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50 Clever Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

From the kitchen to the bathroom to the garage, discover the surprising things you can clean with baking soda.

By Dana Meredith, Associate Editor

Baking soda sitting in a glass bowl surrounded by sponges, half a lemon and an empty bottle

Shutterstock / Geo-grafika


We all know that baking soda is an essential ingredient in whipping up fluffy pancakes, quick breads and perfect cakes. But did you know it works wonders cleaning around the house, too? This gentle, non-toxic pantry staple is a powerhouse when it comes to removing oil stains, cleaning your kids' toys, and even freshening your breath.

Whether you're diving deep into spring cleaning or tidying up an everyday mess, a box of baking soda will be your new best friend. Best part? It's a wholesome, homemade alternative to the expensive stuff you get at the store. Freshen your household inside and out with our 50 must-know ways to clean with baking soda.


General Purpose

Drain Cleaner: Pour ½ cup baking soda followed by ½ cup vinegar down the drain. Let fizz. Pour 6 cups of hot water down the drain.


Carpet Stain Remover: Mix 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt and 1 cup white vinegar into a paste. Apply to the stain and allow to dry. Vacuum. (Gum on the carpet? Try these tips.)


Closet Freshener: Keep musty smells at bay by placing an open box or small glass jar of baking soda on a closet shelf.


Rug Deodorizer: Sprinkle the rug with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.


Drawer Freshener: Fill an old sock or small cloth bag with baking soda and place in a drawer to absorb odor.


Toy Cleaner: To refresh your kids' toys, dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart warm water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray toys. Rinse and dry thoroughly.


Small Hole Repair: No spackle? Make a paste of white toothpaste and baking soda. Fill holes in the wall with mixture, smooth over and allow to dry.


Water Spot Remover: Make a paste with baking soda, water and toothpaste. Apply the paste with a soft cloth to wood and rub away rings and spots.


Vacuum Cleaner Odor Remover: Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum up to help remove odors inside your vacuum cleaner.


Marble Cleaner: Dissolve 3 teaspoons of baking soda in a quart of warm water. Wet a clean cloth with mixture and wipe down marble.


Mattress Deodorizer: Vacuum mattress first. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface and let it sit 30 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.


Sponge Cleaner: Soak smelly sponges in 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water.


Laundry Brightener: Add ½ cup of baking soda to a load of laundry to boost colors and help fight stains.


Air freshener: Mix water, baking soda and a drop of your favorite essential oil together to make a room spray.


Sterling Silver Jewelry Cleaner: To remove tarnish, line the bottom of a dish with aluminum foil shiny side up. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of boiling water (the solution may bubble). Place your jewelry piece in the dish, making sure it's touching the aluminum foil. Pour the solution into the dish. Let it sit for two to 10 minutes. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Make sure silver is completely dry before storing.


Kitchen

Trash Can Deodorizer: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into the trash can once a week to help absorb odors.


Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner: Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar. Soak paper towels in solution and wipe down sink.


Stovetop Cleaner: Pour baking soda directly onto grimy surface and let sit for 5 minutes. Wipe with a damp sponge, scrubbing gently. Wipe clean with soft cloth.

Non-Self-Cleaning Oven Cleaner: Mix 1 cup white vinegar and ½ cup lemon juice in spray bottle. Spray the bottom of oven. Let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle baking soda on top. Let sit for 10 minutes and wipe clean.


Fruit and Veggie Wash: Mix water, baking soda and lemon juice and wipe fruits and veggies to remove wax.


Silverware Polisher: Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda, 1 part water. Rub paste onto silverware with a clean cloth. Rinse and dry.


No-Wax Floor Cleaner: Mix ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop the floor and rinse with clean water.


Microwave Cleaner: Help remove stuck-on food by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and scrubbing residue.


Dishwasher Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher and run as usual to help freshen and remove stains.


Garbage Disposal Refresher: Pour baking soda slowly down the drain while running warm tap water.


Cutting Board Deodorizer: Sprinkle board with baking soda, scrub and rinse. (Use a disinfectant for cleaning.)


Dishrag Deodorizer: Soak smelly dishrags in a bucket of warm water and baking soda.


Bathroom

Soap Scum Remover: Sprinkle a wet rag or sponge with baking soda and rub on sinks and bathtubs to remove stubborn soap scum.


Shower Grout Cleaner: Make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. Brush paste on grout lines with a toothbrush. Let sit several minutes and wipe off. Alternatively, you can mix ¼ cup bleach with ¾ cup baking soda and apply in same manner.


Shower Curtain Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge, scrub curtain and rinse off with clean water.


Comb and Brush Cleaner: Soak combs and brushes overnight in a cup of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.


Outdoors

Oil Stain Remover: To remove pesky oil stains from your driveway or garage floor, sprinkle baking soda over the stains and scrub with a stiff-bristle brush.


Lawn Furniture Cleaner: Mix ¼ cup baking soda with 1 quart warm water. Wipe down, rinse and allow to dry.


Battery Cleaner: Because of its alkaline properties, baking soda acts as a neutralizer for battery acid corrosion on cars, lawn mowers and outdoor equipment. To clean, first disconnect the battery terminals. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply with a damp cloth and scrub to remove corrosion.


Grill Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda on the grill grates and scrub with a brush. Rinse and wipe clean.


Chrome Polisher: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Wet clean cloth with paste, rub on chrome and wipe off. Rinse and dry.


Ice Melter: To provide a margin of safety, generously sprinkle baking soda on icy steps and walkways to help melt ice and increase traction.


Bug Repellent: To keep cockroaches and ants at bay, sprinkle a line of baking soda along basement windows and doorways.


Brush Softener: Paint brushes too stiff? Boil them in a mixture of ½ gallon water, ¼ cup vinegar and 1 cup baking soda.


Weed Control: Generously sprinkle baking soda onto your driveway and sidewalk cracks to help discourage weeds.


Pets

Dry Pet Shampoo: To cut down on pet odor, give Fido a dry bath by sprinkling baking soda onto fur and massaging it in with a brush.


Litter Box Deodorizer: Mix a generous amount of baking soda into the kitty litter box to help cut down on odor.


Teeth Cleaner: Help Fido stay healthy by brushing his teeth with a paste of baking soda and water.

Pet Bedding Deodorizer: To cut down on musty pet odor, sprinkle bedding liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum thoroughly.


And On A Personal Note ...

Shoe Refresher: Sprinkle baking soda inside shoes after wearing or make sachets with baking soda and tuck them into shoes.


Mouth Freshener: To combat bad breath, mix 1 teaspoon baking soda in ½ glass of water. Gargle, swish, spit and rinse.


Exfoliating Scrub: To brighten skin, mix a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part warm water. Gently rub onto face using a circular motion. Rinse. Apply this paste to heels and elbows to smooth skin.


Foot Soak: To soothe tired, achy feet, dissolve 3 teaspoons of baking soda in a warm bath. Soak and gently scrub feet.


Chlorine Remover: Too much time at the pool? Rinse your hair with ½ teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 pint of water to remove dullness caused by too much chlorine.


Toothpaste: A dab of coconut oil with baking soda can clean your teeth just as well as the bright blue stuff you'd get at the store.