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If you only use baking soda for cooking and keeping your fridge smelling fresh, prepare to be dazzled!
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Packed inside that humble, orange box is a versatile workhorse waiting to be set free. It cleans, deodorizes, softens, neutralizes and more — so much more. Here are 50 of its amazing uses!
Aromatic shower disks — Stuffed up with a cold? Ramp up the effects of a hot shower by adding a DIY aromatic shower disk from Mrs. Happy Homemaker.
Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of water. Spoon into silicone molds or lined muffin tins till half full. Add a few drops of the following essential oils to each disk: eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender (or rosemary). Fill the rest of the way with baking soda mixture. Dry overnight or bake at 350 degrees for 15 to20 minutes. Add a few more drops of the essential oils to each dried disk. Store in airtight container for up to 6 months. To use, steam up the shower with hot water. Place a shower disk in front of your feet and let the water release those soothing vapors!
Antacid — Ran out of Tums? According to Mayo Clinic, you can ease indigestion by drinking a mixture of ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a glass of water. Repeat as needed every 2 hours. Check with your doctor if taking medications/supplements or are on a low-sodium diet.
Toothpaste — Dip your toothbrush into baking soda and brush as usual. Or layer toothpaste on top of baking soda for extra cleaning power.
Hand scrub — To remove onion/garlic smells from hands, add baking soda to your regular hand soap and wash as usual.
Soothe sunburn or insect bites — Add 1 cup of baking soda to your bath water.
Hair rinse — Add a teaspoon or so of baking soda to a handful of your favorite shampoo. It will soften water and remove styling product residue, too.
Clean brushes and combs — Squirt with a bit of shampoo then soak in a bowl or sink of warm water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Rinse.
Citrus tub scrubber — Cleaning expert Leslie Reichert makes her own scrub by mixing ¼ cup baking soda with the powder of 2 crushed vitamin C tablets then blending this into ¼ cup castile soap. Scrub onto surface using a scrubby sponge. Leave on for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Soft scrub — Mix ½ cup baking soda with enough Dawn dish detergent to make a paste. Use to clean sinks, tubs and counters. Rinse and dry.
Deep-cleaning scrub — Great for soap scum and mildew. Mix 1 to 2/3 cups baking soda, ½ cup castile soap or other quality liquid dish detergent, ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir till dissolved. Spray on scum and mildew; scrub with scrubby sponge. Rinse. Store in a spray bottle. Shake before using.
Shower door cleaner — Gwen at The Bold Abode.com has a super cleaner for shower doors. Mix equal parts vinegar and Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose cleaner. Spray on shower door and allow to sit for 2 hours. Scrub using a scrubby sponge. Rinse. If needed, re-apply, allow it to sit for 30 minutes, scrub and rinse. Repeat weekly.
Shower walls, sinks, counters — For a basic scrub, scrub using a paste of baking soda and water. Rinse and dry.
Powder scrub — This simple cleanser from Leslie Reichert packs a punch. Mix 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, ½ cup sea salt (omit salt if using on fiberglass) and 6 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake and scrub.
Grout cleaner — Mix ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap. Apply with a scrub brush. Allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse. Repeat if needed.
Toilet bowl cleaner — Add 1 cup baking soda to the toilet bowl. Scrub, then allow it to sit for 30 minutes before flushing.
Floor cleaner — For wood, laminate, no-wax floors and tile floors all you have to do is mix ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Rinse and dry.
Heavy-duty floor cleaner — Mix ¼ cup distilled white vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap and ¼ cup baking soda in 2 gallons of warm water.
Deodorize wastebaskets — Wash regularly using 1 cup baking soda to 1 gallon of water.
Baking powder — Ran out of baking powder? Just mix two parts cream of tartar to one part baking soda and you’re good to go! To test baking soda to see if it’s still fresh, mix ¼ teaspoon vinegar in ½ cup hot water. Add ¼ teaspoon baking soda. If it fizzes, it’s good to use.
Stove vent filters — One-good-thing-by-Jillee makes this chore a breeze. In a large metal (not non-stick) pot of boiling water, add 1 cup of baking soda. Using tongs, dip the vent into the water. Allow it to sit for a minute or so until grease floats off. Rinse in hot water. To keep from clogging the kitchen drain, don’t throw the greasy water down the sink right away. Let it cool, skim off the grease, then pour the water down the drain.
Dishwasher cleaning boost — Sprinkle ½ cup baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher before running the wash cycle. Make it a two-fer: If you sprinkle ½ cup baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher as soon as you empty it, not only will you be ready for the next wash cycle, you’ll help control odors in the meantime.
Remove burnt-on food — Mix equal parts cream of tartar and baking soda in the bottom of the pan. Add a couple drops of dish detergent and enough hot water to make a paste to cover the burnt-on areas. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then scrub away debris.
Baked-on grease—Jill offers this effective tip for getting rid of baked-on grease from cookie sheets. Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Add a few drops of dish-washing liquid. Scrub using a scrubby sponge or scouring pad. For stubborn grease, allow the mixture to sit for an hour before scrubbing. Also works on burners and curling/flat irons.
Dishwasher tablets — This recipe from Robin Buster makes 72 tablets. Combine 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups baking soda and ½ cup Epsom salt. Stir in 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar and 2 tablespoons Mrs. Stewart’s liquid bluing. Measure 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each compartment of an ice cube tray, packing down the mixture well. Dry in a warm place for 48 hours or until completely dry. Store covered in a dark, dry place. Use one tablet per load.
Polish silver flatware — Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto silver using a clean cloth or sponge; rinse and dry.
Freshen drains — Pour 1 cup baking soda down the drain weekly. Follow with a quart of boiling water.
Keep the fridge smelling fresh — Leave an opened box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. Replace each month.
Clean the microwave — To remove splatters, wash the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Rinse. Leave an opened box of baking soda in the microwave to absorb odors in-between uses.
Pots and pans — Wet dirty pots and pans with hot water, then apply a paste of baking soda and dish detergent. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes then clean.
Wash fresh fruits and veggies — Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge. Scrub fruits and veggies. Rinse.
Freshen plastic containers — Wash after each use with baking soda/water past. For tough odors, soak in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart of water for several hours or overnight. Rinse and dry. Store with lid off.
Freshen and whiten teapots/coffee pots — Scrub with a baking soda/water paste to remove rings. To freshen, soak overnight in 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water.
Washing machine cleaner — Fill empty washer with hot water. Add 4 cups distilled white vinegar and 10 drops tea tree oil. Run on wash cycle for 10 minutes. Add ½ cup baking soda. Run for a couple more minutes to mix it well. Stop washing cycle and let the mixture sit in the washer for 1 hour. Turn washer on to complete the cycle. Run on an extra rinse cycle. Washer is now clean and ready to use.
DIY laundr -detergent — Leslie Reichert shares her great grandma’s recipe: 2 cups soap flakes (make your own by grating a bar of Ivory Soap or freezing a cut-up bar of Ivory Soap, then shredding it in the food processor), 1 cup baking soda or soda crystals, 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Mix and store covered. Use ½ to 1 cup for regular loads; 2 cups for very heavily soiled clothing. For front-loading and HE machines, use 2 tablespoons. This works best with hot water.
Deodorize and clean clothes — Add ½ cup to detergent in wash cycle and ½ cup to rinse cycle. (For front-loading washers, use ¼ cup instead.) The baking soda reduces static cling and softens the water, so you need less detergent.
For extra-smelly clothing — (For colorfast clothing only) Soak in a pan of ¼ cup baking soda and water for 2-3 hours. Launder as usual.
Extinguish fires — To extinguish minor grease or electrical fires, turn off the gas or electricity, if you can do so safely. Then throw handfuls of baking soda onto the flames. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated and that helps kill the flames.
DIY air freshener — Mix 1 cup baking soda with 5-8 drops of essential oils. Place in a decorative bowl as a quick and effective air freshener. For cars, closets or pantries, wrap the mixture in a coffee filter and close with a rubber band.
DIY Play-Doh — In a pot, combine 2 cups baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 ¼ cups cold water and a few drops of food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until very thick (10-15 minutes). Cool before using. Store in sealed container.
Remove crayon from walls and painted furniture — Simply dip a damp sponge in baking soda and scrub lightly.
Remove stubborn marks — Mix ½ teaspoon borax and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Add about ½ cup of hot water. Dip a sponge or cloth into mixture, scrub away stains. (For painted walls and furniture, test first in an inconspicuous place.)
Cars and trucks — Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to headlights to buff off light-dimming oxidation. Also great for cleaning tires, vinyl upholstery, floor mats, chrome and windows, as well as for removing bugs and tree sap.
Stinky pet beds — While your critter’s up and about, sprinkle its bed with baking soda. Vacuum after 15 minutes.
Deodorize the litter box — Before adding litter, cover the bottom of a cleaned pan with baking soda. Between changes, freshen with a sprinkle of baking soda on top of the litter.
Stinky sneakers — Sprinkle with baking soda. Shake out before using.
Boot deodorizer — Leslie Reichert’s surefire deodorizer for boots mixes 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup corn starch and 10 drops essential oil. Shake a small amount into boots and allow to stand overnight. Shake out before wearing.
Scorch marks on the bottom of an iron — Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply with a scrubby sponge. Wipe clean.
Freshen stinky carpets — Sprinkle baking soda liberally on carpet or rug. Allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Vacuum. Bonus: The baking soda will also deodorize the vacuum cleaner bag.
Clean golf irons — Make a paste of 3 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon water. Scrub with a brush. Rinse and dry.
Freshen cabinets, lockers and closets — Just as you do in your refrigerator, keep an opened box of baking soda in these areas. Change every month.
Lift oil and grease from garage floors or driveway — Cover with a thick layer of baking soda and scrub using a wet brush.
This article was originally published February 24, 2016.