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The Many Uses of the Amazing Baking Soda

Updated on January 13, 2011

Oh, the many wonderful uses of the amazing baking soda. Up until recently, I simply thought that baking soda was basically the same thing as baking powder, and mainly used for cooking. How sadly wrong I was! Baking soda has so many wonderful uses that can help keep your home clean and smelling fresh. From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to laundry, to personal care, and nearly everything in between, baking soda cleans and freshens everything in its wake! One of the best things about baking soda is that it is natural, pure, and safe. No harmful chemicals to worry about if you have small children or pets. I'm sure there are many more uses for baking soda than what I will list here, so feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!

In the Kitchen

Baking soda can be extremely helpful when you are cleaning in the kitchen. Of course, baking soda is used for cooking as well, and you can even use baking soda to make your own baking powder! Simply mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of cream of tarter and one teaspoon of cornstarch. Voila! You now have baking powder! Personally, I use baking soda more for cleaning than cooking, and it certainly works wonders! Some of the best places to use it while cleaning the kitchen include:

  • Any stainless steel, silver, or chrome: Baking soda mixed with water will shine up any streaks on any pots, pans, dishes, or silverware made out of those three materials.
  • Counter tops: Sprinkle baking powder onto a wet sponge and wipe down counter tops as you normally would. The baking soda will scrub off almost any dried on food or tough stains.
  • The kitchen sink: Basic same principle as cleaning your counter tops; scrub the sink and rinse thoroughly.
  • Dishwasher: Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher and run it through a cycle without soap. This gets the dishwasher sparkling clean, and can help it run more efficiently.
  • Garbage Disposal: While running hot water and the garbage disposal simultaneously, slowly dump a half cup of baking soda down as well. This will clean out any residue that may be left behind in the garbage disposal, as well as eliminate any unpleasant odors.


In the Bathroom

Baking soda can also help you when it comes to cleaning your bathroom. In fact, you can use it to clean nearly every inch of your entire bathroom! Here are some of the best ways I have found to use it:

  • Toilet: Dump a half cup of baking soda into your toilet and let it sit in there for about an hour. All you have to do is flush the toilet and the baking soda will have eliminated any odors and done some of the cleaning for you as well! Also, it is completely safe whether you have a sewage system or septic tank.
  • Tub: Sprinkle baking soda into your tub, let sit a couple of minutes, and scrub as usual. If you take very many baths, you can rest assured that you will be bathing in a clean tub without having to worry about any lingering harsh chemicals.
  • Shower: Sprinkle baking soda onto a wet sponge or brush and scrub away as normal. It will get rid of any soap scum on your shower walls!
  • Sink and counter top: Once again, sprinkle baking soda onto a wet sponge and scrub the sink and counter top. Be sure to rinse thoroughly! The baking soda can also shine up your faucet, making it look nearly brand new.
  • Drain: Dump a half cup of baking soda down the drain while you are running hot water down. This eliminates any of the musty odors that can become prominent in your bathroom, and it also helps to clear the drain.


For Personal Care

Because baking soda is natural, pure, and safe, it is a great option that you can use for some of your personal care needs. My favorite way to use baking soda is as an exfoliator for my face. Just wet your face, and gently massage the baking soda onto your face, paying attention to areas of your skin that are dry. Be sure not to massage too roughly! After you rinse it off, your face will feel soft and smooth.

In addition to being an exfoliator for your face, baking soda can also be used several other ways as a personal care product. Some of these ways include:

  • Toothpaste: Believe it or not, you can brush your teeth with plain baking soda and they will be squeaky clean! Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto your wet toothbrush and brush as you normally would. It can also help to naturally whiten your teeth over time.
  • Mouthwash: Add a teaspoon or two to a small glass of water, swish around your mouth, and spit it out. (Just like regular mouthwash) This will also help to ease the pain of canker sores if you have any in your mouth.
  • Deodorant: I have never used baking soda as deodorant before, but I know that people who are allergic to most deodorants on the market can simply sprinkle baking soda onto their armpits to help combat the body odor smell.
  • Poison Ivy, sunburns, or itchy bug bites: Simply make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area. Your itching will be relieved!
  • Add to your bath: Adding a cup of baking soda to your bath will make your skin softer and smoother. If you have any irritated patches of skin, it will help to soothe those as well.

As a Deodorizer

Believe it or not, baking soda can work as a great deodorizer and help keep your home smelling clean and fresh. There are so many places that you can use baking soda as a deodorizer in your home. One of the places that I love to use baking soda is in the carpet. Right before you vacuum, sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then simply vacuum the carpet as normal. As you vacuum up the baking soda you will also be vacuuming up some of the nasty odors that were lingering in your carpet, and leaving behind a fresh, clean scent. The baking soda basically has no scent itself, but it definitely goes a long ways towards eliminating the bad odors that were in your carpet. If you prefer scented carpet deodorizer, Arm & Hammer baking soda also makes carpet deodorizers with added scents that you will continue to smell after vacuuming. Either way, your carpet will definitely smell much better if you implement baking soda into your routine. It will even tackle tough pet odors that can be difficult to get rid of!

Aside from carpet deodorizing, you can use baking soda in several other areas of your home as a deodorizer:

  • Garbage pails: Sprinkle in the bottom of your garbage pail whenever you empty it out, and when it needs washed, clean it with one cup of baking soda per gallon of water.
  • Laundry: Add a half cup of baking soda to every load of laundry. This will help to get your laundry cleaner, and can also help to get grease or oil stains out of clothes.
  • Refrigerator: Leave an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer to absorb any nasty smells that your fridge could be harboring.
  • Shoes: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into smelly shoes, and let them sit overnight. The next morning shake excess baking soda out, and your shoes will smell much fresher!

Would you consider adding baking soda to your cleaning or personal care routine?

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    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hey Donna, I have used Baking Soda for many of those chores with great results. If you add a lotion-based hand soap to baking soda it will get the worst grease or inks off your hands easily. Thanks for all the ideas. =:)

    • Donna Janelle profile image

      Donna Janelle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks Sueroy!! Baking soda is seriously my new favorite thing to use around the house! I love it!

      And I've double posted many times

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      I hate it when I double-post! Ugh! I need to be more patient with my mouse! Sorry!

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      I knew about a lot of these.. but the dishwasher thing, I did not! Guess where my next box of 39-cent baking soda is going?

      Great hub!!

      Voted up and useful!

    • Donna Janelle profile image

      Donna Janelle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I'm glad you learned something new from it Rhonda! :) Thanks for commenting!

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      I never knew all this about baking soda. I knew some of these tips. Well they are great and it is nice to know, we learn something new everyday. Thanks for the hub Donna.