Two Dozen Uses for Baking Soda

by Irene Zundel


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Inexpensive, versatile, and environmentally friendly, baking soda has a myriad of uses. I have compiled two dozen of them , some you may have never tried before. From reducing baby's fever to cleaning dentures, and ridding your garden of pests, baking soda can be an easy and cheap solution to your problems.

Homemade Scouring Powder

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
1 cup salt

Drain Cleaner

I cup baking soda
Add 1 cup hot vinegar

Wait a few minutes, then flush the drain with 1 quart of very hot water.

For garbage disposals, use 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar.

Automatic Dishwasher Powder

Use 2 Tablespoons baking soda and 2 Tablespoons borax per load.

Drip Coffee Maker Cleaner

Mix 1 cup warm water and 1/4 cup baking soda. Let it drip through the coffee maker. Then drip a pot of plain water to rinse. It will keep your coffee maker clean and fresh.

Tea Kettle Cleaner

To remove rust stains and mineral deposits, fill the tea kettle with water and add 2 Tablespoons of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon. Boil gently for 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat if needed.

Microwave Cleaning

Make a cleaning solution of 4 Tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Use it to clean the inside surfaces of the oven. Or place a few spoonfuls of baking soda in water in a microwave safe cup. Boil the water 3-5 minutes. The walls of the microwave will be damp. Simply take a sponge or paper towel and wipe down the insides of the oven.

Unclog Gas Stoves

To unclog burners on a gas stove, simply add 1/4 box of baking soda to 2 quarts of water and boil for a few minutes.

Easy Toilet Cleaner

Sprinkle 1/2 box of baking soda into the toilet tank once a month. Let it stand overnight before flushing. The tank and the bowl will be both clean and deodorized.

Economical Air Freshener

Simply mix equal parts of baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put it in a soap dish or in small sachet bags wherever you would like to freshen the air.

Economical Carpet Deodorizer

Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, and 15 drops of essential oil fragrance for scent. Sprinkle on the rugs before bedtime and let it sit overnight. If you like, you can work it into the carpet the next morning with a stiff bristle brush or broom. Then vacuum.

Laundry Booster

Add 1/2 cup baking soda to the washing machine along with your usual amount of liquid laundry soap. It will make whites whiter and colors brighter. (NOTE: It doesn't work with powdered laundry detergents!).

Clean Brushes and Combs

Fill sink with hot water and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Watch the dirt and oil dissolve away!

Underarm Deodorant

Sprinkle under your arms, even after shaving. It won't irritate your skin. If you prefer a smoother textured deodorant, mix it with a little talcum powder.

Clean Glasses

Hold your eyeglasses over a sink and sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on them. With wet fingers, gently rub the lenses. Rinse clean and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Breath Freshener

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water and rinse. It will eliminate even morning mouth, garlic and onion odors! Make your own mouthwash by combining 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of water. Add a few drops of flavoring if desired.

Tooth Whitener

Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Using a cotton swab, apply it to your teeth, brush clean with water and rinse. Coffee and tea stains will disappear! (NOTE: This is an occasional treatment only. Lemon juice contains a lot of acid and shouldn't be overused, or used alone. Combined with baking soda, the acid is buffered and won't destroy the tooth's enamel).

Denture and Retainer Cleaner

Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda. 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent and 1 cup of water. Soak the dentures or plastic retainer for 30 minutes and rinse well. If you prefer, you can use 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a glass.

An Inexpensive Sports Drink

For each quart of boiled water add 1 level tablespoon of salt, 1 rounded teaspoon of baking soda, 4 rounded teaspoons of sugar, and 1 package of sugar free Kool-Aid.

Stir until clear and refrigerate.

Clear Up a Stuffy Nose

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer. It will unblock nasal passages and keep the vaporizer clean as well!

Baby Fever Reducer

Bathe the infant in a tub of lukewarm water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Use less if you are using a plastic infant tub. This is also an effective remedy for diaper rash.

For Dogs and Cats

Sprinkle baking soda on your pet's brush or comb to deodorize their skin and fur.

Adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your dog's bath water and rinse water will make their coat clean and shiny.

Using baking soda on pet stains will eliminate the odor and prevent the pet from returning to the same spot in the future for another accident.

Sprinkling the litter box with baking soda keeps it fresh and deodorized.

Paint Brushes

To restore brushes stiffened and hardened by paint, simply boil them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water mixed with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda.

Non-toxic pesticide

Put baking soda under sinks near pipe openings and along basement windows to repel ants, silver fish and roaches. Roaches will dehydrate and die after eating baking soda.

In the Garden

Occasionally, lightly sprinkle baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from nibbling at your buds.

Sprinkle baking soda on slugs to get rid of them without having to resort to costly and toxic pesticides.

To sweeten your tomatoes by reducing their acidity, sprinkle baking soda lightly on the soil around your tomato plants. The soda from an old box used to absorb odors in the refrigerator is fine for this purpose.


Ms. Zundel is a freelance writer and homeschooling mother. She specializes in writing entertaining educational material for students grades K-12. You can contact her at artwhiz@fadco.net.

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