I’m sure you’ve used baking soda for cleaning and baking, but chances are you’re missing out on baking soda’s full potential. This inexpensive household staple was originally popularized by Arm & Hammer over a 150 years ago, but did you know the Ancient Egyptians also used it for cleaning?
This list goes through just some of the countless uses of baking soda.
Body and Skincare
Use it as a toothpaste
While some toothpastes may feature baking soda as an ingredient, did you know you can simply use baking soda? Just by dipping your toothbrush (natural toothpaste optional) into some baking soda, you can get its full whitening and freshening benefits without all the chemicals!
Use it as a mouthwash
The same idea behind using it as a toothpaste, baking soda can be used to neutralize bad breath. Simply add a teaspoon to a glass of water and swirl it around your mouth, spit, and rinse.
Use it to keep your hair healthy
Use it as a deodorant
I’m sure you’ve put baking soda in the fridge to keep things fresh. This is because baking soda reacts to many odor-causing compounds causing them to be less potent. The same principle can be applied to using baking soda as a deodorant for your underarms and feet. Just lightly pat it on your underarms and you’re set!
Use it to relieve diaper rash
A baby with an itchy bottom can be treated with baking soda in the bath. You can also mix warm water and baking soda together, soak a washcloth and wash the baby’s skin this way. Make sure to pat dry as rubbing can irritate the skin.
Use it as a daily mild exfoliant
Mixing three parts baking soda with one part water will give you a refreshing facial and body scrub. Gently rub in a circular motion and rinse. This can be used daily to remove dead skin cells.
Use it as an antacid
Mixing a half teaspoon of baking soda with a half cup of water can relieve heartburn and acid build-up in the stomach.
Treat your feet to a relaxing soak
Three tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water is enough to make your own soothing foot soak.
Use as a gentle hand cleanser
Some soaps can be unbelievably harsh on the skin. You can make a gentle paste with three parts baking soda and one part water. Use this to clean and deodorize your hands much better than many store-bought soaps.
- Treat itchy skin and insect bites
Rub some baking soda into itchy spots after a shower or work it into a paste to provide soothing relief for insect bites.
Deodorize your cutting board
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If you cook often, your cutting board can have scents (think chopped onions and minced garlic) sticking to it. You can sprinkle baking soda onto your cutting board, scrub it in and then rinse to get rid of any odours.
Deodorize trash containers
Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your trash containers to get rid of the foul smell (I’m sure we all know what’s like!).
Keep sports gear smelling fresh
Sprinkle baking soda into gym bags and helmets to neutralize the odour.
- Deodorize lunch boxes and bags
When not being used, keep a small container of baking soda in lunch boxes and bags to absorb odours.
Freshen up your carpets
Generously sprinkle baking soda on your carpets and let this sit overnight before sweeping and vacuuming. This will deodorize your rugs which can carry scents for extended periods of time.
- Freshen closets and pantry
Place a box of baking soda in your pantry and closets to keep them smelling fresh.
- Deodorize pet bedding
Just like our own beds, pet bedding needs to be cleaned regularly. Sprinkle baking soda on bedding generously, let it sit (the longer the better), and then vacuum well.
- Give stuffed animals a long needed refresher
Just like pillows, stuffed animals come in contact with odours, oils and dirt from skin and the environment. Treat them to a baking soda sprinkle and brush off after 15 minutes.
- Make a safer air freshener
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with distilled water and a few drops of your preferred essential oil to make an air freshener without all of the chemicals.
Shoes might be one of the first things people think about when it comes to foul odours. Regularly shake baking soda into them between uses to keep odours away.
- Clean hair brushes and combs
Remove the oils and grime that build up on your hair brushes and combs by soaking them in a teaspoon of baking soda and warm water. Afterwards, rinse and allow to dry before using again.
Clean the microwave
Add baking soda to a damp sponge to clean and deodorize this frequently used kitchen appliance.
Freshen up your sponges
After regular use, sponges can take on a stale smell. Soak them in warm water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda to make them just like new.
- Remove stains and smells from coffee and tea pots
Wash mugs and pots in a solution of ¼ cup baking soda and 1 qt. of warm water to remove stains and scents. Use this solution with detergent as an overnight soak for more stubborn stains.
- Make your floors shine
Remove accumulated grime from your floors with a half cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Optionally, you can add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil to this floor cleaner.
Clean shower curtains
As showers can be a high moisture environment, keeping everything around it clean is important. Your shower curtains are no exception. Sprinkle and scrub baking soda onto vinyl shower curtains, rinse, and then hang to dry.
- Add to laundry detergent to give cleaning a boost
Amplify the cleaning power of your laundry detergent by adding a half cup of baking soda to your laundry.
- Fill holes in a wall
As odd as it may sound, a mixture of white toothpaste and baking soda will make an effective plaster to fill holes in your walls.
Rub a baking soda and water paste onto a clean cloth to make an effective polish for your silverware. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Remove those tough to clean grease and oil stains
If you’ve got oil stains on your driveway or in your garage, you know just how tough they can be to remove. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and scrub with water.
Food and Plants
Use it as a scrub for fresh fruits and vegetables
Baking soda makes for a safe scrub that’ll get rid of dirt, bacteria, and pesticides on fresh fruits and veggies. Simply sprinkle onto a clean wet sponge, scrub, and rinse.
Extend the life of flowers
A teaspoon of baking soda in a vase of water is enough to make your flowers last longer.
Reduce the bloat from beans
Add a teaspoon of water to beans while soaking to make them less heavy on the digestion.
Get rid of bitterness in tea
Add a pinch of baking soda to freshly brewed tea to neutralize the bitter taste from over steeping.
These are just some of the many science-backed, evidence-based uses for baking soda. You’re likely to have some on hand, so why not give these a try today?
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