as above, with the exception of using a damp cloth this time. Use a little more force, but not too much. Examine the fur to see if it’s getting cleaner in the area where the baking soda was applied.
The results will determine whether or not you need another application or not. Usually if the stuffed animals are very dirty, it may take several treatments like this to remove the dirt. Doing it in stages lets you know the progress and if you need to clean it another time.
Wipe the stuffed toy with a cloth when done, or use the dryer method describer earlier if there are no electronics involved.
89. Stinky kitchen sponges
Probably the thing that generates the worst odor in the quickest amount of time is the kitchen sponge. Fortunately, the solution to the smell pollution is any easy one. Not many steps here.
All that needs to be done with smelly sponges is to add some baking soda to warm water and let them sit overnight it it.
When you get back to them rinse them off with clean water and they should smell good and be ready for their next use.
90. Get rid of luggage odors
As I’m sure you’re starting to understand by now by reading a number of the solutions to odor in particular, any item that is closed up or stored away has the high probability of developing an odor to one degree or another. That’s true with luggage as well.
There’s nothing much worse than waiting till the last minute to pack and find out your luggage is emitting a strong odor, which will likely spread to whatever you place in it. Being in a hurry with that type of problem is no fun.
To get rid of luggage odor take about half a cup of baking soda and sprinkle it into the luggage. Shut the suitcase and shake it up to spread the powder everywhere. Let it sit for a day or two, or until it absorbs all the odors.
When satisfied with the results, remove the baking soda with a vacuum cleaner.
This of course does nothing to help an immediate problem. That’s why checking our luggage several days before using it is vital to an enjoyable trip.
If you’re taking an important trip involving professional business, you probably should borrow some luggage from a friend, as any attempt to quickly eliminate any odor will probably permeate your clothing if it only does a partial job because of lack of time.
91. Clean unpainted parts of car
Sometimes it takes a little creative thought to think of ways to use baking soda. One interesting one is to use it to clean some of the unpainted parts of cars, like bugs on windshields, headlights, and bumpers.
When your windshield wiper fluid isn’t enough to clean the bugs or bird poop on your windshield, mixing baking soda and water to create a paste is just what you need for this otherwise tough job. Splattered bugs on other areas of the car will respond to the paste as well.
If the splatter is really bad, you can add some dish soap to the solution to make it work harder for you.
Another interesting use for headlights is when the plastic starts to yellow and dims them. A little cleaning with the baking soda paste will brighten them up quite a bit. You’ll really see the difference after they’re cleaned.
92. Relief from itchy insect bites or stings
If you’ve ever had a bad time of numerous mosquito bites, chiggers, or maybe getting stung by a wasp or something else, you know how uncomfortable you can get from them. My worse experience by far of the three, is when walking through fields and getting hundreds of chiggers in my skin. The itching is almost unbearable.
To provide relief for these and similar encounters with insects, pour about one half cup of baking soda into a tub of warm water and soak in it for awhile. The relief comes fairly quickly.
93. Relief from poison ivy
Another thing we encounter in nature is itching from coming into contact with plants like poison ivy, which as anyone knows that’s experienced it, is not something they want to go through again.
Treatment for the itchy symptoms associated with poison ivy is the same as when we get itchy from insect bites. Pour about a half cup of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak until you get meaningful relief.
As a general rule of thumb, itchiness coming from similar types of encounters can be relieved in this way.
94. Quick soil pH test
Something a lot of people don’t know is they can quickly test the pH level of their soil to get a rapid feedback as to whether it’s pH level is above or below five.
This test is very easy. Wet the soil you’re going to test with water and take only a little bit of regular baking soda and sprinkle it on the area of the soil you put water on.
If the soil responds to the baking soda by starting to bubble, you know the pH level is below five.
This is primarily for use in a new area of the land you’re not sure about because it hasn’t been planted. It could also be used if you’re going to put some new plants, trees or flowers in a small area. Testing it can quickly tell you if you need to make it more alkaline or if it is good for what you’re going to plant.
The strength of the test is it can quickly eliminate areas that may not be conducive to your planting strategy.
95. Cooling off sunburn pain
Some people have suggested putting baking soda in warm water in a bath tub is a good treatment for sunburn, primarily because the alkaline properties of baking soda will provide a soothing response for the skin. Myself, I think I’ll go with cooler treatment options.
One way to do that is to make a cool compress, adding from two to three teaspoons of baking soda to a glass of cold water, mix it, and then soak a clean wash cloth or small towel in it.
Remove the wash cloth or towel from the glass, wring the excess water out of it, and place the cool wash cloth or towel directly on the area of your skin that had sunburn. Let it sit for about three to five minutes. You can do this a few times until you get the desired relief.
For those concerned this even may be too much for sunburned skin, a baking soda spray is another option. To make the spray, mix a quarter cup of baking soda with cool water, put it in a spray bottle, and shake it up. Spray the cool solution on the sunburned area.
96. Melting ice using baking soda
Baking soda has a lot of advantages when using it to melt ice, when taking into consideration the overall process.
Along with melting ice, baking soda can provide a layer of traction to provide some traction if it has to be walked on. Not only does it provide safety, it does so without ruining your shoes.
Another benefit to using baking soda as an alternative to things like rock salt, is it is able to melt ice on the driveway, sidewalks or other surfaces without damaging them in the process. It’s non-corrosive nature is what allows for it being less destructive to concrete or other surfaces.
All that needs to be done is to liberally spread the baking soda on the areas you’re going to walk on.
97. Cleaning copper with baking soda
Copper tends to lose its shine because of oxidation. Baking soda is a good way to bring that clean, shiny look back to copper.
For those wanting to use baking soda alone, make a thick paste of baking soda and water, rubbing it on the area that is to be cleaned. Allow that to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes, then clean the area with a soft scrub sponge.
If the copper doesn’t respond to your satisfaction, let the baking soda sit for the night and let it dissolve the residue. After scrubbing, polish it up with a cloth.
Another method that includes lemon juice and baking soda, is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda with about four tablespoons lemon juice. Scrub it until it cleans up. Rinse and polish it later with a clean cloth.
For the bottoms of copper pans or pots, sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of them. After that, pour vinegar over the area you just sprinkled baking soda on. Cut a lemon in half and use that in place of a scrub brush. Rinse it off and it’ll have a great shine.
98. Shine up your floors with baking soda
Baking soda works great as a means of shining up a dull floor, and works on granite, hardwood, linoleum tile, and other floor types. If you’re not certain about your type of floor having baking soda used on it, check your manufacturer. It works good with most floors, but there can be some different types of floors that may incur damage. I’m not aware of any, but with floors and unique products, it’s always possible.
As for cleaning floors to a shiny finish using baking soda, use about a half cup in a bucket of warm water, and just get to work mopping and finishing it up with a rinse.
Some people add vinegar and dish soap to the baking soda to enhance results and produce a nice, clean fragrance when completed.
99. Getting rid of dark circles under the eyes
Baking soda is known to be great for treating a number of skin conditions, including those undesirable and embarrassing dark bags under the eyes.
A simple way to treat dark circles under the eyes is to mix together baking soda and water to a runny paste; you don’t want it too thick. Next, apply it to the dark bag area and let it sit for approximately 5 minutes or a little longer. When dry, wipe it off with a soft cloth. You skin under the eyes will look much softer and fresh.
If you still have some darkened area, repeat the process.
Another way of doing it is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda with about a cup of chamomile tea. Take a piece of cotton and use it to apply to the area under your eyes. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes, rinse, and finish it off with a moisturizer.
Some dermatologists have suggested this could worsen the problem, but it has to be taken into consideration they lose business if the treatment works as good as a number of people trying it have asserted.
100. Use baking soda to manage dandruff
Dandruff comes about from the growth of fungi that produce the dandruff. Baking soda, with its various attributes, is a great way to combat the appearance of this unwanted condition. Sometimes we forget about this option until we’re in social situations that totally embarrass us when we discover it on our clothing.
Since baking soda is an exfoliant, it works to get rid of the dead skin cells in our scalp, as well as absorbing oil. Consistent use of baking soda will cause it to produce less and less oil.
Its akalinity balances the pH in our scalp, while also shrinking the amount of fungi. Fungi infection is treated from the antiseptic qualities in baking soda.
As for the time frame needed for baking soda to significantly reduce or eliminate dandruff flakes, it only takes several times for results to be obviously visible.
Preparing and applying baking soda to the scalp is really easy. Take two to three tablespoons of baking soda and add it to a cup of mildly warm water. Mix it together and then apply it to your scalp, gently massaging it in and letting it sit for a couple of minutes. Afterwards you can shampoo as you normally would.
There are a number of other ways to apply baking soda with other natural products, but since this is an article of 100 uses for baking soda, I’ll have to leave that for another time.
This is just a small sampling of what a person can do with baking soda; although most of the more common usages are included in the article.
With the serious user in mind, there are several different sizes and types of baking soda you can buy in larger sizes.
You can get a large 15 lb. container from Arm & Hammer, the more famous of all of the companies that sell baking soda. For those that want to use baking soda at smaller levels there are of course a variety of size options to choose from.
For convenience you can also get a soda shaker for those jobs that require a more controlled way of applying or using baking soda.
For those that want a complete eco-friendly option, you can get a 2 lb. bag that includes packaging that is also eco-friendly.
If storage is a major concern, getting a 1 gallon container that has ten lbs. of baking soda in it is another way to buy and use baking soda incrementally and over the long term.
It's definitely worth having baking soda and a comprehensive article like this on hand when you need to have quick answers to everyday problems you face.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.