There’s a good chance you have some baking soda around the house, whether you use it to absorb odours in the fridge or to help your baked goods rise. But did you know that it’s also a versatile and affordable cleaning product? A great alternative to harsh chemical products, it can be used for everything from freshening up rugs to removing stains. Ready to discover all the ways you can use this magic powder? Check out these 15 things around your house that you should be cleaning with baking soda.
If you have ever scorched your cookware, you know how difficult it can be to clean. Instead of scraping and scratching that could permanently damage your pots and pans, reach for a box of baking soda. There are two different ways to tackle the mess. For minor messes, create a paste with baking soda and water. Allow it to sit for at least an hour, and then scrub with a sponge or cloth before rinsing. If you’re faced with a more challenging mess, fill the pot or pan with water, bring it to a boil, add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, and then stir it. Allow the mixture to simmer, using a wooden, silicone or nylon spoon to loosen the gunk. Baking soda works like a charm on everything from stainless steel cookware to expensive enamel options.
Ovens and Stovetops
Do you dread cleaning your oven because of the overwhelming fumes? Give baking soda a try! Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and water, apply it to the oven surfaces and racks, and allow it to sit. It may take more elbow grease, but you’ll avoid the headaches that cleaning chemicals can cause. You can also use a mixture of baking soda, dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide to clean your glass stovetop.
Sinks and Drains
Cleaning a stainless steel sink with baking soda is a breeze. Simply sprinkle a liberal amount of the powder and allow it to sit before scrubbing it with a sponge and rinsing any residue. Baking soda is also a great way to refresh and clear drains. Eliminate odours by pouring baking soda down the drain while cleaning your sink, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinsing it with hot water.
For a slightly clogged drain, use baking soda instead of a harsh chemical cleaner. First, flush with hot water and wait for it to drain. Next, slowly pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour about a cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice on top of the baking soda. This creates a chemical reaction, and the baking soda will bubble and fizz. Cover the drain with a tub stopper and let it sit for half an hour before flushing with hot water, and voila!
Baking soda can keep the inside of your dishwasher looking clean and smelling fresh. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the floor of an empty dishwasher, and then run a short cycle on the hottest setting. Skip the drying cycle if your dishwasher has that option and allow it to air dry instead after the wash cycle finishes.
Kitchen Surfaces and Counters
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with half a tablespoon of dish soap and half a tablespoon of water to make a paste that can be used on greasy kitchen surfaces and cabinets. Apply with a dry microfibre cloth to break down and remove the residue, then rinse with a damp cloth.
For stained marble countertops, all you need is a paste made from baking soda, water and a touch of hydrogen peroxide. Spread the paste on the stained area, let it sit overnight, and wipe it off in the morning. So long, stain!
Drinkware, Dishes and Bowls
When your favourite coffee mug or tea cup is stained, baking soda can help. 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 the stains away. Use the same paste to clean up stains on plates and soup bowls, too.
Furniture and Mattresses
Forget the fabric refresher sprays and eliminate odours in your sofas, chairs and other upholstery with baking soda. Sprinkle some of the powder on your furniture, allow it to sit for at least an hour — or overnight if you like — and then use an upholstery attachment to vacuum it up.
Baking soda can also clean your mattress (if you’re not cleaning your mattress, you should at least twice a year). Remove the bedding and sprinkle an entire box of baking soda directly on the mattress, then gently rub it in. Let it sit for the day and then vacuum it up, eradicating odours and capturing any other debris that may have accumulated. Now your mattress is fresh and ready for a crisp, clean set of sheets.
Rugs and Carpeting
Keep the rugs around your home looking and smelling fresh by sprinkling on some baking soda before going to bed. Let it sit overnight to absorb any odours, then vacuum it up in the morning.
Showers and Bathtubs
Scrub your bathroom tiles, tubs, sinks and showers with some baking soda and a damp sponge, rinse, and watch the dirt and soap scum disappear. To brighten up the grout between your tiles, make a thick paste from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, apply with an old toothbrush, and allow it to sit for an hour. Take the same toothbrush, scrub the paste into the grout, and then rinse it away with a cloth or a handheld shower head if you have one.
Keep your toilets looking clean and shiny by adding a quarter-cup of baking soda to the bowl. Swirl it around with a toilet brush, and then give it a scrub before flushing any remaining powder.
After bringing your patio furniture out of storage at the start of the season, give everything a good wipedown with a mixture of baking soda and water, using four parts baking soda to one part water. Using a sponge or cloth, apply the paste in a circular motion, and then rinse it away with the garden hose. At the end of the summer when you’re packing up the patio for the winter, sprinkle some baking soda on the cushions or inside storage bags to keep everything smelling fresh.
Barbecue grill cleaners can include harsh chemicals that make it difficult to breathe even when you’re outdoors. Some are even strong enough to corrode parts of your barbecue. Baking soda is an excellent alternative to clean the cooking surfaces, trays, racks and the inside of the grill hood and body. Apply baking soda to a damp scrub brush or create a paste with baking soda and water, give it a vigorous scrubbing, and then rinse away the grease and dirt. For heavy duty cleaning jobs, add baking soda, dish detergent and water to a spray bottle, apply it to all of the interior surfaces, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
To spot clean scuff marks from walls and baseboards, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge. The gentle abrasion of the baking soda will remove the marks. If you have a creative child in the house who draws on the walls, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with warm water and use the paste to remove crayon or other stains without damaging the paint.
A child’s favourite stuffed toy can get pretty dirty over time, but here’s a solution that will keep it clean and fresh. Place the toy in a large plastic bag and add a cup of baking soda. Tie the bag tightly, take it outside, and shake it vigorously. The baking soda will draw out any accumulated dust and dirt. Remove the toy from the bag, and vacuum any excess powder from it before returning it to your kid’s room.
Produce should always be washed to remove harmful pesticides or dirt, but there’s no need to buy a commercial produce wash when you have baking soda in the house. All you need to do is wipe your fruits and vegetables with a bit of the powder, and then rinse them off before putting them in your fruit bowl or crisper drawer.