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7 Practical Uses of Baking Soda (Around the House)

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is a standard household product found in most kitchens. I'm pretty sure you have it in yours. It's a versatile and affordable household item that can be used for much more than just baking.


Use it to remove odors from things like refrigerators and garbage cans, use it as a sanitizer for surfaces, and use it in combination with vinegar for cleaning. Mix baking soda and lemon cleaners for a sustainable, eco-friendly way of scrubbing dirt and grime.

Baking soda spilling out of a glass jar on a wooden table

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7 Practical Uses Of Baking Soda

 
Hands washing pot in sink

1. Cleaning

The texture of baking soda makes it naturally abrasive - use this to your advantage and scrub away dirt from surfaces like:

  • countertops

  • sinks

  • tile grout

  • oven or stovetop

Use it to clean bathroom tiles and toilet bowls with an added vinegar rinse.


Scorched pot? Try this hack:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom of the pot, and add enough water to cover the burnt areas.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil, let it simmer for a minute, and then empty the pot.

  • Grab a scouring pad, add a small amount of washing liquid, and wash as usual.

Warning: Don't try this hack on a non-stick pan; you'll damage the non-stick coating.

 
Hands with gloves with spoon and bowl scooping baking soda down drain

2. Deodorizer

Baking soda is an excellent odor absorber! You can sprinkle some in your clothes hamper or trash cans to help neutralize odors and keep your home smelling fresh all day.

  • Pour a few spoonfuls down your drains.

  • Pour some into a few small bowls and place them in all your cupboards to keep any smells at bay.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over carpets and upholstery, let it sit for at least 15 minutes (or overnight for tougher odors), and then vacuum it up.

For an extra boost of freshness, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling it on.

  • Have cats? Mix baking soda into their litter, which will help absorb strong odors.

 
Bamboo toothbrushes, glass of water, bowl of baking soda, green leaves

3. Teeth Whitener

Baking soda is a popular home remedy for whitening teeth. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which may help fight harmful bacteria in your mouth.


Most importantly, baking soda is cheap-cheap, so it's a great option if you don't want to buy teeth-whitening products.


Here's how you can use baking soda as a teeth whitener:

  • Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to form a paste. Start with a ratio of one part baking soda to one part water.

  • Dip your toothbrush into the paste and brush your teeth as you normally would. Be sure to focus on the front surfaces of your teeth where stains are most visible.

  • Spit out the baking soda mixture and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

  • Brush your teeth with regular toothpaste to remove any leftover baking soda residue.

It's important to note that while baking soda can help remove surface stains on teeth, it won't change the natural color of your teeth or address deeper stains.


Warning: Baking soda is naturally abrasive; use gently to avoid damaging your teeth's enamel. It's best to limit the use of baking soda as a teeth whitener to once or twice a week, and always consult your dentist before trying new whitening methods.

 
Hands scooping baking soda in washing machine

4. Whitening Agent for Laundry

Baking soda is a cheap way to whiten and clean your laundry. It's an alkali that can help break down dirt and stains.


Note that baking soda can be effective at whitening laundry, but it may not work for all types of stains or fabrics.


To try it out:

  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your usual amount of laundry detergent.

  • Wash your laundry as you normally would.

For an extra whitening boost, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will help remove any leftover detergent residue and brighten your whites.


Bonus: The baking soda and vinegar mixture will absorb strong odors, leaving your laundry smelling fresh and clean!

 
Two wooden spoons with baking soda

5. Weed Killer

Baking soda is a cheap, safe alternative to harsh chemical weed killers.


However, it may not be as effective as other weed killers and may take several applications to fully eradicate weeds.


Here's how to use baking soda to kill weeds:

  • Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 1 quart of water and stir until the baking soda is completely dissolved.

  • Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle.

  • Spray the mixture directly onto the weeds, careful not to get any on nearby plants or grass.

  • Repeat the application every few days until the weeds are completely gone.

Using baking soda as a weed killer on lawns or other areas where you want to keep grass or plants is not recommended, as it can also kill them.

 
Baking soda spooned into glass of water

6. Helps Treat Heartburn

What to do when you're out of your trusted heartburn medication? Baking soda can help treat heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water.

  • Stir until the baking soda is completely dissolved.

  • Drink the mixture slowly.

While baking soda can temporarily relieve heartburn, it should not be used as a long-term solution or as a replacement for medical treatment. Overusing baking soda as a treatment for heartburn can lead to potential side effects, like electrolyte imbalances.


If you experience frequent or severe heartburn, it's best to consult with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment plan.

 
Rubbing baking soda and oil onto hands

7. Relieves Itchy Skin and Sunburns

Baking soda's alkaline properties can help to neutralize acidic irritants on the skin, so a baking soda bath is often recommended to soothe itchy skin after bug bites or to calm sunburnt skin.

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a paste.

  • Apply the paste directly to the affected area of the skin.

  • Leave the paste on for 10-15 minutes.

  • Rinse the paste off with cool water and pat the skin dry.

You can also add 1-2 cups of baking soda to a warm bath and soak in the water for 15-20 minutes to relieve itchiness over a larger area of the body.

 

The Bottom Line

Baking soda is a versatile ingredient which uses extends far beyond this list. What's more, baking soda is inexpensive and widely available. It never hurts to have a container on hand!

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