Baking soda is something that most of us have in our kitchen cupboards – but you’re missing out if you only use it for baking! Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking powder doesn’t only make your cakes taste better, but it can also serve as a useful ingredient for all sorts of hacks around your home. Not only is it completely natural, it’s also super-cheap to buy.
Get your hands on some baking soda and check out the 37 different ways you can put it to use today.
1. Make a homemade toothpaste
Ran out of toothpaste? Make a baking soda alternative until you can get to the shops. Just dip your toothbrush into some baking soda, which people actually used to do in the olden days to whiten their teeth and freshen their breath.
2. Unclog your sink
Nobody likes dealing with a clogged sink, especially when it starts to smell like dirty drains. Pouring one cup of baking soda plus one cup of vinegar down your drain should help unclog your drains at home.
3. Use as a deodorant
Many commercial deodorants are terrible for the environment, and contain ingredients that don’t always react well with our skin. To make your own natural odour-eliminator, just pat baking soda under your arms to keep them nice and dry.
4. Make an air freshener
Air fresheners are a great addition to any home, but they can get expensive when you have to keep buying them. A more wallet-friendly alternative is to make your own baking soda air freshener by adding one tablespoon of baking soda to distilled water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
5. Use as a mouthwash
Just like you can use baking soda to brush your teeth, you can also use it as a natural mouthwash to neutralise any bad odours in your mouth. Just put one teaspoon of baking soda in a small glass and tip it into your mouth. Swirl the solution around your mouth, then spit it out and rinse.
6. Deodorize rubbish bins
Baking soda is a great odour eliminator, which makes it ideal for sprinkling on the bottom of your rubbish bin to keep unfortunate smells away. Top up on a daily basis to help ensure your kitchen stays fresh-smelling day and night.
7. Make an exfoliant
When it’s used as an exfoliant, baking soda can gently remove dead skin cells. You just need to mix three parts baking soda and one part water to create the exfoliating solution. Rub it in a circular motion on your skin and rinse off.
8. Clean furniture
Whether you have a stubborn stain or you just want to give your furniture a touch-up, baking soda works just as well as a commercial cleaner. Just add baking soda to a damp clean sponge and rub furniture lightly, then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
9. Treat insect bites
If you make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to your skin, you can ease an itchy mosquito bite. Baking soda is natural and won’t irritate your skin when you apply it directly.
10. Cut through oil and grease
Struggling to clean an oily frying pan? Baking soda makes oil easier to clean when you add a heaping scoop to your regular dish soap. Let the dish soak for a while before rinsing clean.
11. Keep your flowers fresh for longer
Flowers look gorgeous when displayed in your home, but they’re not known for having the longest of lifespans. You can’t make flowers live forever, but you can help them look better for longer by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to a vase of flowers.
12. Use as a shampoo
Shampoos are expensive, and many of them aren’t actually that great for your hair. As a natural alternative, you can use baking soda as a shampoo topped off with apple cider vinegar. Mix a couple of tablespoons of the two and apply as you would your normal shampoo.
13. Relieve nappy rash
Any parent will know the struggle of keeping nappy rash at bay. If the soothing cream isn’t cutting it, try mixing a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in warm bathwater and bathing your baby to relieve a red rash.
14. Keep ants away
Ants are a pesky problem, and once they invade your home, it’s hard to get rid of them. If you’d prefer not to use chemicals inside your house, mix baking soda and salt 50/50 and sprinkle the mixture when the ants come marching in.
15. Deodorize pet bedding
As much as we love them, pets are smelly, and not the cleanest of animals. An easy way to clean their bedding without resorting to the washing machine is to sprinkle it with baking soda, wait 15 minutes or more, and vacuum.
16. Extinguish small fires
This point is a bit niche because we’d hope that you’re not making small fires in your home on a regular basis. But if an emergency occurs, turn off the gas or electricity if it’s safe, stand back, and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put the fire out.
17. Use as an antacid
Baking soda can relieve heartburn, stomach upset, and acid indigestion. Half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water should do the trick.
18. Soothe your feet
Our feet deserve much more love and attention than most of us give them. Pamper your feet and reward them for their hard work by soaking them in a warm tub of water with three tablespoons of baking soda.
19. Freshen your wardrobe
There are many areas of the home that can quickly become musty, and the wardrobe is one of them. To solve the issue, place a box of baking soda in your wardrobe to freshen things up and ward off moths.
20. Freshen your rugs
Your carpets and rugs can accumulate dust and dirt without you even knowing it. If you don’t want to splash out on a professional clean, simply sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, wait 15 minutes or overnight, and vacuum up to leave it looking and smelling brand new.
21. Clean baby clothes gently
Babies’ skin is incredibly sensitive, and even your delicate washing formulas may cause a bad reaction. For a non-harsh cleanser, add half a cup of baking soda to chemical-free liquid laundry detergent and wash clothes.
22. Clean your car
Washing your car the wrong way can quickly lead to scratches and unsightly marks on the paintwork. One safe and effective car-washing ingredient is baking soda, which you can use with warm water applied on a soft cloth, sponge, or brush to remove road dirt and bugs.
23. Keep your combs and brushes clean
Have you ever stopped to think about just how dirty your comb or brush is? You’ll need to make sure you remove the natural oil build-up every so often, and one of the ways you can do this is by soaking your brush in a small basin of warm water with one teaspoon of baking soda. Then rinse and let it dry.
24. Discourage weeds in your garden
Weeds have an annoying habit of cropping up time and time again, even after you spend hours on your knees pulling them out at the roots. For a quicker, natural way to get rid of weeds, sprinkle baking soda between the cracks of your walkway.
25. Deodorise your cat’s litter box
One of the most unfortunate household smells for cat owners is the kitty litter tray. You can mask the smell somewhat by covering the bottom of the box with baking soda and adding litter straight on top.
26. Keep your retainers and dentures clean
Mouthpieces like retainers and dentures need odour neutralization, and if you want to keep them clean without chemical products, just drop them in a cup of two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved in water.
27. Remove toilet odours
Baking soda can also be used in your bathroom to get rid of any unpleasant toilet odours. Simply add one cup of baking soda to the toilet and let it sit for one hour and absorb the bad smells before you flush.
28. Clean pots and pans
Baking residue can be a nightmare to remove, especially when it forms a hard, burnt crust on your pots and pans. Try shaking a generous amount of soda onto your kitchenware, then adding hot water and dish detergent and soaking for 15 minutes before washing off.
29. Deodorize lunch boxes
We’ve all been that person to open up our packed lunch and stink out the entire workroom. If you like to eat smelly food, but don’t want your neighbours complaining, put a spill-proof box of baking soda into your lunch box to help absorb odours.
30. Polish your silver
Jewellery is beautiful until it starts to fade. Brighten your dull silver necklaces, bracelets and rings with a baking soda and water paste. Rub the paste directly onto your silver with a clean cloth, then rinse and dry.
31. Clean the oven
Cleaning the oven is probably one of the worst tasks ever invented, but luckily, using baking soda can make the job that little bit quicker and easier. Just sprinkle baking soda on the bottom surface of your oven and spray with water to dampen the soda.
Let it sit overnight and scrub in the morning, rinsing thoroughly.
32. Remove the odour from vacuum cleaner
Your vacuum cleaner might get rid of the mess from around your home, but that only means the inside of the vacuum is full-on germ heaven. By vacuuming baking soda into the body of the vacuum cleaner, you are helping to deodorize the equipment.
33. Remove oil and grease stains
Light spillages of oil and grease can be cleaned by sprinkling baking soda on the spot and scrubbing with a wet brush. Leave it to sit overnight if the stain is a particularly tough one.
34. Boost your laundry detergent
Laundry detergent is generally good as it is – but if you could improve it, why wouldn’t you? Add half a cup of baking soda to your liquid detergent to get your clothes brighter after a wash.
35. Wash your produce
Many of us make the mistake of eating our fruit and veg raw without first washing the surface, which can contain harmful microorganisms that will make us sick. Stay safe and scrub baking soda under water to your produce to remove pesticides and residue.
36. Make tea taste better
Who would have thought that baking soda could be used to improve the flavour of tea? As it turns out, a pinch of baking soda in a gallon of freshly brewed tea will remove bitterness and cloudiness, giving a more enjoyable taste.
37. Clean crayon marks from the wall
Little kids don’t often know when they’re crossing boundaries, which is why it’s common for their crayon marks to end up on the walla. Thankfully, a wet cloth with baking soda is all you need to remove these marks quick as a flash.
So, there are all the special uses for baking soda! If you think we’ve missed off any hacks, let us know your favourites in the comments below.