Baking soda is one of those things that everyone should have around the house. It has multiple uses and is especially effective as a cleaning agent. When standard cleaning chemicals run out, you’ll still be able to use baking soda as a cleaner. Make sure you have a good supply on hand, and make sure that it’s stored with as little exposure to moisture as possible.
1. Carpet Cleaner/Deodorizer
Sprinkle baking soda straight onto the carpet, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up.
2. Clean Washing Machines and Dishwashers
Toss a small box worth of baking soda into your washing machine and run it on the hottest and longest cycle. You can follow up with a second cycle with vinegar added to the water. In the dishwasher, sprinkle a box of baking soda at the bottom of the washer and fill a container on the top rack with a few cups of vinegar. Run on the hottest cycle.
3. Cleaning Drains
If you’ve noticed your drains getting clogged up, pour a cup full of baking soda down the drain, then follow it with a cup of vinegar. Let the foaming work its magic, then flush everything down the drain with lots of hot water. Repeat if necessary until the drain is clear.
4. Grease Fires
Baking soda will smother grease fires, but you need a lot of it, so it’s really only good for small fires.
5. Hand Cleaner
Make a paste out of baking soda and water and rub it all over your hands to help remove dirt and oils.
6. Heartburn Relief
One tablespoon of baking soda mixed into 8 ounces of water can be consumed to get rid of acid reflux.
7. Kitchen Cleaner
Sprinkle a little baking soda on gunked-up surfaces and scrub it off with a wet cloth or sponge. The abrasive qualities of baking soda help loosen up most gunk. If a stain is particularly stubborn, pour a little vinegar on the baking soda and let it foam for a bit before cleaning it off.
8. Oven Cleaner
Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water and spread it onto the interior surfaces of your oven. Spray with vinegar and let it sit for a while, then scrub off the grime. Repeat as needed until the oven is clean.
9. Refrigerator Air Freshener
An open container of baking soda kept in the fridge can help absorb smells, particularly useful if you’ve been storing fish or if you’ve had some food start rotting.
10. Relief From Sunburn
Make a thin paste of baking soda and water and apply it to sunburned or itchy skin.
11. Baking Pretzels
Dipping pretzels and other breads into a boiling solution of water with about 4-6% baking soda added changes the external chemistry of the pretzel dough, allowing for a Maillard reaction to take place in the oven and giving the pretzel its characteristic brown color and tough, chewy crust.