Baking soda is one of the most versatile products on the market. Plus, it’s really, really cheap. Its official name is sodium bicarbonate, and it’s great for neutralizing odors, cleaning, and deodorizing. And the best part is that it doesn’t contain some of the toxic ingredients present in many of today’s products.
Baking soda has dozens of uses. From clearing up skin rashes to removing offending smells and making flower blossoms last longer, it’s surprising that more people don’t take advantage of its properties. Check out some incredible uses for baking soda…
Ease Insect Bites
Everyone hates bug bites. Not only are they unsightly, they can also be uncomfortable and itchy. If you forget to use bug spray and are suffering the consequences, simply mix baking soda and water together to create a paste. Then use it as a salve to treat the infected area and make it heal quicker.
This is a great home remedy if you are mosquito bait and want to get rid of the insect bites as quickly as possible. Plus, it takes very little effort to create the concoction.
Clean Your Hairbrush
Admit it, you probably have a comb or hair brush in your bathroom that you haven’t cleaned for years. It probably has some build up on it that is pretty gross. The good news is that baking soda is a great way to revive your brush and make it look brand new.
To remove oils and other residue on your comb or brush, soak it in water and baking soda. Use about one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Then simply rinse the brush and dry it.
Deodorize The Refrigerator
Stinky refrigerators can be disgusting. Perhaps it’s due to some leftovers, or maybe you haven’t cleaned it in a while. Regardless of the source, a foul smell can be a big turn off if it’s embedded in your food.
The solution is incredibly easy. Just open a box of baking soda and place it in the back of the appliance. This will neutralize any odors lurking inside. The only maintenance you need to do is replace the box with a new one every couple of months. It’s as simple as that.
Freshen Your Breath & Polish Your Teeth
No one likes having stinky breath. If you don’t have a mint, simply add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Swish the mixture in your mouth and then spit it out. Voila! Fresh breath.
Baking soda can also be used as a natural toothpaste. While some experts only recommend occasional use because it can be quite abrasive, the substance can give your chompers a nice, clean, polished look. Simply add it to your homemade toothpaste every few weeks.
Soften Your Feet
Our feet go through a lot on a daily basis. We walk and stand on them throughout the day, whether we’re working, exercising, or spending time with family and friends. It’s no wonder they get tired and sometimes hurt. Why not pamper them a bit?
Create a solution with three tablespoons of baking soda and a small tub of warm water. Then soak your feet to soothe and soften them. This is a great way to unwind after a long day at the office or a harrowing day with your kids.
Mop The Floor
No one likes cleaning, and mopping the floor can be a pain. But if you’re out of cleaning fluid or want a more natural solution, simply pour 1/2-cup of baking soda into a bucket of warm water. Then mix the solution and mop and clean the floor.
What’s great about this is the solution is much less toxic than some other cleaners you find at the grocery store. Avoid bleach and other chemicals and use baking soda instead for a simple, carefree cleaning solution.
Ward Off Ants
Ants can be annoying. They build ant hills in the yard, some of them bite, and many of them end up in the house, wandering around aimlessly looking for food. The good news is that there is a way to get rid of them off without investing in traps from Walmart.
First, mix equal parts baking soda and salt. Next, sprinkle the mixture in the area where you see the ants coming into your kitchen or another area of your home. This solution acts as a ward to keep the insects away.
Clean The Microwave
The microwave is one of the dirtiest areas in your kitchen. Somehow it easily accumulates food grime that we don’t always clean right away. As a result, it gets stuck on the inside surface, creating an unsightly mess.
Fortunately, a little baking soda and some elbow grease can go a long way. Simply pour some on a damp cloth and scrub the oven’s interior to remove any residue. Not only does the baking soda clean the surface, it also deodorizes it. It’s a super way to clean the appliance with very little effort.
Polishing silverware is a thankless task. It can also be very time consuming and a little messy. For a simpler method, make a paste using three parts baking soda and one part water. Then rub the paste onto silver flatware using a cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry.
The next time you receive a bunch of silverware for a wedding or other occasion, you don’t have to worry because it’s not as hard to keep clean as you would think. Baking soda can do wonders!
Unclog A Sink
There are some homemaking tasks that are worse than others. Cleaning a clogged drain is one of them. If you don’t have any Drano on hand, you can take care of the problem by mixing 1/2-cup of baking soda, one cup of vinegar, and some hot water together.
Pour the solution into the clogged drain and wait. It won’t take too long for the clog to dissipate. This is a clever solution to an annoying problem, and you can use it on both wash sinks and bathtub drains.
Clear Up Foggy Headlights
If your car’s headlights have gotten foggy and/or yellowed over the years, there’s a simple fix for it. You can restore those lights in just a few steps. First, use a soft microfiber cloth to thoroughly clean the headlights, being sure to get rid of any dust and dirt.
Then, mix a tablespoon or two of liquid soap with enough water to make a very thin soapy solution. After cleaning the headlights with this solution and rinsing it off, mix one or two tablespoons of baking soda with white vinegar until you’ve made a thick paste. Apply it and polish the light gently using a dry cloth. Rinse and repeat as needed until your headlights are bright and clear again!
Make Flowers Last Longer
Most women (and maybe some men) really enjoy getting a fresh bouquet of flowers. It’s even better when they last a really long time. There is a way to make them more durable. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase, and they’ll stay fresher much longer.
So the next time your son or daughter brings you some flowers from the garden, or your significant other surprises you with a special bouquet, show them how much you appreciate the gesture by keeping the arrangement around as long as you can.
Wash Your Fruits & Veggies
As you probably realize, produce can be really dirty. Everyone knows it’s important to wash fruits and vegetables, but we often just do so in plain water. Instead, mix 1/4-cup of baking soda with a full sink of water. Gently wash the produce and then rinse it with clean water.
This is a safe and effective way to ensure that your fruit and vegetables are as clean as possible before you eat them. It’s just one step to make sure that the pears, apples, tomatoes, and other produce you consume is as healthy as it can be.
Remove Crayon Marks
Kids can be messy. They leave toys and clothes all over the house, and they can be really sloppy eaters (especially when they’re small). They also tend to color on things that aren’t meant to be drawn on, including walls. While you may love Joey’s drawing of a unicorn, you don’t want it on the bedroom wall.
To get rid of crayon marks put baking soda on a slightly wet cloth and lightly rub the wall. Then wipe the wall with a clean, dry cloth. Fortunately, crayon marks aren’t too challenging to remove.
Freshen Your Coat Closet
A coat closet is very handy, but like the rest of your home, it needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. It can get damp and musty, particularly if it’s left unattended during the summer or other times of the year.
To keep the contents of the closet in good condition, put an open box of baking soda on the shelf (just like you do in the refrigerator). This will repel odors and keep all your jackets and winter coats inside feeling fresh.
Abolish Toilet Odor
The toilet is probably on the top of the list of your home’s worst smelling spots. It gets a lot of use, and if it’s not properly cared for and cleaned, it can stink pretty badly. But you can repel some of the odor with just a few simple steps.
Just put a cup of baking soda in the toilet, and let it sit there for about an hour. Then flush it. The baking soda both cleans the commode and absorbs odor. Everyone should start doing this one simple task to make life easier (and better smelling).
Remove Odor From Clothes
Just like baking soda can help remove odors from your refrigerator, it can help reduce and remove odors from dirty clothing. Bacteria can dramatically increase odor, which means taking an extra step to get it out.
Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to a load of laundry can help neutralize the pH level of the water in your washing machine. It also gives your laundry detergent or bleach a boost, making it more effective.
Remove Odor From Your Hands
Have you ever gotten a strong odor on your hands that you can’t get rid of? This is a common problem for home chefs who frequently work with powerful-smelling ingredients such as garlic and onion. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to remove the stench.
Rub your hands together with baking soda and water, and that will help remove the odor. You can also use this solution to remove dirt or other residues on your hands. When your hands smell, it’s hard to concentrate on other things, so this is one tip you should not ignore.
As you know by now, baking soda is a natural deodorizer. It makes sense that you may want to use it as a natural deodorant on your skin. Some people just sprinkle the substance on their armpits to avoid being stinky. Note: it won’t work as an antiperspirant.
For some people, baking soda alone may be too harsh if they have sensitive skin. However, it can be combined with other ingredients to make a good deodorant. This is a great solution if you’re in a pinch and run out of your regular product.
Deodorize The Litter Box
Everyone loves kittens (unless you’re a dog person). And while the furry felines can be our best friends, one of the worst parts of pet ownership is cleaning the litter box. Frankly, it’s a stinky job. But you can make the task a little easier with baking soda.
All you need to do is sprinkle the bottom of the litter box with baking soda, and then cover it with the litter itself. It will act as a deodorizing agent. In between litter changes, simply sprinkle some baking soda on top.
Replace Your Expensive Dry Shampoo
We all know what it’s like going to the store and feel the pain in our wallet when we buy that $5 can of dry shampoo that we know is only going to last us 2 weeks. Baking soda is here to help save your pennies and your hair by being your new go-to dry shampoo!
Just take one tablespoon of baking soda, mix it with water until it becomes a paste, scrub and let it sit in your scalp for 3-5 minutes then rinse it off! It’s not the driest, but it’ll save you a wash on your hair.
Clean Your Rugs And Carpets
Reach for that baking soda in your cupboard and say goodbye to borrowing the rug cleaner machines from your mother-in-law. Those things are a huge pain to lug around and leave your carpets wet for days after. Not our trusty baking soda though. It will leave your carpet smelling and feeling clean!
All you have to do is sprinkle it over your carpet, rub it into the fibers, and then vacuum it up. Simple as that! An added bonus is that it cleans your vacuum’s guts as well.
Remove Rust From Your Stainless Steel
Just because it says “stainless” doesn’t mean it won’t rust. Eventually, it can get damaged or worn. Get rid of those pesky rust spots on your car, appliances, or any other stainless steel surface with baking soda of all things.
All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water and put in some elbow grease by rubbing it into the stain with a toothbrush. Then simply rinse and wipe with a wet paper towel.
Put Out (Small) Grease Fires
If you’re cooking with grease you should always have the right fire extinguishing equipment on hand, and you should never use water. With that being said, if for whatever reason baking soda is all you have then you can put out small grease fires with that. Just be safe and use common sense,.
If there is a small grease fire in your pan, turn the heat off, put on the lid, pour on a lot of baking soda, and then spray a fire extinguisher as a last resort if the fire is still burning.
Get Your Non-Stick Pots Looking Like New Again
No matter how non-stick something advertises it is, chances are it’s always going to get a few brown spots. It’s one of the laws of the universe. Whether it’s on the basin of the pan or on the underside, make your kitchen gear sparkle with a little baking soda.
All you have to do is boil a large pot of water, put in a cup of baking soda, let your pots and pans soak in it for 20-30 minutes, and give any tough spots a scrub. Now you have gear that even Gordon Ramsay would respect.
Get Rid Of Those Annoying Blackheads
We all have blackheads. They’re those annoying little black dots on your nose that are really just pimples without the skin over them so the gunk just sits there and turns black. They’re the worst, but thankfully baking soda is here to help.
All you have to do is mix a tsp of baking soda and a tsp of water to make a paste and then rub it on top of your wet face. Let that sit for a minute then rinse off. The baking soda will help clean the blackheads out and prevent more from forming. Yahoo!