Baking soda has become a staple in many households around the world. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a fantastic product for removing odors from around the house. Several baking soda uses exist for cleaning without resorting to using toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your family.
Along with being an excellent, chemical free cleaner for your home, baking soda is also used in baking and has numerous health benefits, from relieving heartburn and indigestion to removing pesky splinters. These many uses make baking soda one of the most useful products to have in your home.
With more than 50 baking soda uses and baking soda benefits, it is an inexpensive alternative for everything from daily hygiene products, to household cleaners. In this article, we’re going to go over these uses and benefits. We’ll also cover how to tell if baking soda is fresh and the difference between baking soda vs. baking powder.
- 50+ Uses for Baking Soda
- Baking Soda Uses for Cleaning
- Clean Your Bathtub
- Deodorize Your Refrigerator
- Clean and Unclog Drains
- Add to the Dishwasher or Use as a Cleaner in the Bathroom
- Extinguish Grease Fires
- Deodorize Shoes
- Closet Freshener
- Deodorize the Cat Box
- Deodorize Your Cutting Boards
- Deodorize Trashcans
- Clean the Inside of Your Dishwasher
- Deodorize Garbage Disposals
- Deodorize Recycling Bin
- Deodorize Kid’s Lunch Boxes
- Deodorize Carpets and Clean a Mattress
- Baking Soda Benefits for Health
- Natural Deodorant
- Face Exfoliator
- Hand Softener
- Soothe Tired Feet
- Relieve Itchy Skin
- Remove Splinters
- Clean Your Hair Brush and Wig
- Clean Your Hair with Baking Soda
- Soothe Bug Bites
- Relieve a Sunburn
- Clean Your Teeth with Homemade Baking Soda Toothpaste
- Whiten Your Teeth
- Freshen Your Mouth and Heal Canker Sore Faster
- Enhance Your Exercise
- Improve Kidney Function
- Reduce Ulcer Pain
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Baking Soda (Bicarbonate)
- What is Baking Soda?
- How Does Baking Soda Work?
- What is the Difference Between Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder?
- Can I Use Baking Soda in the Garden or for Plants and Vegetables?
- How Can You Tell if Baking Soda is Fresh?
- Is there a Substitute for Baking Soda?
- What Happens When You Combine Baking Soda and Vinegar?
50+ Uses for Baking Soda
Not only can it be used for baking, but it is also a great product to use to clean your home as part of your house cleaning checklist. Don’t resort to using harsh chemicals! Baking soda is bicarbonate of sodium.
Baking Soda Uses for Cleaning
Since the early 1970s, many of the cleaning products that are used in homes today contain the triclosan, a pesticide that is an antibacterial agent that decreases thyroid hormones when exposed to high doses.
A simple way to eliminate the dangerous pesticide from your home is to consider the following uses for baking soda when cleaning your home. Here are some of the best baking soda uses for around the house. (..)
Clean Your Bathtub
A safe and effective way to clean your bathtub, sink, and surrounding tile is by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda on a clean, damp sponge and scrubbing the tub as usual. Thoroughly rinse the bathtub and wipe it dry with a clean towel.
Baking soda also works well to clean rust stains from a fiberglass bathtub and glossy tiles. For extra cleaning power, you can make a paste with the baking soda for a deep-down clean.
A paste is ideal for grout cleaning. Mix up this recipe and apply it to dirty or moldy grout in the tub or on the shower tiles. Let it sit as recommended, and scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse clean. Your grout will sparkle just like your tiles.
Clean your silver flatware and dishes using baking soda. Create a paste that is three parts baking soda and one part water. With a clean cloth or sponge, rub the paste onto your silver. Thoroughly rinse off and allow to dry.
Many of the commercial carpet cleaners on the market today contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your children and pets. Using baking soda to clean your carpet and to get rid of urine smell helps to remove dirt and odors and is safe to use around pets and children.
This recipe also works really well if you are not sure how to get cat urine smell out carpet. Just sprinkle your carpet with baking soda, let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum up. You can also remove tough stains with this simple do-it-yourself baking soda recipe.
Use the vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Cover the stains in your carpet with a layer of baking soda. Spray the area down with the vinegar/water mixture.
Allow the ingredients to sit for several hours. With a small brush, scrub the area to loosen the paste. Vacuum the floor and celebrate the removal of the stains. Find more tips and recipes to get blood stains out of carpet here.
Deodorize Your Refrigerator
If you’ve noticed your fridge smells a bit off, place an open box or container of baking soda in it to eliminate the stench. Baking soda can absorb odor molecules from the air, to help neutralize the odors that can collect in your refrigerator.
Clean and Unclog Drains
Baking soda is a wonderful natural drain cleaner. It is perfect to unclog any drain without much effort. You can use baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar to clean your pipes. Unlike the harsh drain cleaners that you can find at your local supermarket, this is a safe alternative for removing clogs.
Empty a box of baking soda into your drain, then pour in some apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for 15 to 20 minutes, then run hot water down the drain. As an added benefit, baking soda is perfect for cleaning a garbage disposal, too. Food debris and odors are removed instantly!
Add to the Dishwasher or Use as a Cleaner in the Bathroom
To remove baked-on food and eliminate unwanted grease from your dishes and pans, add some baking soda to the regular cycle on your dishwasher. The baking soda reacts with the water to help remove grease and grime that tends to build on your pans and dishes.
Along with vinegar, use baking soda as the best way to clean glass shower doors in the bathroom, as well. You’ll get the shine you want without a lot of extra work.
Extinguish Grease Fires
If you encounter a minor grease fire in your kitchen, you can use baking soda to put it out quickly. Pouring baking soda on the fire will instantly stifle the flames. When the baking soda is heated, it discharges carbon dioxide and produces water.
The carbon dioxide doesn’t support combustion like oxygen. It smothers the fire, allowing the water that has formed to cool the fire to below the temperature needed for ignition.
If you are having trouble getting the strong odors out of your smelly shoes or sneakers, try baking soda. It not only works great to remove stains from leather shoes, but you can also use it to deodorize your boots.
Perfect for getting those old dirty Vans clean and fresh again. Just place some baking soda into the bottom of your shoes, and within minutes they will smell clean and fresh.
If your closet smells musty and dirty, you can freshen it up with some baking soda. Like with the refrigerator, placing a box or cup of baking soda in your closet will help to eliminate odors and keep your closet, and your clothes smelling fresh. Put some in your car for a DIY car air freshener, too.
Deodorize the Cat Box
Cat boxes tend to stink, no matter how often you clean them. To help keep it smelling as fresh as possible between cleanings, add some baking soda to the bottom of the cat box before you add in the litter.
After you remove the litter, sprinkle baking soda on top to give it a quick refresher. Thoroughly clean out the box and add a new layer to the bottom every couple of weeks to keep odors at bay.
Deodorize Your Cutting Boards
If you use wood cutting boards in the kitchen, you know how quickly they can begin to smell. The wood tends to absorb food odors, which can be difficult to eliminate. To get rid of old food odors, sprinkle the cutting board with the baking soda, scrub it thoroughly and rinse with warm water.
Trashcans, both indoor ones, and outside ones can get pretty stinky. Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your trashcans can help to neutralize odors and keep those stinky smells at bay.
Clean the Inside of Your Dishwasher
Dishwashers can quickly begin to smell of mildew. To clean and deodorize the dishwasher, you can sprinkle baking soda on the inside of the machine before you run it through a cycle.
It is part of most homemade dishwasher cleaner recipes and also works as a gentle cleanser on your dishes when used with your regular dish detergent.
Deodorize Garbage Disposals
With all the leftover food that gets put down the garbage disposal, it’s no wonder it can take on a pretty disgusting smell. Baking soda is an excellent way to deodorize it and keep food odors from lingering and resurfacing.
While running warm tap water, pour some baking soda down the drain to neutralize basic odors and acid, leaving you a fresh smelling drain.
Deodorize Recycling Bin
You can make sure your recycling bin doesn’t smell by adding baking soda to the top of the container every time you add to the container.
You can also clean the recycle bin with baking soda after it is empty. Place some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the inside of the recycle bin, followed by a thorough rinse with warm water.
Deodorize Kid’s Lunch Boxes
The plastic lunch boxes your kids take to school are great at absorbing the food odors from their lunches. After several weeks of use, they begin to smell, and no matter how often you wash them out, the odors linger.
To get rid of these lingering odors, place a small, spill-proof box of baking soda in their lunch boxes between uses to keep odors at bay.
Deodorize Carpets and Clean a Mattress
Carpets can start to smell after a couple of months, even quicker if you have pets and children in your home. As we mention in our recipes for homemade carpet shampoo, to quickly get rid of carpet odors, liberally sprinkle baking soda over your carpet.
Let it sit overnight. In the morning, use your vacuum to pick up the baking soda and enjoy your odor free carpeting. The same recipe works great as natural car upholstery cleaner and when you clean a mattress.
Just sprinkle some baking soda over your mattress, rub it in with a towel and vacuum your mattress after an hour. You will be amazed by the refreshed smell of your old mattress.
Baking Soda Benefits for Health
Baking soda is a fantastic tool for cleaning around the house and removing stubborn stains and odors, but baking soda benefits your health, as well. Here are some of the most common benefits of using baking soda to enhance your everyday health.
Did you know that you can make natural deodorant with baking soda? This is an easy way to combat body odor without subjecting your body to the harsh chemicals in most commercial deodorants. If you want to prevent wetness, add some cornstarch to the recipe.
*For women, it is recommended you use lavender, sage, and lemon. For men, use bergamot, rosemary, and cypress.
To make natural deodorant, place the coconut oil in a small bowl. Add the baking soda and mix well. Combine the essential oils of your choice and stir the ingredients. Put the paste in an empty deodorant container or glass jar.
Baking soda is ideal for removing dry skin from your face. You can create your own exfoliate by combining one teaspoon baking soda with half a cup of water. Using a circular motion, rub the paste into your face, then rinse with cold water.
Baking soda also works to soften hands, while removing dirt and odors. Just mix two tablespoons baking soda with ½ cup warm water and rub it into your hands.
The natural scrub also works well to get hair dye off your skin and will leave your hands free of dirt and soft, without the toxic chemicals.
Soothe Tired Feet
You can create a chemical-free foot bath to soak tired feet by combining a tablespoon of baking soda with warm water. The baking soda will work to remove odors and the odor-causing bacteria. Soaking your feet in a baking soda foot bath will also help to prevent toenail fungus from forming.
Relieve Itchy Skin
Applying a baking soda paste to the irritated skin will contribute to reducing the discomfort associated with sunburn and allergic rashes.
It can also soothe skin irritation caused by poison oak and poison ivy. Just mix a teaspoon of baking soda with some water and apply it to the affected skin.
If you’ve ever gotten a splinter, they can be difficult to remove. If left too long, you risk the area getting infected. Baking soda can help you remove splinters naturally. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with warm water and soak the affected area at least twice a day. After a few days of this, your body will expel the splinter naturally.
Clean Your Hair Brush and Wig
Your hair brushes and combs will hold onto the harmful chemicals found in the hair products that you use. You can use baking soda to clean hair brushes, removing the hair product residue deposited on your comb and brush after every use.
To clean your brushes, mix two teaspoons baking soda with one cup of water, and rub the compound into your brush and comb, then rinse. This detangling effect of baking soda makes it an excellent wig cleaner. Dilute it in warm water, and it washes the wig thoroughly.
Clean Your Hair with Baking Soda
The hair products that we use tend to leave a harsh residue, even after washing. To get rid of this residue and remove the dirt and oil that can accumulate over time, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo and rub it in your hair.
Additionally, mix three parts hair conditioner with one part baking soda, and you get the perfect home remedy for lice. It’s simple and easy-to-make, yet very effective.
Extra hair tip: Use baking soda and dish detergent to wash your skin after you dye your hair. It works quite well.
Soothe Bug Bites
While baking soda works exceptionally well to get rid of bed bugs, it is also perfect for pain relief after you got bitten.
If you’ve ever suffered from a bug bite, you know how much they can itch. Rubbing some baking soda on the affected area can relieve the itching.
When you first realize you have a bug bite, create a baking soda paste by combining water and one teaspoon baking soda. Apply at least three times a day until the bite disappears.
Relieve a Sunburn
Baking soda can take the sting and heat out of a sunburn. To get the full benefit, add ½ a cup of baking soda to your warm bath and soak in it for about thirty minutes.
Adding some baking soda to your favorite lotion will allow you to continue the relief after the bath.
Clean Your Teeth with Homemade Baking Soda Toothpaste
To remove more plaque from your teeth when cleaning, add some baking soda to your toothpaste. Baking soda is known to increase the amount of plaque you remove when you brush your teeth.
In a small bowl, add the ingredients and mix thoroughly to form a paste. Dip your toothbrush into the paste and brush your teeth like you would your regular toothpaste. (..)
You can purchase toothpaste that already has baking soda as an ingredient. Or, a few times a week, dip your toothbrush in baking soda to remove more plaque from your teeth.
Whiten Your Teeth
Baking soda can also help to whiten your teeth. Create a paste by mixing one teaspoon baking soda with some warm water.
Once a week, apply the baking soda paste to your teeth and let sit for about five minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Freshen Your Mouth and Heal Canker Sore Faster
If you want to get rid of bad breath, you can use baking soda to freshen your mouth. Unlike commercial breath fresheners, baking soda will neutralize the odors that cause the bad breath instead of only covering it up.
To use, place one teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water. Swish the mixture in your mouth for one minute, spit it out, then rinse.
Baking soda is also great to speed up the healing of canker sore. Mixed with warm water, it cleans and helps the healing process.
A study conducted by the University of Arizona’s Biomedical Engineering Department found that drinking baking soda lessens or eliminates the spread of breast cancer to other body parts.
Baking soda is known to help increase the pH of acidic tumors, without affecting the pH balance of healthy blood and tissues. While there is still a lot of research that needs to happen, the study is promising for cancer patients. It is important to note they also found that too much baking soda can damage healthy organs.(..)
Enhance Your Exercise
Baking soda has the power to absorb the lactic acid that tends to build up in your muscles during your workouts. Removing lactic acid from your muscles helps to delay fatigue and enhance your performance. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your water and drink it before you begin your workout.
Improve Kidney Function
When your kidneys aren’t working right, your body can have a hard time ridding itself of acid. Consuming baking soda helps improve kidney function because it is alkaline and buffers the acid in your body, helping to keep your pH levels balanced.
Reduce Ulcer Pain
Baking soda works to neutralize the acid in your stomach, which can help relieve the pain associated with ulcers. To help relieve symptoms, place 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda into a glass of water and drink it whenever your ulcer becomes painful.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Baking Soda (Bicarbonate)
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. Its crystallized form is ground to a fine powder for commercial sale. People commonly use it in baking as a leavening agent or as a natural cleaning compound.
How Does Baking Soda Work?
An alkaline compound, baking soda will produce carbon dioxide gas when combined with an acid. When used in cooking, the small bubbles that are generated by the carbon dioxide become trapped in the batter, causing the dough to inflate and rise.The most common acids that are combined with baking soda to produce this reaction are lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, buttermilk, and cream of tartar.
You can also produce carbon dioxide gas in baking soda by exposing it to heat. The chemical reaction doesn’t need an acid to take place; you need to expose the baking soda to temperatures above 176 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celsius.
What is the Difference Between Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder?
The difference between baking soda vs. baking powder has to do with acidity. Baking soda is strictly an alkaline compound that needs to be combined with an acid to create the carbon dioxide gas.
Baking powder is a bicarbonate that contains an acid already. The acid compound comes in the form of salt and needs a liquid added for the chemical reaction to occur.
When used as baking powder, baking soda helps the dough rise during the cooking process, by releasing carbon dioxide gas when combined with an acid. (..)
Can I Use Baking Soda in the Garden or for Plants and Vegetables?
Baking soda works is a natural plant booster and stimulates blooming. Baking soda also works well to test garden soil and to reduce acid levels. That’s why baking soda makes for much sweeter tomatoes.
Besides, it prevents any fungal diseases on plants and if sprinkled around, is a natural snail repellent and slug killer. Diluted in water and mixed with olive oil, baking soda also makes for a great spray to kill spider mites and aphids, as well as other bugs that may want to eat your plants.
There are so many amazing uses for baking soda in the garden. Make sure you sprinkle it around your plants and vegetables to help them grow and produce better fruits, veggies, and flowers.