50 Clever Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

From the kitchen to the bathroom to the garage, discover the surprising ways people are cleaning with baking soda—and they actually work!

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. (Try these other natural home cleaners, too.)

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.

Make sure you grab your baking soda, not powder, for these projects. There’s a difference!

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. Out of baking soda? These other homemade oven cleaners work, too.

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. Here’s how to polish your grandma’s heirloom silver in 5 minutes flat.

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. Did you know you can clean all these things in a dishwasher?

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.

Sponge Cleaner

Soak smelly sponges in 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water regularly. Then disinfect them like this, because—let’s face it—sponges are filthy.

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 ½ cup bleach with ¾ cup baking soda and apply in same manner.

Shower Curtain Cleaner

Are you cleaning your shower curtain enough? It’s easy! 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.

Bedroom

Closet Freshener

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

Drawer Freshener

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

Mattress Deodorizer

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

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 ½ 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. Here’s how to clean your grill without a wire brush.

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, ½ cup vinegar and 1 cup baking soda.

Weed Control

Generously sprinkle baking soda onto your driveway and sidewalk cracks to help discourage weeds. All these pantry ingredients help your garden grow.

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

After you share these people foods with your dog, 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.

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.)

Rug Deodorizer

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

Toy Cleaner

To refresh your kids’ toys (which are one of the dirtiest things in your home), 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.

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. Want to add that signature Williams-Sonoma scent? Try this.

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.

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. (You might want to think twice about wearing shoes in the house.)

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. (If you need a pampering present, you might want to skip the baking soda and check out these spa gift ideas instead.)

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.

Next up: Fresh ways to clean with lemon!

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Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."