Most of us have a box of baking soda stuffed in the back of the fridge to absorb odors, not realizing that this miraculous white powder has a host of other useful cleaning properties throughout the home. From keeping mattresses fresh to making silverware gleam, check out 30 things around the home that really should be cleaned with baking soda.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never cleaned your mattress – and that’s a mistake (you should be cleaning your mattress about twice a year). A great way to keep a mattress clean and smelling fresh is to sprinkle an entire box of baking soda on top of the mattress and gently rub it in. Let sit overnight and vacuum it up, eradicating any odors and capturing any debris that may have accumulated.
Granted, it will take a bit longer and require more scrubbing, but cleaning the inside of the oven with a paste made from equal parts water and baking soda is safe and fume-free, a perfect solution for those who’d prefer to avoid harsh cleaning chemicals.
La Creuset Cookware
If you ever have the unfortunate experience of scorching some pricey La Creuset cookware, don’t freak out. Instead, reach for a box of baking soda. Simply fill the pot with water and bring to a boil, add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and give it a stir. Let things simmer, using a wooden spoon (metal can scratch the enamel) to loosen any resistant gunk until it’s as good as new, requiring barely any scrubbing.
Stainless Steel Cookware
You can use pretty much the same method for cleaning La Creuset cookware to clean scorched stainless steel pots and pans – it works like a charm!
Soak toothbrushes overnight in a mixture of 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup baking soda to give them a good thorough cleaning.
In a large pot, add one tablespoon of baking soda and one piece of aluminum foil to one litre of water and bring to a boil. Drop tarnished silverware in the pot for 10 seconds (leave it in for longer if it’s really tarnished), then remove using kitchen tongs. Prepare to be dazzled by the gleam of your shining silver.
Range Hood Filters
If it’s been awhile since you cleaned the filters in your range hoods, they’re probably gunky and greasy. To get them clean, submerge the filters in a sink full of warm water and a few tablespoons of baking soda and a squirt of dishwashing detergent. Let sit for 10 minutes then scrub with a non-abrasive scrub brush, which will degrease those clogged up filters.
Stained Coffee Mugs
If you have a favourite coffee mug that’s stained, simply sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside, add enough water to create a thick paste and give it a scrub. The gentle abrasion should wipe those stains away.
Rusty Cast Iron Pans
Any rusty cast iron pans can be brought back to life by scrubbing with a halved potato and some baking soda. Potatoes contain oxalic acid, which helps to break down the rust, with the baking soda adding its unique cleaning properties and gentle abrasion until the rust vanishes.
Slightly Clogged Drains
Before reaching for a chemical drain cleaner, if you need to clear a drain that’s slightly clogged try this: flush with hot water, then wait for it to drain. Then, slowly pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour some fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about a cup) on top of the baking soda, which creates a chemical reaction that will cause the baking soda to bubble and fizz. Cover with a tub stopper and let sit for a half-hour before flushing once more with hot water. The drain should be cleared.
Fill your coffeemaker with a mixture of water and a quarter-cup of baking soda, then brew. Repeat the process and enjoy your super-clean coffeemaker.
There’s no beating the look and feel of marble countertops, but they can be easily stained. Those stains, however, can be effectively cleaned by creating a paste from baking soda and water. Spread the paste on the stained area, let sit overnight and wipe off in the morning. So long, stain!
While it’s always recommended that you wash produce in order to rinse off any harmful pesticides that may have been used, there’s no need to buy a commercial produce wash when all you need to do is wipe the produce down with a bit of baking soda and then rinse.
Brushes and Combs
Keep hairbrushes and combs clean and hygienic by soaking them in a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Rinse and dry, and you’re all set.
Keep your barbecue grill clean for the season by putting some baking soda on a damp scrub brush, give it a vigorous scrubbing and then rinse to result in a clean grill.
Keep rugs looking and smelling fresh by sprinkling on some baking soda, letting it sit overnight and then vacuuming.
Keep your dishwasher looking clean and smelling fresh by running through a load while empty, using a scoop of baking soda instead of detergent.
Your Dog’s Teeth
Pour a bit of baking soda on an old toothbrush and give Fido’s teeth a good scrub. Not only is this healthy for a dog’s teeth, it’ll also prevent the dog’s breath from getting too nasty.
You can keep a toilet bowl looking clean and shiny by adding a quarter-cup of baking soda to the bowl, swirling it around with a toilet brush and then giving it a scrub.
Stained Plastic Food Containers
Soak a stained plastic food container in a solution of warm water and baking soda, let sit for a few hours, wipe and then rinse, which should eradicate any stains. It’s also a good idea to keep containers fresh by simply wiping them down with a damp sponge with some baking soda sprinkled on.
Crayon Marks on Walls
If your child’s artistic expression extends to the walls, sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe off the crayon stains; the gentle abrasion of the baking soda will clean off the crayon without damaging paint.
Scrub your bathroom’s tub, tiles, sink, shower, etc. with a damp sponge and some baking soda. Rinse it off and shield your eyes from the dazzling gleam of your shiny clean bathroom.
A child’s favourite stuffed animal can tend to get pretty dirty over time, but here’s a solution that will keep it clean and hygienic. Place the toy in a large plastic bag and add a cup of baking soda. Tie the bag tightly, take it outside and give it some good solid shaking. The baking soda will draw out any dust or dirt that’s accumulated. Remove the toy from the bag, give it a vacuum and you’re all done.
Before bringing your patio furniture out for the season, give everything a good wipe-down with a mixture of baking soda and water. And when summer’s over and you’re ready to return the furniture back into storage, sprinkle some baking soda under cushions or inside storage bags, which will keep them fresh.
Water Rings on Wood
Rings on antique wooden furniture can be a real drag, but try this trick to safely remove them. Combine equal parts baking soda with non-gel toothpaste, then dampen a cloth with water, add some of the toothpaste-baking soda mixture and rub with the wood grain until the ring is buffed out. Wipe down with a dry cloth, then polish the table as you normally would.
Clean any caked-on gunk that’s accumulated on a glass cooktop by using a mixture of baking soda, dishwashing detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub with a non-abrasive brush, and voila! Clean and shining.
If you have any rust or residue on an iron, you can bring it back to life by scrubbing with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, with the baking soda asking as an abrasive that will lift the gunk right off.
Greasy Kitchen Cabinets
Clean any accumulated grease from kitchen cabinets by using a paste made of a tablespoon of baking soda, 1/2 tablespoon of dish soap and 1/2 tablespoon of water. Apply to greasy cabinets with a a microfibre cloth to remove grease. Rinse with a damp cloth and you’re cabinets will be grease-free.
Fill a dirty slow cooker with water, add a cup of white vinegar and about a cup of baking soda. Mix it around, turn the slow cooker on to the “low” setting and let simmer overnight. In the morning, caked-on grunge should easily wipe away, because the slow cooker has done most of the work for you.
Stainless Steel Sink
Sprinkle a dirty stainless sink with a liberal amount of baking soda, let sit for a bit and then scrub with a sponge to result in a sink that gleams.