I LOVE baking soda. There are so many useful things I can do with it and I am even still discovering new ones. And the best thing is, baking soda is pure, safe and natural.
I was looking for natural products to use as part of my personal care when I first read about baking soda. At first, I was skeptical but decided to go ahead and try as I wanted to use more natural products that is better for me and the environment. And I am so happy that I did. There are so many amazing uses for it: in the kitchen (cleans sinks, ovens, pots, etc.), in the bathroom (toilets, sink, showers, tiles, etc.), personal care (deodorant, foot soak, shampoo, exfoliator, etc.), kids activities (bath fizzles, watercolours, play clay, etc.) and more.
- Deodorant: It is as simple as dusting some baking soda under your arms. The baking soda naturally absorbs odors instead of just covering them up. I added my own twist to it by mixing it with coconut oil and essential oils.
- Brushes and combs: Combs and brushes get dirty over many uses. Dead skins, oil build-up and hair product residue will stick to them and is troublesome to clean. Easy. Soak the brushes and combs in a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
- Mouth freshener: Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse.
- Hair care: Sprinkle a small amount (quarter-size) of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Wash as usual and rinse thoroughly. The baking soda will help remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
- Bath or foot soak: Relax after a long day with a bath soak or foot soak. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a basin of warm water. Gently scrub with a baking soda paste for additional exfoliation.
- Facial or body scrub: Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto skin in a gentle circular motion. Avoid eye area. Rinse clean and pat dry. This simple exfoliator sheds dead skin gently. Another alternative is to sprinkle some baking soda into your usual cleanser. Wash as usual.
- Teeth cleaner: Sprinkle some baking soda in a small dish. Dip in your wet toothbrush. Brush and then rinse with water.
- Smelly shoes: Shake a little baking soda into your shoes between wearings. It works by absorbing odor causing moisture while neutralizing existing odors. Use at least once a week or more if you wear the shoes frequently. Tap out excess baking soda before wearing your shoes again.
- Pots, pans, plates: Shake a generous amount of baking soda into the sink with dish detergent and hot water. Put in the pots, pans or plates. Let sit for 15 minutes and wash as usual.
- Smelly sinks: Smelly sinks result from food build-up in dirty drains. Those leftover food scraps accumulate over time until the drain is clogged, creating stinky smell. Keep your sinks smelling fresh and clean with baking soda. Pour half cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water.
- Fruit and vegetable cleaner: Clean your food the safe way. Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a vegetable brush or a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse.
- Silver polish: Baking Soda can shine all your silver in no time at all. Use 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
- Tea pots: Remove tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and tea pots in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda paste.
- Kitchen counter: Clean your kitchen counter area with natural, food-safe baking soda instead of harsh cleaners. Sprinkle some baking soda onto a clean damp sponge or cloth. Wipe clean. Rinse thoroughly. Wipe dry.
- Deodorizing refrigerator: You can deodorize your refrigerator with coffee grounds, charcoal, vanilla extract, lemon juice or vinegar. Another simple way is to use baking soda. Put some in a small bowl in the back of your refrigerator for at least 10 days.
- Shower curtains: Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.
- Drainage: Pour baking soda regularly (1 cup a week) in your drains to help keep your septic system flowing freely.
- Bathroom surfaces: Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean, damp sponge. Scrub the surface, rinse and wipe dry.
- Bathroom floors: Mix half cup of baking soda in a pail of warm water, mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor.
- Bath fizzles: If you have a son who hates to shower, this could be a fun way to bribe him into the bathroom. Drop colourful homemade bath fizzles into the tub and watch the natural bubbling action. Here is how to do it.
- Watercolours: Have fun painting and playing with natural and safe watercolours. Like all things, keep watch and make sure your kids do not drink it though.
- Play clay: Need more colourful playdough? Here is how you can create more.
- Clean furniture: Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
- Upholstery or carpet spills: Accidents happen. Now, you can clean spills or accidents on upholstery by soaking up as much of the liquid as possible. Clean the stain according to the manufacturers directions and allow to dry. Then sprinkle baking soda when the area is dry to deodorize it, let sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up. Check for color-fastness first before applying baking soda.
- Smelly carpet: Sprinkle baking soda on your dry carpet. Let sit for several hours. Vacuum the carpet.
- Laundry: Place laundry in the washing machine. Add half cup of baking soda, detergent and run the machine. Add another half cup at the start of the rinse cycle. The minerals in baking soda soften the water (better balance of pH) in your washer to help make your whites whiter, your brights brighter and your clothes last longer.
- Clean baby clothes: Some babies have sensitive skin. Therefore, baby clothes need to be cleaned with gentle cleansers like baking soda to protect their soft baby skin as well as clean tough stains. For tough stains, add half cup of baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent and a half cup in the rinse cycle for deodorization.
- Deodorize baby bottles: Clean and deodorize baby bottles with a teaspoon of baking soda and warm water. Shake, rinse and thoroughly clean as usual. For extra cleaning and deodorizing, you can also soak bottles and nipples overnight in a solution of 4 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Then rinse and clean as usual.
- Clean and freshen sports gear: Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize. You can also clean golf irons with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
- Deodorize trashcans: Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay.
- Litter box: Cat urine has a nasty, pungent smell. To get rid of the smell, cover the bottom of the litter box with baking soda. Fill as usual with litter. Sprinkle more baking soda on top of the litter.
- Dirty dog: Use baking soda to give your dog a dry bath. Start when your dog’s coat is thoroughly dry. Sprinkle lightly on its fur and use a brush to work it through and then thoroughly remove. This is an easy way to freshen your best friend’s coat in between bathings.
- Remove rust: Rusty tools? No worries. Take the rusty tool and soak it in vinegar. Brush off the rust. Then add 1 part baking soda to 2 parts water. Soak for five minutes, rinse and dry. Finally, coat it with coconut oil for longer protection.
There are many more uses. One of them is, of course, to be used in baking. But the funny thing is, though it is called ‘baking’ soda, I have only used it for cleaning … so far.