Christmas is an expensive time for most people. Presents, food and decorations...
Baking soda: what can’t it do?
We’ve already talked about uses for vinegar, the liquid that just keeps on giving. But how about baking soda, the powder that keeps on giving?
Well today’s your lucky day because I’ve spent many gruelling hours trawling the web, hunting for the many uses of baking soda.
Here’s the disclaimer: If you’re going to consume baking soda as a result of this list then we’re not responsible for any mishaps. Check that stuff out with the doctor first and make sure you stay safe. Remember, if you’re using it on your body then do a little test first to make sure you’re OK with it and not about to flare up in a sea of allergies.
Now that’s out of the way, here’s the list:
50 uses for baking soda
1. Cleaner of teeth
Baking soda is supposed to be good for polishing your pearly whites, so if you’re interested in more natural toothpaste, mix several teaspoons of baking powder with water to make a paste and brush to your heart’s content.
2. Washer of mouths
I’m a big fan of mouthwash that makes me feel like my mouth is burning away, so I’m probably not going to swap my beloved chemical mouth peel in favour of this. If, unlike me, you’d prefer a natural mouthwash try making a baking soda mouthwash by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and have a gargle.
3. Enhancer of washing detergent
Can you use baking soda to wash your clothes? ‘Surely not’, I hear you cry. Well, let me tell you, laundry detergent is great and all but adding a cup of baking soda to your laundry will leave you marvelling at how clean and bright your clothes look. Marvel, I say!
4. Cleaner of the dishwasher
The dishwasher cleans dishes but what cleans the dishwasher?! Spoiler alert: It should be you.
So here’s the scoop: you could get special dishwasher detergent, OR you could use baking soda. This works well when you combine it with our old friend, vinegar. Put some vinegar in a dishwasher-proof container, and do the same with some baking soda. The two of them work together to make a super baking soda vinegar combo dishwasher cleaner!
5. Reviver of toys
Sacred stuffed toys hold many powers in keeping your kids happy. So it’s no wonder that it can be a struggle to find the chance to wash them. Instead, try giving them a baking soda shower. Sprinkle it over them like fairy dust, leave for 15 minutes and brush away.
Unlike other cleaning products, baking soda doesn’t just mask when items get a tad whiffy, it actually neutralises odours.
And we all know, a fresh cuddly toy is a happy cuddly toy.
6. Cutter of grease
Scrubbing the dishes and struggling with grease? Struggle no more my friends. Add baking soda to your regular washing up liquid and let it assist you in getting rid of grease. Here’s to a grease-free future!
7. Remover of crayon art
Has your little one created a crayon masterpiece on your wall? Or maybe you just fancied a scribble? (It happens.)
Remove doodles by applying baking soda to a cleab cloth or sponge and rubbing them lightly. Then remove the baking soda with a dry cloth. Probably best to test this one first, in case it somehow removes all the paint from the wall or something catastrophic.
8. Fluff-er of omelettes
Tired of your omelettes continuously lacking fluffiness? You don’t have to live like this. Adding 1/8 of a teaspoon of baking soda will create the fluffy omelettes of your dreams.
9. Cleaner of fruit
Fruit need a bit of a scrub? Give it a proper clean with a baking soda bath. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl of water and leave your fruit or veg to have a soak, occasionally give them a scrub for a super clean result.
10. Soaker of hair brushes
Hair brush full of hair product? Ergh! Time to get rid, or is it…? Give it a good old clean by mixing one part baking soda with one part warm water then give it a good rinse and leave to dry. Your hairbrush will have a new lease of life.
11. Extinguisher of grease fires
If you’ve got grease fire situation going on, do not put water on it. If it’s just a little baby grease fire, put baking soda on it in an attempt to extinguish it. Oh and you’re probably going to need more than a sprinkling!
Remember, don’t attempt to tackle any huge blazes on your own. We have a fire service for a reason! Oh, and here are some helpful tips on kitchen fires and what to do.
12. Reliever of heartburn
“My heart, it burns!!!!” Do you say this often? Say it no more (possibly) with a baking soda heartburn remedy. Our friend bicarbonate of soda is a natural antacid so could help with heartburn. Dissolve a small amount in water and drink it down.
13. Vanish-er of red sauce stains
Pasta sauce refusing to budge on your beloved Tupperware? Create a super paste of water and baking soda and give it a good scrub. It should disappear, making way for the next stain. ‘Tis the circle of life, my Tupperware stain-burdened friends.
14. Preventer of cloudiness in ice tea
Is your homemade ice tea always cloudy? I know this is a problem I come across all the time… erm… Anyway, if you’re whipping up a batch and cloudiness is an issue add a pinch of baking soda to de-cloud it and it even reduces the bitterness too. Ice tea all round!
15. Exfoliator of skin
Many people (that I found online) swear by using baking soda to exfoliate their skin. If you fancy giving it a go, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply it to your face in circular motions and rinse with warm water. It’s probably worth testing a small patch first to make sure you’re not allergic, because you know, it’s your face.
16. Discourager of weeds
If your wonderful garden is plagued with weeds, you can use baking soda as an accomplice in destroying them. Sprinkle baking soda over the weed to create an environment the weeds will no longer wish to be a part of.
17. Extractor of splinters
Ergh. Splinters are the worst! Painful to remove yet too painful (and weird) to just leave in your skin. Apparently, making a paste of water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and applying to the impacted area and cover with a plaster can help with drawing the splinter out…
18. Soother of sunburn
If the sun’s caught you off guard and burnt your lovely skin, what can you do if you’ve got no soothing aftersun to hand? Sprinkling baking soda into some cool bath water may help. Have a 15 minute soak, give yourself a gentle pat dry and make sure you use a worthy sun cream in future.
19. Un-clogger of drains
You may remember this from my vinegar blogpost (which you obviously read). Add vinegar to baking soda to de-clog your drains. When it foams, run the hot water tap. Now enjoy your clog-free drains.
20. Eraser of oil spills
If your car’s spilt oil all over the ground, try this trick to remove it. Make the ground damp with water and then sprinkle lots of baking soda over the stain. Personally I’d throw it out of the tub to create the illusion of snow, but I digress. Once that’s done, pour some boiling water on the stain (carefully!) and give a good scrub. Then rinse again to remove the baking soda. Hopefully your ground will be oil free!
21. Refresher of mattresses
Moved into a rented flat and need to freshen up the mattress? I feel your pain. I’ve been there. Worry not. You can clean mattresses with baking soda! Grab a sieve and some ( you guessed it) baking soda. Sift the white stuff onto the mattress and leave it for an hour. Then hoover it all away and enjoy a sleep on your nice fresh mattress.
22. Freshener of rugs
Much like the mattress, baking soda can be used to give rugs a new lease of life. If you’d like to remove any stains, sprinkle with baking soda and then pour white vinegar on it. Leave it for a bit then scrub and hoover up. Sorted.
23. Scrubber of grills
You can spruce up your grill by giving it a baking soda clean. Just dip a damp sponge into some baking soda, give it a good scrub, and then rinse it away with some warm water. Now go forth and grill!
24. Repeller of rain
Yes you heard. Baking soda even repels rain… on your windscreen at least. Simply give your windscreen a clean with some baking soda on a damp cloth. Apparently it’ll help to repel the rain, making visibility better on rainy days (so 90% of days in the UK).
25. Freshener of air
Air can be very unreliable. Sometimes it just simply isn’t fresh enough for our standards. You don’t need to live like this. Create your very own air freshener by adding half a cup of baking soda and some drops of essential oil to a jar. You’ll get the scent from the essential oils while the baking soda acts as an odour eater, gobbling up any smells.
26. Sweetener of tomatoes
Are your tomatoes always too sour? I feel for you. I really do. Never grow another sour tomato again (maybe) by sprinkling some baking soda in the surrounding soil. You only need about ¼ cup per plant. It’ll help to make sour tomatoes a thing of the past. Although it does seem like an excellent Shakespearean insult – “soft, thou tomato most sour!”
27. Soaker of beans
Baking soda can help reduce the cooking time of your beloved beans. We’re talking dry beans here, not baked beans. Adding a little baking soda to the water will create an alkaline solution that’ll speed up the softening of the beans.
28. Cleaner of trainers
If you’ve got some canvas trainers that have seen better days, you may be able to clean them with a baking soda wash. Create a paste using baking soda, laundry detergent and warm water. Give the shoes in question a good old scrub. Then, give them a good wash and leave to dry overnight. If you’re concerned about losing the shape, stuff them with some paper.
29. Loosen-er of microwave stains
Splattered food stains are a microwave’s worst nightmare. Having to wash them off is my worst nightmare. So gross. Make the task easier by adding two tablespoons of baking soda to a cup of water. Pop it in a microwave-proof bowl and heat in the microwave for three minutes. This will help to loosen up the stains and it’ll help to rid of any lingering odours – bonus!
30. Remover of tea stains
It’s a sad day when your favourite mug becomes plagued by tea stains. Luckily, you can bring it back to life with the help of baking soda. Wet the mug and then coat in a thin layer of baking soda. Leave for a while and then wipe it away with a sponge. Hopefully your mug will be tea stain free!
31. Killer of ants
Apparently our ant friends cannot tell the difference between baking soda and powdered sugar (Ha! What morons!). If you mix equal parts the sugar will attract the ants. Thinking they’ve found a sweet treat they’ll gobble it down. Greedy ants. Then, unfortunately, the baking soda reacts in their digestive system and makes them explode. Quite horrific really. I’ll let you decide if you’d like to try that one…
32. Life lengthener of flowers
Baking soda is a friend of flowers, in fact it can help to keep them fresh as a daisy (see what I did, see?) for longer. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to water in your vase and marvel at your fresh posy.
33. Softener of towels
Not only will baking soda make your clothes cleaner it can also give your towels a new lease of life. If they get all stiff and unwelcoming, days can seem darker than usual (actual gif of crusty towel victim. Not really).
Try rinsing them in a hot wash with a cup of vinegar and then another hot wash with a cup of baking soda. This will help to remove the build-up of detergent and gets you a step closer to the towels you deserve.
34. Settler of stomachs
Dissolve about half a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to create a homemade stomach settler. Apparently the alkaline in the baking soda works well against stomach acid (science stuff). It’s worth mentioning that it’s probably best to check with your doctor before making homemade remedies!
35. Assassin of slugs
Ever since I shared a basement room with slugs several years ago, I’m no longer their friend. But do they listen? No, they think it’s OK to take over your garden. They’re wrong. Show them it’s not OK by creating a baking soda repellent to help keep them at bay. You can sprinkle it directly on them or create a spray by mixing it with water.
36. Deodoriser of compost
You can keep the delightful scent of the compost heap under control by chucking some baking soda on it. We already know by now that baking soda loves to eat up odours!
37. Creator of science experiments
Baking soda can be used for loads of cleaning type things, but also, it’s great for simple science experiments too. Remember the baking soda and vinegar volcano in school? Course you do! It was probably the greatest school day of all time. Here are a few more baking soda experiments to get you started. Lab coats at the ready.
38. Inflate-r of balloons
Our two favourites, baking soda and vinegar, can be used as a superduo to help blow up balloons. Happy days.
39. Cleaner of toilets
Create your very own toilet cleaner by using half a cup of baking soda with some white vinegar. If you’d like it to have a fancy scent, add some essential oils too. Pour the baking soda into the toilet bowl, add the vinegar leave for several minutes and then give it a scrub. Clean as a whistle.
40. Remover of burnt food stains
Got a tough burnt on stain on your stainless steel? Nooooo. It’s ruined forever! Or is it? Maybe a baking soda pan scrub can help! Boil some water in the pan to loosen up the stain, leave for about 20 minutes then get rid of the water. Next, grab your baking soda and scrub away at the stain until it disappears. Hooray!
41. Scrubber of sinks
Whenever I move out of a rented flat I often look at the sink and think how? How did I let you become so tarnished? You were so shiny when I first moved in. Then I whip out some baking soda and bring it back to life!
Wet the sink and sprinkle the baking soda on the surface, scrub and rinse! Then soak paper towels in vinegar and line the sink with them. Leave for 20 minutes and then rinse away the vinegar. Your sink will thank you for it.
42. Soother of bites
As a long time sufferer of mosquito bites I’d really like to know if this works. Apparently, making a paste (always with the paste, baking soda!) and applying it to an insect bite will help to soothe any itching.
43. Absorber of shoe odours
If your shoes smell less than pleasant don’t be ashamed, instead try sprinkling baking soda into them and leaving them overnight. In the morning, pour the baking soda out. It’ll be like the whole thing never happened (unless of course you can’t get the baking soda out again).
44. Softener of feet
If your feet are looking a bit worse for wear, a baking soda foot bath may be just what they need.
Fill a bowl with warm water and add three tablespoons of baking soda. Soak your feet for a while and then give them a gentle scrub. It should leave them feeling soothed and softened!
45. Satisfier of sweet cravings
Got a sweet tooth? What are you like, eh? Apparently rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water will help to rid you of this craving. Don’t forget to spit it out afterwards!
If anyone wants to try this and let me know if it works I’d be grateful, *she says while eating chocolate*.
46. Deodoriser of fridges
Adding a box of baking soda to the back of your fridge will help it to catch any fridge smells that are lurking about. There’s nothing worse than lurking fridge smell, nothing!
47. Cleaner of hands
Mixing baking soda with water will create a gentle hand wash that’ll help to remove any odours (looking at you here garlic). After you’ve finished rinsing, use a moisturiser to ensure your hands are nice and soft. Then, make sure everyone touches your hands so you can brag about it.
48. Hider of ashtray scents
If you or someone in your home smokes, you may want to reduce the smell left by cigarettes in an ashtray. This can be easily done by putting some baking soda into the bottom of the tray so it can capture all the smoky scents of finished cigarettes.
49. Polisher of silverware
You can give silverware a good clean with some dry baking soda on a cloth. Give it a clean, rinse off and dry. I’d probably test this on a small patch first to make sure there’s no damage caused.
50. Freshener of hair
Need to sort out your hair but don’t have time for a proper wash? Instead of splashing out on dry shampoo to keep your hair fresh between washes, you can use baking soda instead. Sprinkle it on to your roots and give it a brush.
There you have it, 50 uses all from one simple powder. If I’ve learnt anything it’s that many of life’s little mishaps can be solved with the addition of a baking soda and water paste. If you throw vinegar into the mix you can probably take over the world. Also the words ‘baking’ and ‘soda’ have now lost all meaning to me.
Go forth with this knowledge and use baking soda to rid yourself of problems great and small. Oh, and let us know in the comments below what works and what doesn’t!