Baking soda is a basic cleaner with mild abrasive qualities. It’s capable of more than just freshening the fridge – use it as a natural way to clean and deodorize many surfaces in your home, from your mattress to your stinky shower drain.
1. Clean a Dirty Shower Floor
Remove a yellow or orange haze from your shower floor with a simple baking soda paste. Add one cup of baking soda to a bowl and enough water to form a thick consistency. Apply the paste to the shower floor with a scrub brush using circular motions. Allow the baking soda to dry, and then rinse it down the drain.
2. Deodorize Carpet
Baking soda is a non-toxic substance that absorbs odors. It’s helpful if your cat’s peed on the floor, your carpet smells musty, or you’re looking to deep clean. Sprinkle the baking soda on the carpet, allow it to sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour, and then vacuum. For extreme odors, leave the baking soda on overnight.
3. Freshen Stinky Drains
Stinky sink drains result from bacteria forming in the drain due to debris such as hair, skin oils, or food scraps. Unclog and freshen a bad-smelling drain with boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar.
First, dump a pot of boiling water down the drain. Allow the drain to cool for a couple of minutes, and add one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white distilled vinegar. Place a towel over the drain and allow the mixture to bubble for fifteen minutes. Flush with hot water.
4. Make Cleaning Slime
Cleaning slime gets deep down into cracks, sticking to dirt and pulling out. It’s ideal for cleaning cars and other places with tight crevices. To make cleaning slime with baking soda, you’ll need a four-ounce bottle of white school glue, ½ tablespoon of baking soda, and one tablespoon of multipurpose contact solution.
Pour the glue into a bowl, and mix the contact solution and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the baking soda mixture to the glue and use a spoon to stir. Continue to stir and knead until the slime reaches the right consistency. If it’s still too sticky, add another dash of baking soda.
5. Polish Silver
Polish your silver serving ware and silverware by adding one cup of baking soda into a bowl and enough water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the silverware with a sponge, allow it to sit for thirty minutes, and rinse well.
For heavily tarnished silver, line a baking dish with aluminum foil, add a pot of boiling water, and two heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Allow the items to soak for twenty minutes, rinse, and dry.
6. Remove Burnt Food from Pans
Baking soda is abrasive enough to scrub burnt-on food from pans but not so abrasive that it leaves scratches behind. Use it to clean dried food from stainless steel, copper, glass, and cast iron pots and bakeware. First, wet inside the pot with water and then sprinkle baking soda over the burnt areas. Use a damp microfiber cloth to scrub away the food residue.
If you’re cleaning cast iron, remember to reseason it afterward.
7. Clean Inside the Oven
Baking soda and vinegar are the perfect combo for cleaning a dirty oven. Baking soda scrubs away burnt-on food while the acidity in vinegar breaks down grease.
Start with a cool, empty oven, and use a handheld vacuum or a rag to sweep out all crumbs. Then, make a paste using baking soda and water. Dip a microfiber cloth into the paste and apply it to the oven using circular motions. When the oven is coated, shut it and allow the baking soda to sit overnight to absorb grease and odors. The following day, add white distilled vinegar to a spray bottle, generously spray over the top of the baking soda, and use a soft-bristled brush to clean the oven. Rinse with a damp rag.
8. Polish Copper Pots
Remove tarnish from copper pots and pans by mixing lemon juice and baking soda in equal parts until a paste forms. Dip a microfiber cloth in the mixture and rub the pans in a circular motion. Rinse and dry.
9. Shine Your Stove’s Cooktop
A baking soda and water paste will remove dirt and burnt food from glass and burner cooktops. Apply the paste with a microfiber rag, scrubbing where there are extra cooked-on messes. Rinse with a fresh cloth dampened in water.
10. Clean Corroded Batteries
Since baking soda is alkaline, it can clean corrosion from batteries. Start by removing batteries from their terminals. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the corroded areas to neutralize any battery acid. Add water and scrub the corrosion off with a damp microfiber cloth.
11. Absorb Bad Odors in the Couch
Baking soda can absorb sweat, cat pee, and other musty odors. Sprinkle it on the couch, allow it to sit for at least fifteen minutes, and then vacuum it.
12. Make the Toilet Sparkle
Add one cup of vinegar to the toilet bowl and swirl with your toilet brush. Then add one cup of baking soda and another two cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow the solution to bubble for at least ten minutes before cleaning with a toilet bowl brush and flushing.
Tip: Don’t add vinegar to the toilet if you use toilet bowl tabs or automatic cleaners. Vinegar will react with bleach products, releasing toxic fumes.
13. Scrub the Sink
Baking soda is a main ingredient in store-bought sink scrubs, and you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price.
Sprinkle baking soda in the sink, add a few drops of dish soap, and use a sink scrub brush to clean. Use this mixture for stainless steel, porcelain, and enameled cast iron sinks.
14. Boost Laundry Performance
Those with hard water can boost their laundry detergent’s performance by adding ½ cup of baking soda to the washer’s drum along with regular detergent. The baking soda will soften the water, allowing the laundry soap to clean better.
Baking soda also works as a stain pretreatment – mix it with water until a paste forms, use your fingers to rub it on the stain, allow the baking soda to dry, wipe it off, and launder the garment as usual.
15. Make a Grout Paste
Make a natural grout cleaner by combining baking soda and water until a paste forms. Use an old toothbrush to apply your homemade grout paste to the grout lines and scrub. Rinse with a mop dampened in water. If there’s still baking soda on the floor afterward, allow it to dry and then vacuum it up.
16. Deodorize a Mattress
Sprinkle baking soda on your bare mattress to soak up sweat and absorb foul odors. Let it sit for at least one hour, and then vacuum. For an added scent booster, mix a couple of drops of lavender essential oil with it before applying it to the mattress.
17. Clean Your Fruit
Clean your fruit by filling a bowl with warm water and adding two spoonfuls of baking soda. Submerge the fruit for up to fifteen minutes, then rinse and dry. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the fruit if desired.