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The Many Uses of Baking Soda

Updated on January 31, 2012
Baking Soda
Baking Soda | Source

There are so many uses for Baking Soda out there its unreal! You probably haven’t even heard of half of them. Before I even list anything, let me explain how baking soda works. Baking soda is classified as a “neutralizer.” This means that the chemicals in baking soda work to neutralize basically anything. If something is too acidic, it will bring its pH level back up to neutral. If something is too basic, baking soda will bring its level down to neutral. Now that you understand how it works, here are 45 uses for Baking Soda that will make your life easier!

Baking Soda
Baking Soda | Source

1. Play Clay – Play clay is clay that kids can shape and bake into fun shapes! They will then be able to keep these shapes to play with in the future.
You’ll need: 2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 ¼ Cups Cold Water
Optional: Add Food Coloring To Color Clay

Directions: Pour Baking Soda, Corn Starch, and Water and (food coloring if desired) into a saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir constantly until mixture reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes. This will probably take 10-15 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, put onto a plate, and cover with a damp cloth. When cooled, pat until smooth. Now it’s time for the kids to create their masterpieces! When they’re finished, have them dry on a rack for at least 8 hours. You can also place them into the oven at the lowest heat setting and bake them for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled and hardened, have your kids decorate them with paint, markers, buttons, etc.

2. Shaving – Have men with sensitive skin mix 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda with 1 Cup water and use preshave or as an aftershave rinse.

3. Exfoliating – Mix 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda with 1 Tbsp. Water (or until you have a paste-like mixture) and use as a facial scrub after washing with soap and water. Another option is to mix baking soda and oatmeal in your blender!

4. Dentures & Dental Items – Soak dentures, mouth guards, retainers, or other mouth devices in 2 tsp. Baking Soda and warm water to remove bacteria and odor. You can also scrub these items with a toothbrush or soak your toothbrush in this solution overnight.

5. Nails – Dirty fingernails? Take a nailbrush dipped in baking soda and scrub your finger and toe nails. You’ll notice your cuticles becoming softer too!

6. Deodorant – Apply baking soda and cornstarch to your arm pits to neutralize odor.

7. Baths – Adding Baking Soda to your bath will soften your skin and relieve itchy skin. To relieve that itchy skin, add 1 cup of Baking Soda and 1 ¼ Cups Baby Oil into your water.

8. Soothe Skin – Sunburn pains can be eased by mixing 4 Tbsp. Baking Soda with 1 Quart of water and apply to affected area. Make a paste with 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda and 1 Tbsp. Water and apply to poison ivy and wind burned skin. *Do not apply to broken skin!*

9. Relieve Feet Issues – On your feet everyday for work? Give your feet a break by soaking them in a mixture of warm water and 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda. Do you have itchy feet? Baking Soda can alleviate that as well. Just mix 4 Tbsp. of Baking Soda in 1 quart of warm water for 10 minutes and wipe dry. Do you have dry or callused feet? Mix 3 tsp. Baking Soda with 1 tsp. water (to make a paste) and massage onto feet. Rinse with warm water and dry when finished.

10. Elbow Roughness – Soothe rough elbows by making that same paste as above and massage it on the dry skin area.

Baking Soda In The Kitchen
Baking Soda In The Kitchen | Source

11. Hands – For all your fishermen out there, here’s a solution to rid of that fishy smell on your hands! Mix 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda to 1 Tbsp. of water or liquid soap and rub in your hands. This mixture can also be used to remove odors due to garlic, onions, or other smells.

12. Brush Build-Up – Hairspray and oil buildup on your brush or comb can be removed by soaking the brush in 3 tsp. Baking Soda, warm water, and 3 tsp. of bleach.

13. Chlorine – Are you a big time swimmer? Chlorine will stain and dry your hair out, but Baking Soda can help. Simply mix together ½ tsp. Baking Soda in a pint of water and use it like a shampoo. Your hair will thank you!

14. Hair Assistant – After purchasing that new shampoo bottle, add 1 tsp. Baking Soda to the whole bottle to remove buildup from the many products we use every day. Do you have dry greasy hair and no time to wash? Baking Soda will come to the rescue! Sprinkle a small amount on your hair and brush it through. Use the blow dryer to re-fluff your hair. Grease be gone!

15. Clean Fruits and Vegetables – Baking Soda is the perfectly safe way to clean the dirt off of fruits and vegetables. Grab a sponge and sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on it. Softly scrub the fruits and vegetables to clean the dirt away!

16. Septic System – Baking Soda is the quick and easy way to help keep a clean septic system. Simply dump 1 Cup of Baking Soda down the drain each week to keep a balanced pH system in the septic tank.

17. Fire Extinguisher – When baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps extinguish fire flames. For small grease or oil fires in the kitchen, throw baking soda on the flames to extinguish them quickly and safely.

18. Stuffed Animal Cleaner – Those stuffed animals that your kids tote around daily pick up some pretty hefty amounts of dirt and germs. To refresh these animals and make them clean without throwing them in the washer and ruining them, put baking soda over the stuffed animal and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. After the time is up, brush or wipe off all of the baking soda and your stuffed animal is fresh and clean for its next adventure with the kids.

19. Athletic Feet Smells – Are you an athlete or someone who exercises a lot? Your shoes are probably not the most favorable smelling. Baking Soda will help your feet smell fresh again when you sprinkle it in your sneakers when you aren’t wearing them. Be sure to dump it out before you put them back on again. Repeat this process for fresh smelling feet and shoes.

20. Pet Smells – Anyone with a litter box knows that you need to keep it clean and fresh so it does not have time to produce an odor. Baking Soda can help. Fill the bottom on your litter box with Baking Soda and then fill with cat litter. Between litter cleans, sprinkle Baking Soda onto the litter to retain freshness. Your animal’s bed also needs refreshing. Sprinkle Baking Soda on, and then vacuum off after 15-20 minutes to keep it fresh and smelling good for both you and your pet.

21. Closet Smells – To keep closets smelling fresh by keeping an open box of Baking Soda in it.

22. Refrigerator Smells – To neutralize odors in your fridge, place an open box or a tray with Baking Soda in it, inside the refrigerator.

23. Neutralize Lunchboxes – Place a spill-proof box of Baking Soda in lunchboxes to neutralize food odors.

24. Remove Carpet Odors – Remove pet or other odors from carpets by sprinkling Baking Soda on the carpet and letting it sit. The longer you can let it sit in your carpet, the better. After letting it sit, vacuum the Baking Soda up! Your vacuum bag will become heavy so be sure to empty it after use. Also, your vacuum will get deodorized in the process!

25. Clean Dishwashers – Use baking soda to neutralize odors in your dishwasher before you use it. When you do use it, have it act as a cleaner.

26. Deodorize Sinks, Garbage Disposals, & Tubs – To get rid of odors in these places, simply pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain as warm water is running. Be sure to leave the water run long enough to wash the Baking Soda all the way through the piping. This will neutralize any type of odors you may have. *You can use old Baking Soda from lunchboxes, closets, or fridges for this odor control!*

27. Clean and Deodorize Trash Cans – Keep garbage can odors under control by lining the bottom of the can with Baking Soda, then putting in your trash bag. Also, if you have gone “Green,” you can keep your recycling bins clean and smelling fresh by using Baking Soda on a sponge to wipe bins clean, and sprinkling it over recyclables as you put them in the bin.

28. Freshen Sports Gear – Mix together 4 Tbsp. of Baking Soda in 1 quart of warm water and use to clean and deodorize sports gear. Sprinkle Baking Soda in sports bags to keep odors down that are in the bag and that are on the clothes.

29. Clean Golf Clubs – A mixture to clean golf clubs without putting a scratch on them! Mix together 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda with 1 Tbsp. Water to make a paste. Use a brush to rub mixture on clubs. Rinse with warm water and dry.

30. Clean Batteries – Don’t have a wire brush to clean battery terminals? Baking Soda can help. Disconnect both battery terminals and create a mixture using 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda and 1 Tbsp. Water. Use a damp sponge or cloth and put the mixture on it. Wipe the battery terminals clean and then let dry. Once dried, reconnect the terminals.

Fridge | Source

31. Car Care – Now you can clean your entire car with Baking Soda and not worry about creating any scratches! Simply make a mixture of ¼ Cup Baking Soda in 1 quart of warm water and wipe down tar, tree sap, and bugs. You can also clean tires, windows, lights, and chrome with it. For more difficult stains or marks, sprinkle Baking Soda on a sponge and scrub. For the inside of the car, sprinkle Baking Soda on floor mats and let sit at least 15 minutes (the longer the better), and then vacuum up. Your car will look and smell as good as new!

32. Remove Grease & Oil – Spill grease or oil on your garage floor? Sprinkle Baking Soda over the stain and scrub with a scrubbing brush and warm water to remove the stain!

33. Give Your Laundry Detergent Some Help – Adding ½ Cup of Baking Soda to your laundry detergent to brighten and freshen clothing. You can also add it to the rinse cycle to freshen sheets and towels or neutralize sports odors a little better.

34. Clean Shower Curtains – Apply Baking Soda to a damp sponge or cloth and wipe down vinyl shower curtains. Rinse and hang to dry.

35. Clean The Microwave – Put Baking Soda on a damp sponge or cloth and wipe down the inside of the microwave without using chemicals. Be sure to rinse out thoroughly and let dry.

36. Polish Silver – Ever wonder how to get your silverware and plates shining again? Mix 3 Tbsp. of Baking Soda with 1 Tbsp. of Water to make a paste and apply directly to the silver. Rinse when finished wiping and allow to dry and shine!

37. Clean Walls & More – The next time your little one gets crayon on the wall, don’t let him/her in on your secret. Use Baking Soda on a damp sponge or cloth and wipe down walls or any type of painted furniture to remove all stains.

38. Clean Floors – To remove dirt from no-wax and tile floors, mix ½ Cup of Baking Soda in a bucket of warm water and mop. For tougher marks and stains, use Baking Soda directly on a sponge or cloth and scrub.

39. Clean Oven – For those of you without a self-cleaning oven, or if you just want to clean the oven yourself, Baking Soda has a solution. At night, coat the bottom of your oven with Baking Soda and then spray with water to dampen it. Let sit overnight. The next day, get a damp sponge and some warm water and scrub the inside of the oven. Rinse when finished and then let dry.

40. Clean Coffee & Tea Stains – Have coffee or tea stains in a pot or your mugs? Take a mixture of ¼ Cup Baking Soda with 1 quart Water and wipe these items clean. When finished, rinse and dry. For more difficult stains, pour that solution in the item with the stain and let sit (the longer the better). Then wipe clean, rinse, and dry.

Toothpaste | Source

41. Make Your Own Cleaner – To help clean bathtubs and sinks, sprinkle Baking Soda on a sponge and wipe down, rinse, and dry. For difficult stains or spots, make a paste using Baking Soda, Salt, and Liquid Soap and let sit overnight. Once it has sat, wipe the stain or spot with a sponge and then rinse and dry.

42. Make Your Own Soap – Make your own soap that is easier on your skin that will clean and neutralize odors on your hands by mixing together 3 Tbsp. Baking Soda with 1 Tbsp. Water and using it like soap.

43. Use It Like Tums – Have an uneasy or upset stomach? Use Baking Soda as an antacid to help neutralize acids in your stomach.

44. Toothpaste – Simply sprinkling Baking Soda on your toothbrush will help clean teeth and neutralize odors in your mouth.

45. Cooking - As we all know, Baking Soda is used in everyday recipes like cookies and cakes to help the item you are cooking to rise.

As you can see, there are many uses for Baking Soda. Thanks to the help of the Arm & Hammer Website, word of mouth, and trial and error myself, I've compiled a list of 45 different uses of Baking Soda. Who knew Baking Soda had so many different jobs?! Do you have any other uses for Baking Soda? Let me know!


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, KStro18,

      Great read. Fantastic verbiage, graphics and presentation. Voted a well-deserved Up and away. I like to use soda as a mouthwash--it really kills bad breath.

      I cordially-invite you to take a trip to my place and read a couple of my hubs, then be one of my followers.

      I would love that.


      Kenneth Avery/from Hamilton, Al.

    • KStro18 profile image

      KStro18 5 years ago from PA

      Thanks for reading! Hope you can use some of them!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      An amazing list. Great Hub! voted up and shared.

    • KStro18 profile image

      KStro18 5 years ago from PA

      Thanks for reading and for providing the extra tip!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Wow, who knew baking soda has so many uses? Great information! Voted up, interesting, and useful. Here's one more I discovered when researching a hub about cooking fixes: If a dish is too acidic, try a pinch of baking soda to neutralize it.