I’ve been a frugal homemaker for most of my adult life and over the years, I’ve learned quite a lot about saving money, living frugally and finding cheaper alternatives for as many things as I can. This is why I LOVE Baking Soda! Besides absorbing odors in the fridge or making delicious chocolate chip cookies, did you know there are dozens more uses for the extraordinary, cheap product known as baking soda?
Baking soda’s technical name is sodium bicarbonate and next to vinegar, it’s probably one of the most useful (and frugal) items that we all need to keep on hand. Did I say “frugal”? Yes! I did! Baking soda is extremely cheap (less than $1 for a 1 lb. box) and it’s all natural, which is another reason you can’t go wrong with this amazing product!
So, if all you’ve been using baking soda for is baking or a refrigerator deodorizer, be prepared to be awed with what you can do with this little box of awesomeness!
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25+ Uses for baking soda around the house
Here’s a list of more than 25 uses for baking soda that I use regularly, myself! I hope you can find a few (or many) that you can use, too!
Put a cup of baking soda into your drain and follow with a cup of vinegar. Let it sit and do it’s thing for about a half hour and then rinse down with hot water. Great for minor clogs & cleaning those gunky drains!
check out this post: 25+ Best Household Uses For Vinegar
You can fight minor or small) cooking fires with baking soda. Baking soda is not flammable and when it’s heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. Be sure to turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Then, stand back and pour (or throw) handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame.
clean & deodorize your dishwasher
I like to do this about once a month. We all know how nasty our dishwashers can get and sometimes, the dishes will not come out as clean as we would like. But…using this method, it will only take a few easy steps to make it sparkle.
First, you need to clear the drain: Remove the bottom dish rack and inspect the dishwasher drain, removing any gunk or food caught there. This will help to improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency and prevent damage to the dishwasher.
Next, clean the dishwasher with vinegar: Start with an empty dishwasher. Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe container on the upper rack of the machine and run the dishwasher through a hot water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odors, too.
Lastly, make a baking soda rinse by sprinkling one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short, hot water cycle. Your dishwasher will smell and have a bright, stain free interior!
Baking soda is super effective on cleaning oven grease. It’s an alkaline and oven grease made up of food particles is typically acidic. Baking soda neutralizes acids and breaks down the grease, allowing you to wipe it up without too much exertion. It’s also a mild abrasive, so it works well at removing dried, stuck on foods. You don’t have to turn your oven on for this method and you can use the oven immediately after cleaning with baking soda. No toxic fumes.
All you need to do is make a paste with 1/2 cup of baking soda & 3 tablespoons of water. I recommend using gloves for this but it’s certainly optional, as it’s non-toxic. Spread the paste over the dirty parts & let it sit for 15-20 minutes.Wipe up the paste and loosened dirt/grease with wet paper towels. Then, wipe the oven’s interior with another clean, wet paper towel, using water.
Cleaning your microwave has never been easier with a little bit of baking soda, hot water and a sponge. Place several shakes of baking soda in small, microwave safe bowl. Then add water, place in dirty microwave and run for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe the microwave clean. It’ll sparkle like new!
Baking soda acts as a natural brightener and deodorizer. If you have particularly smelly clothes, use 1/2 cup per load. You’ll get better results if you allow the clothes to soak in the baking soda and water for at least 30 minutes before completing the wash cycle.
You can also sprinkle the baking soda directly on the clothes rather than adding it to the detergent cup or compartment. If you’re out of laundry detergent and need to do a wash, use 1 cup of baking soda in place of detergent.
clean & deodorize your toilet
Put 1 cup baking soda into the toilet followed with 1 cup vinegar. Let it fizz for 20 minutes then use a toilet brush to scrub toilet bowl clean.
fruit & vegetable wash
Use a cold water soak with baking soda to effectively help remove dirt, chemical residue and other unwanted materials from your fresh vegetables and fruits.
Fill the sink (or a.bowl) 2/3 full with cold water, leaving room to add the produce without the water spilling over the edge. Add the baking soda to the cold water. For a sinkful, add 3 or 4 tablespoons to the water and swish it around to distribute. For a mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon baking soda to every 2 cups cold water.
put in beans to cut down on bloating & gas
Did you know that adding a pinch (about 1/16 of a teaspoon) sprinkled into dried beans while they soak in water before cooking can reduce the gas in beans? Also, adding a tiny amount to the cooking water of beans (not the soaking water) can help slash your cooking time in half.
My mom taught me this years ago! She swore by it and I still do it when I cook beans!
Brighten your tarnished silverware with a 3:1 paste of baking soda and water. Rub the paste on using a soft cloth and then wipe off.
If this doesn’t work, you can also try this method: line a pan with aluminum foil; place silver pieces on foil and cover with a solution of 1/2 cup baking soda to 2 quarts warm water and watch the magic! Heavily tarnished pieces may need additional/longer treatments.
eliminate refridgerator odors
Keep an open box inside your fridge to absorb any stinky odors. Replace every 30 days.
Baking soda is a wonderful, mild exfoliator. It’s a mild abrasive, which makes it an excellent exfoliator for your skin. Baking soda can help remove oils when used in a facial wash and can be a beneficial part of your overall skin care routine.
You can mix a little with water, making a paste. Gently rub the paste in small circular motions onto the desired part of your body for 2–3 minutes; avoid the delicate eye area. Rinse with warm water & pat dry. I also like to mix mine with olive oil and use on my face and hands. This makes your skin feel amazing and moisturized.
If you use the baking soda with water, make sure you moisturize completely afterwards as it may having a drying effect on your skin.
keep brushes & combs clean
Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl or sink of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
This is one of my favorite uses for baking soda! If you want your hair to feel squeaky clean, wet your hair and put a liberal amount of baking soda on your hair. Work it in for a couple of minutes, really concentrating on your scalp. Then, rinse it out and shampoo & condition as normal. It will dissolve buildup from hair styling products like hair spray and it will break down sebum buildup.
Don’t do this everyday as it could potentially dry your hair out. Once or twice a month is plenty.
Baking soda can be a great teeth whitener. That’s why this is is another one of my favorite uses for baking soda! I’ve done this little trick to whiten & brighten my teeth, for years. Just wet your toothbrush and pour about a teaspoon into the palm of your hand. Dip your wet toothbrush in it and give them a quick brushing. Then leave it on your teeth for a few minutes before rinsing. Keep in mind that baking soda is a mild abrasive, so you don’t want to brush too hard and don’t do this every day. Baking soda is great for helping to remove stains from tea, coffee, wine as well as other things that can stain your teeth.
Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem for many people. … Baking soda can rebalance the levels of acid and help to treat and prevent halitosis. If you think about it, look what’s in most toothpaste, these days. Baking soda! It effectively kills bacteria in the mouth which is the cause of bad breath.
All you need to do is dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and gargle to make an effective mouth rinse to beat bad breath.
treat a sunburn
Baking soda works for burns because it can help balance the pH levels in your skin. When those levels are balanced, it will help with the pain, inflammation and redness that comes with a sunburn.
To quickly see the benefits, mix baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to form a paste and gently apply that directly to the skin. Let the paste sit for 10 to 15 minutes and wash off. Baking soda can be harsh to your skin, so make sure that you wash the paste off completely. Do so gently and avoid rubbing the mixture into the burn.
Another method is to add ¼ cup of baking soda into a cool bath and soak yourself for 15 minutes.
Baking soda can be a good treatment for immediate relief from occasional acid reflux. The recommended dosage for adults is one 1/2 tsp. dissolved in a 4-ounce glass of water. It’s best to sip this drink slowly to avoid side effects like gas and diarrhea.
relieves itch from bug bites
A paste of baking soda and water may help alleviate the itching caused by bug bites. To make a paste, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Apply to your bug bite and let sit for up to 10-15 minutes before washing the paste off your skin.
removes stinky odors from hands
Whether you were dealing with gasoline, cooking with onions or bleaching your clothes, you may have an unpleasant smell lingering on your hands. Baking soda is a great way to remove these types of odors.
Simply make a paste of 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water. Rub the paste all over your hands thoroughly for at least 1 minute. Rinse the mixture off with clean water afterwards.[
Keep flowers fresh
If you want to try to keep your fresh flowers fresh longer, then add a teaspoon of baking soda to vase water (per 2 qts.) to lengthen the life of cut flowers.
deodorize stinky shoes
There’s nothing worse than stinky shoes! It’s as bad for you as the people around you! Fortunately, you can conquer stinky shoe odors fairly easily & very inexpensively. There’s a couple of ways to do this.
The first way is to sprinkle baking soda directly into the offending shoe(s), shake it around to evenly distribute and let them sit for at least 24 hours. This should give the soda time to effectively absorb the odor. After 24 hours, shake out the excess baking soda completely. Failure to do this will result in a powdery trail all over your house, when you remove the shoes and walk around in your socks.
The second way (and less messy) is to make a sachet. Wrap up some baking soda in a small piece of cloth and tie it closed with ribbon or string. You can also use an old sock. Fill the toe with a couple of tablespoons of soda and tie it off in the same manner. Each time you wear the shoes, put the sachets in them when you take them off.
You can also put a few drops of your favorite essential oil with the soda to leave a nice fragrance behind.
neutralizes pet smells
This is another one of my favorite tried & true uses for baking soda because it really does work! When my little Schnauzer, Lola, was getting up in years, she picked out a spot in my dining room to go to the bathroom. I cleaned it with Resolve if I was lucky enough to catch her, but that wasn’t always the case.
The baking soda did the trick on dried pee stains by totally neutralizing & removing the odor. This is how to do it:
Sprinkle it liberally on the damp area or an old urine stain, and work the powder gently into the fibers of any fabric, rug or carpet. Let the baking soda sit overnight for maximum odor absorption, then vacuum it up to remove the smell completely. It worked like a charm!
Sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of your cat litter box tray before adding the litter. It will help absorb odors in between cleanings.
Baking soda does kill ants and it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of getting rid of them once and for all. It is a good, safe alternative to chemical based, commercial ant killers. Since ants aren’t naturally attracted to baking soda, you need to mix it with something that they are attracted to like sugar! Powdered sugar will work the best for this.
Here’s what you do:
Mix equal parts of baking soda and confectioners sugar in a cup. How much mixture you make is dependent on the size of your ant infestation, but one cup is more than plenty to spread around for your average ant incomers.
If you know where the nest is, sprinkle the mixture on top of it and around it. Again, if you see any entrances to the nest, put a teaspoon’s worth of mix there too.
Instead of buying jewelry cleaner, use baking soda! This is a gentle cleanser that works well to clean jewelry of all types, including silver, gold, faux gold, and silver-plated items. Make a paste with baking soda to scrub tarnished items, or soak semi-dirty pieces in a baking soda solution.
Use a cup of hot water and 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Stir well to dissolve the soda and then place your jewelry pieces into the bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes & let the soda work its magic! Next, take the piece out and rinse it with cold water and pat it dry.
uses for baking soda go on and on…
Baking soda is so versatile & cheap! I can’t imagine not having it in my pantry! Even if you only use it for a few of the above suggestions, you’ll be saving money and simplifying life by having one product that serves so many purposes & has so many uses. I’m also sure that there are many more uses for baking soda that I haven’t even listed. When you pair it with other products like vinegar & hydrogen peroxide, you have even more powerful combinations.
**Disclaimer** – Do not use baking soda for cleaning some glass surfaces, stone countertops, wooden floors and furniture. It can be abrasive and may scratch.
Do you have other uses for baking soda in your home not listed here? Please share with us!
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