When it comes to household versatility, baking soda is king. Here are just some of the many cleaning uses for sodium bicarbonate.
You Will Need
A cotton swab
STEP 1 Remove stains
Get rid of stains on countertops, sinks, bathtubs, and any nonporous surface you can think of with a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Apply the paste to a damp sponge, scrub away, and rinse.
Baking soda works well on metallic surfaces, like chrome or stainless steel. It won’t scratch the surface, but it’s abrasive enough to remove residue and leave the metal shining.
STEP 2 Reduce odors
An open box of baking soda in the refrigerator or a cupboard will absorb odors and excess moisture. A sprinkle in shoes and socks helps reduce foot odor. To combat a stinky carpet, drizzle with dry baking soda and vacuum it up after 15 minutes.
Using a bowl instead of an open container is more effective because more baking soda is exposed.
STEP 3 Deter ants
Ant infestation? Sprinkling equal parts baking soda and salt near high-traffic ant areas will keep them in their place.
STEP 4 Unclog drains
Pour half a cup of baking soda into a clogged drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the solution bubble for a few minutes, and then flush it down with plenty of hot water. This method won’t clear heavy-duty clogs, but it works well for minor ones.
STEP 5 Keep laundry bright
Add a half-cup of baking soda to a load of wash along with your regular detergent. It helps keep clothes brighter, longer.
STEP 6 Wash brushes and combs
To remove oil and dirt from hairbrushes and combs, first remove excess hair; then soak in a tall container of warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda.
STEP 7 Reduce bug-bite itch
To reduce itching, mix baking soda with just enough water to make a paste, and apply it with a cotton swab to the bug bite. The paste can also help relieve a painful sunburn.
STEP 8 Whiten your teeth
Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda onto a wet toothbrush to clean and whiten your teeth naturally. Practice this method sparingly, as it will wear down your enamel if used too often.
In 2007, a company unveiled a process that converts harmful carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks into consumer-grade baking soda.