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 baking soda

Baking soda is a common household item for baking (of course) and cleaning. But, uses for baking soda go way beyond what you think. Here are 20.

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Baking soda, AKA sodium bicarbonate, is a go-to tool for DIY cleaning projects. But how many things can you really clean with it? A lot, actually. In fact, you might be blown away at just how handy baking soda can be for things besides cleaning. Check out this comprehensive guide to baking soda’s many handy uses.

1.  Greasy and stained pan cleanser

If you have cookie sheets or other pans with stains or greasy buildup, baking soda is the answer. Mix some with your dish detergent for added scrubbing power. If you don’t feel like scrubbing too much and you have some time on your hands, sprinkle baking soda on the pans followed by hydrogen peroxide.

Cover with more baking soda and let it sit for several hours. When you return, most greasy stains should wipe away quickly.

2. All-purpose kitchen cleaner

A baking soda paste makes for a powerful kitchen cleaner. Tough spots like stainless-steel sinks, microwaves, range hoods, countertops, and even cooking utensils are easier to clean with a little help from baking soda. Just mix it with water or apply it directly to your sponge for a thorough scrub.

3. Fruits and veggies washing agent

Looking for a quick way to rinse a large load of fresh produce? Stick your fruits and vegetables in a bath of water and baking soda to remove dirt and any waxy coatings.

4. Plastic container stains eliminator

Plastic food containers have a tendency to absorb odors and ingredients over time. Get rid of stains and smells by soaking the containers in a mixture of one quart of warm water and four tablespoons of baking soda. Use a sponge sprinkled with baking soda to work on any tough spots.

5. Fridge odors banisher

This one you kind of knew as a given. Baking soda has the incredible power of absorbing strong odors. Store some in your refrigerator to keep smells at bay. (Just don’t use this supply for other purposes.) You can also put some baking soda in the bottom of your trash can or laundry hamper to soak up odors.

woman open fridge

6. Smelly carpets and fabrics freshener

Does your carpet or upholstery have a bit of a musty smell or pet odor? Sprinkle baking soda on the surface to soak the smells up. Let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming.

7. Bathroom mildew fighter

Tubs, floor tiles, shower doors, and sinks can all be freshened up with the help of baking soda. Just sprinkle some on a damp sponge to reveal brighter, cleaner surfaces.

8. Clogged drains clearer

Remember the classic volcano science experiment? Recreate it in your clogged drains by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Let it set for five minutes and flush with very hot water to clear the clogs.

9. Kids’ impromptu “wall art” eradicator

We’re not talking about the professional kind of art here. When your kids draw on the walls, scrub the surface lightly with a sponge sprinkled in baking soda. It works wonders for crayon marks.

10. Sweat stain nemesis

Those yellow sweat stains on your shirt are long gone when you apply a thick paste of baking soda and water. Rub it into the material and let it sit for at least an hour before throwing the shirt in the wash as usual.

11. Stinky shoes deodorizer

Instead of hiding your sneakers, give them a fresh, clean smell by sprinkling some baking soda inside. Leave it for several hours, or even a day or two. Tap out the excess before slipping them on again.

12. Tarnished jewelry rejuvenator

Sterling silver often takes on a tarnished look after being worn a bit. To return it to its original look, make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water. Use a lint-free cloth to apply it without scratching your jewels. Rinse off the paste to reveal incredible shine.

13. Concrete and stone grease spill absorber

When you spill grease or oil, it doesn’t have to leave a permanent mark. Keep concrete and cement surfaces looking great by pouring on some baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a wet brush, and your driveway or garage floor will look like new again.

14. Grill gunk de-gunker

Does your outdoor grill need a cleaning? Make sure the grates stay nice and clean by sprinkling a little baking soda on your grill-cleaning brush before you start scrubbing.

15. Patio furniture revitalizer

When a simple hose down won’t cut it, take a mixture of 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water to your patio furniture. Cleaning with this formula will save you lots of unnecessary scrubbing.

patio-collection-1

16. Itchy skin reliever

Is your skin feeling dry and itchy? A bit of baking soda can work wonders when it comes to skin relief. Just add about a 1/2 cup to your bath water to create a soothing concoction.

17. Bites and burns soother

Baking soda also works on the skin in more concentrated areas. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to your skin for relief from minor burns (including sunburns) or insect bites.

18. Dull hair resurrector

Serums, sprays, gels, creams, mousses, and other hair products build up on your hair over time, even with regular shampooing. If your locks are looking dull, add a little baking soda to your shampoo. Wash and rinse as usual to leave behind shiny, more manageable hair.

19. Oily hair glamorizor

Have you ever used dry shampoo? You might be surprised to learn that baking soda can perform the same oil-reducing effects on your hair. Just sprinkle a bit at your roots, tousle, and brush through for a fresh look.

20. Dull skin remedy

Exfoliating formulas can be expensive, even when you buy the drugstore version. All you really need is baking soda to get rid of dull, ashy skin. Just combine one part water to three parts baking soda. Rub it gently in circles over your skin and rinse with warm water for an exfoliating effect. This formula is even gentle enough to use on your face.

Baking soda: eminently versatile

After reading this list, don’t be surprised if you find yourself picking up a fresh box of baking soda on your next trip to the grocery store. You might even want to keep a box in every room of the house! This handy product is a must-have for any homeowner.

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Resources:

http://www.almanac.com/content/household-uses-baking-soda

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a25577/baking-soda-cleaning-uses/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20904678,00.html

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/05/new-life-for-old-cookie-sheets-again.html

http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/cleanorg/soda.html

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.