Not Just for Baking: Baking Soda Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Bicarbonate of soda, otherwise known as ‘baking soda’, has been a household staple for decades due to its incredible versatility. Though it’s a simple item you may find lying around in your cupboard, it’s also a remarkably powerful substance. So, what other things can this multipurpose product be used for?
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For starters, you can use baking soda for baking and cleaning, personal care, beauty treatments, and much, much more.

Clean Fresh Produce

So you just bought some beautiful, fresh produce, and you need to remove the remaining dirt, but soap is not an option and water just won’t cut it. Here’s where baking soda steps in.

 

Let your produce soak for a few minutes in a mix of 1 tsp of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can scrub the produce with a soaked washcloth. After a quick rinse, your produce should be clean and ready to go.

Clean and Deodorize Rugs and Carpets

Constant carpet usage can result in accumulated stains and also, some bad smells. If you’re finding that your carpet has some stains and is starting to smell less than fresh, you can grab a box of baking soda.

 

First, sprinkle a generous amount over the area of the carpet that needs to be treated. From there, carefully pour hot water over the area and allow the mixture to sit on the stain overnight. The following day, simply vacuum up the excess baking soda from the treated area. If you find that the stain didn’t fully disappear from the first application, a repeat of the treatment should fully remove it.

Freshen and Disinfect Your Mouth

When it comes to oral care, the details matter. Sometimes, your toothbrush can still leave bacteria behind, causing bad breath. Baking soda can help fill in the gaps here too.

 

Due to its antibacterial properties, baking soda can help keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh. For quality oral care on a budget, mix half a tsp of baking soda and equal parts warm water.

Keep Your Underarms Fresh

If you would rather be able to pronounce the ingredients in your deodorant, baking soda is a solid alternative.

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You can actually make deodorant for yourself by carefully mixing baking soda and water into a paste. Simply apply it to your under your arms as needed to stay fresh and odor-free.

Freshen the Air

Though air fresheners may smell great at the store, they often just mask bad odors instead of eliminating them. Air fresheners can also contain many harmful chemicals, making them a less-appealing option for filling a room with fragrance.

 

But baking soda works well to actively eliminate odors, making it a great natural alternative. All you need is to mix some baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and then place it in a bottle or bowl. Then, simply set the container in the room you want to freshen, it’s that simple!

Whiten and Brighten Clothes

Are your clothes looking a bit dull? Adding a cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry will not only brighten your clothes, but they may come out cleaner too.

 

This is because baking soda is an alkali (a soluble salt) which makes it great at removing stains. This is also effective in keeping your clothes from wearing and having them last longer.

Clean Your Bathroom

You can typically find an entire grocery store aisle dedicated to cleaners, especially for the bathroom. But for an effective, low-cost and natural alternative baking soda once again is the winner.

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When applied to surfaces, it will disinfect and whiten them. You first create a simple paste of baking soda and water which you can apply to any surface in the bathroom, from floor tiles to toilets and bathtubs. After letting the paste sit for 20 minutes, just wipe it away to reveal brighter, cleaner surfaces.

Polish Your Silver

Silverware is beautiful whether it is being used or in a display case, but it can be burdensome to care for. Even the most beautiful silverware can lose its shine and tarnish, but baking soda can make a big difference.

 

Baking soda works well with silverware because it reacts with a chemical in the silver, eliminating the tarnish. As you pour some hot water and baking soda solution over your silverware, you should quickly see the shine return.

Create an at Home Spa Treatment

Pedicures can give your feet a nice makeover but they certainly are not cheap. The good news is — because baking soda is such an effective exfoliant — you can give yourself one at home!

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In your bathtub (or just a large tub), mix an ounce of baking soda with some warm water and let your feet soak. You can make the experience feel more like a spa with a few drops of essential oils in the water (just make sure the oils are skin-friendly).

Relieve Insect Bites

It’s recommended to not use baking soda on the skin every day. However, it can be very helpful in reducing redness, itching, and stinging from insect bites.

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It’s been discovered that many insect bite creams contain baking soda in their ingredients, but now you can use an at-home solution. All that is needed for itch relief is to apply a paste made from water and baking soda directly to the skin.

Restore Burned Cookware

If you have a beloved piece of cookware that endured a little too much time on the stove, have no fear, baking soda can save it.

 

To remove stubborn burnt-on stains, boil water in a separate pot and then add some baking soda to it while it’s still hot. Finally, pour the baking soda and water mixture over the badly burnt areas of the pot or pan you’re cleaning.

Deodorize Your Shoes

If you are finding that your shoes are beginning to stink, there’s no need to spend money on deodorizing sprays, baking soda can help you out.

 

Grab your stinky sneakers, pour two tablespoons of baking soda onto a cloth, tie it up, and leave the cloth inside the shoes while you’re not wearing them. Just like for any room, baking soda will eliminate shoe odors too.

Relieve Heartburn

Heartburn (or acid reflux), can be very uncomfortable and even disrupt your daily life. There are many different causes of heartburn, ranging from overeating and stress to even food sensitivities. But there is a natural way to find relief, you guessed it, it’s baking soda.

 

Baking soda is an acid stabilizer, which can help with the excess acid in your stomach. So, to make your heartburn disappear, pour yourself a glass of water and add a teaspoon of baking soda.

Combat Cancer

Chemotherapy can be one of the most grueling yet effective cancer treatments. Side effects can be quite brutal but often worth it. And, though it may sound hard to believe, baking soda can also assist the body in fighting cancer.

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Because baking soda creates a less acidic environment for cancerous tumors, it can help strengthen the chemotherapy treatments.

Make a Fluffy Omelet

Eggs can be cooked in many different ways and are a great option for a healthy meal. But there’s a way to make your omelets even better.

 

Adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs you put in an omelet will make it taste lighter and fluffier. It is the carbon dioxide bubbles within baking soda that give the omelet a fluffy texture. Bon Appétit!

Cleaning Dirty Drains

A clean drainage system is essential to avoid plumbing disasters. And a clogged drain can not only create major problems, but it can also be very smelly.

 

But don’t call the plumber just yet. Create a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. Then, mix the three together and pour the mixture down the clogged drain. Within 10 minutes, the drain should be cleared.

Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a great kitchen tool, but they can stink from waste build-up. Once again, however, baking soda can save the day.

 

To eliminate garbage disposal odors, run hot water down the drain for a minute, pour a 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain. Then, run the disposal for a few seconds. After waiting 10 minutes, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain. When you begin to see bubbles, you can rinse again with hot water, which should eliminate the smell.

Get Whiter, Brighter Teeth

Your pearly whites can easily become stained from coffee, tea, and certain foods. If you smoke things can get even worse. (Also, please quit.) But there’s a quick way to help them get whiter and brighter.

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Place a quarter teaspoon of baking soda onto your toothbrush, moisten with water and brush away. You may need to do a few applications before you see stains dissolve.

Relieve a Sore Throat

Sore throats can be really aggravating, not to mention a nightmare to get rid of. Taking too many antibiotics can start harming your body after a while, so you might want to resort to home remedies before you contact the nearest pharmacy.

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To help ease the pain and irritation of a sore throat, try gargling a mix of warm water and baking soda. For an extra kick, add some salt and lemon juice into the mix.

Whiten Your Nails

When nail polish is left on for too long, it can eventually turn your nails an unappealing shade of yellow.

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To clean these stains, mix baking soda and a small amount of peroxide. Next, gently scrub the mixture onto your nails and they should soon be stain-free. Also, in order to avoid that yellow effect in the future, make sure to apply some base coat on your nails before your next manicure.

Lighten Your Underarms

Though it is purely a cosmetic preference, some people are self-conscious about having dark skin around their underarms. But baking soda can fix this too.

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Pour some baking soda into a little bit of water until you get a paste. Then, massage the darkened area with the mixture for about one minute. Finally, leave the paste on for up to 30 minutes (you may want to use this time to lay down and relax so no dried paste falls off). For best results, you can repeat the process 2-3 times a week.

Boost Endurance

Another amazing use for baking soda is that it can boost your athletic performance. Athletes who practice high-intensity workouts can recover faster by ingesting baking soda. But don’t just eat it with a spoon.

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An athlete will need 90-135 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight. He or she will need to take it about an hour to an hour and a half before a workout with a carb-based meal. The properties in baking soda will help curb fatigue and increase endurance.

Aid for Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney function is, of course, critical to your overall health. But if you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you can use baking soda to aid your condition.

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It’s possible to take baking soda as a supplement and it has been suggested that it could help slow the disease’s progression. But be sure to consult your doctor before taking it, or any new supplements.

Create a Weed Killer

Nothing can kill the beauty of your lawn or garden quicker than an influx of weeds. But using artificial, chemical-based weed killers isn’t always a good option as they can both be pricey and have unhealthy effects. Luckily, baking soda can be an effective alternative.

 

Just sprinkle some baking soda on the weeds! After just a few days, you should see your weed invasion dying away and your beautiful lawn re-emerging.

Clean Your Toothbrush

Although we use our toothbrushes to clean our teeth, it’s important to sanitize the toothbrush itself too. Every day, toothbrushes encounter a lot of bacteria inside your mouth, which means they need to be disinfected.

 

Luckily, using baking soda can help keep germs at bay. Simply mix water, vinegar, and baking soda and allow your toothbrush to soak for 30 minutes. When the soaking time is over, wash the brush with some warm water.

Melt the Ice on Your Driveway

If the place where you live often encounters cold, icy winters, you know the anxiety that comes with an ice-covered walkway or driveway. Icy slip-and-falls are never fun.

 

Well, if you don’t have salt on hand to melt the ice, you can try sprinkling baking soda all over the frozen area. Though it’s not as strong as road salt, it will help melt the ice on a potentially hazardous walkway.

Relieve Dandruff

Dandruff is a common and, at times, difficult scalp condition to treat. If you have tried just about everything with no relief, baking soda could be your answer.

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Add a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo and massage it into your scalp for a few minutes. After continuing this in-shower treatment for one to two weeks, you should notice that your dandruff has disappeared.

Disinfect Your Hairbrush

Most people don’t know it, but just like your toothbrush, your hairbrush also needs to be disinfected regularly. And the almighty baking soda can help here as well.

 

Grab your brush and simply soak it in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda and a small amount of warm water. Then, after allowing it to sit for a few minutes, give it a rinse. Once it’s dry, it should be ready to use again.

Clean Your Grill

Barbecue lovers, this one’s for you. Grills add a lot of culinary options and usually see a lot of use during the warmer months. (4th of July picnic, anyone?)

 

If your grill has seen a lot of action lately, and has some residue on the grates, just grab some baking soda and a damp brush. After a little scrubbing and a quick rinse, your grill should be all set for the next use.

Shine Your Floors

The surface that gets the most use in your home might be your floor. And with wood and tile floors, they can begin to lose their shine after a while. Of course, you can try professional floor cleaning, but those can be very expensive. This is, again, where baking soda comes in handy.

 

Dissolve 100 grams of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Next, mop the floor with this mixture and mop once more after with plain water to rinse it. The shine in your newly restored floors will thank you.

Make Appliances Perform Better

Appliances that see a lot of use, like dishwashers and coffeemakers, can develop unpleasant smells and grime that hinder their functioning.

 

To make them look better, smell better, and function better, run an empty cycle with just baking soda and water inside. The residue that has built up should disappear and you should notice them performing better too.

Deodorize the Litter Box

Having a pet can be one of life’s greatest joys, but it can also come with some less-than-great smells. This is especially true if you have a litter box for your cat inside your home.

 

In order to keep the litter box odors as minimal as possible, sprinkle a little baking soda into the litter box. Now you can focus on your cat and not their smelly side effects!

Smooth Your Skin

Baking soda can be a great exfoliant, removing dry and flaky skin to reveal a soft and smooth complexion. You know, the kind that doesn’t require you shelling out lots of money on expensive skincare products.

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Create a simple paste with three parts baking soda and one part water. Very gently rub the paste in a circular motion on your skin, avoiding delicate areas like your eyelids. Then, simply rinse off the paste with warm water and pat your face dry. Lastly, apply a light layer of face cream or lotion to lock in moisture.

Make Dry Shampoo

If you want to give your hair a break from shampooing or you were too busy to give it a full wash, baking soda can help keep you with that.

 

Strategically dust a little baking soda along your scalp, which will help absorb excess oil. After lightly massaging the baking soda into your scalp, dust away any leftover powder. Lastly, brush or comb out your hair and style as usual.

Deodorize Your Trash Bin

The smell of a trash bin can quickly ruin the atmosphere of even the most beautiful house. But the quick fix is — you guessed it — baking soda.

 

After you take out the trash and replace it with a new bag, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda at the bottom of the bag. As your trash fills up, you should still find that unpleasant smells are greatly diminished.

Make Rain Repellent for Your Windshield

Windshield wipers are essential for your vehicle and when they aren’t functioning properly, it can be a real safety hazard. No one should be driving when they can’t see the road clearly.

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If you find that your wipers are less than effective, take a damp cloth, sprinkle some baking soda on it and thoroughly wipe down your windshield. The baking soda should help create a covering over the windshield so that, the next time rain hits it, the water will roll away quicker.

Relieve Chicken Pox

Though it’s a common childhood illness, chickenpox can be very itchy, uncomfortable, and eventually sore. But there is a way to find relief.

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Draw yourself a warm bath and, as the water is running, pour a cup of baking soda into the water and allow it to mix. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes to relieve your itchiness and soothe your skin. You can also add chamomile and oatmeal to the baking soda bath which could also help.

Clean Plastic Food Containers

If there is any kitchen item that sees a lot of stains, it’s plastic storage containers. From pasta sauces to grease and oils, plastic storage containers really take a beating. And though the stains may seem impossible to remove, you can scrub them away with the help of baking soda.

 

To get started, sprinkle some baking soda onto a clean sponge and then thoroughly scrub the containers. The powerful cleaning action of baking soda should help them look almost new.

Clean Your Dish Sponges

Although your dish sponge faithfully cleans your dirty dishes every day, it could use a little cleaning itself. Otherwise, you might as well rebrand it as a petri dish.

 

If your sponges are starting to smell and look grimy, soak them in warm water and some baking soda overnight. Then, just rinse them off in the morning and they should be ready to use again.

Deodorize a Pet Bed

Pets bring so much joy and fun into our homes and they also bring… smells. But deodorizing your home from pet smells and stains doesn’t have to be a frustrating job.

 

If your pet’s bed is starting to stink, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the area and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Next, simply vacuum up the baking soda and the smells should be gone. So, next time your pet’s bed starts to smell, instead of using artificial, chemical-based sprays to deodorize, you can just use baking soda.

Relieve Canker Sores

Canker sores are painful, inconvenient, and can take a long time to get rid of. But baking soda can not only provide some relief, it can help your canker sore heal much quicker.

 

Using a homemade mouthwash of ½ tsp of baking soda and warm water can help kill germs and provide relief from acids that irritate canker sores. Rinse with the solution every day till you see the canker sore disappear.

Soften Calluses

If you’re an active individual, you may have calluses on your feet or hands. And, though they don’t pose serious health risks, they can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. It’s been shown that soaking callused areas in a baking soda bath can help soften the skin, eliminate scabbing, and improve the appearance of calluses.

 

Pour warm water into a bowl with a few tbsps of lemon or lime juice and some baking soda. Allow your feet or hands to soak for a few minutes and then rinse. Repeat as necessary until you notice the improvement in their appearance.

Extinguish an Oil or Grease Fire

Did you know that many fire extinguishers contain baking soda? This is because baking soda reacts with the heat of the fire, producing carbon dioxide which smothers and extinguishes the flames.

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However, though baking soda can be very helpful when putting out a small oil or grease fire, it is not suggested to use this on a larger fire. If you have any doubt, it’s always best to call 911!

Relieve Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a common and often unavoidable problem for babies. But you can give your little one some relief with a baking soda bath.

 

Similar to relieving skin irritations like chickenpox, sprinkle a little baking soda in your baby’s next bath. After soaking in the warm water for a bit, your baby should feel some relief and the redness of their rash should diminish.

Clean Your Walls

If your kids were a little too creative with their drawing and transformed your walls into a canvas, there’s a solution for you. Obviously, there’s baking soda involved.

 

Grab a damp cloth and sprinkle some baking soda onto it. Next, firmly scrub the marks, wipe down the wall, and repeat if needed. To finish, simply dry the wall with a cloth and that’s it — no more drawings!

Disinfect Cloth Diapers

Switching back to cloth diapers has become trendy among environmentally-conscious parents. And although cloth diapers can be healthier for your baby and better for the planet, they do create extra unpleasant laundry.

 

To make sure the cloth diapers are disinfected properly, dissolve 1/2 cup of baking soda into 2 quarts of warm water. Then, allow the diapers to soak in the solution. After they have been through this pre-soaking process, put them into the washing machine, and wash regularly.

Deodorize Musty Coat Closets

We’ve all been there. The weather is starting to get chilly and you open the closet where you keep your sweaters after months of it being closed. The smell is unpleasant, to say the least. If you opened a closet that has been closed for a while, you may be greeted with a lingering, musty smell that is also now on your stored clothes.

 

To eliminate the musty smell and keep your clothes smelling fresh, place an open box of baking soda in the closet. Voila! No more musty smells.

Preserve Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers add life and beauty to just about any atmosphere, but it’s always so disappointing to see how quickly they can die away. But there is a way to slow down their withering process.

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To keep your flowers fresher for a longer period of time, toss a teaspoon of baking soda to balance out the conditions of the water. Now you can have more time to enjoy their natural beauty.