It’s one of the oldest “secret” cleaning ingredients in the book, but just how many uses does baking soda really have around a home? Today, we’re going to find that out!
Often used as an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical cleaners on the market, when used in combination with white vinegar, the cleansing power of baking soda is further enhanced, making it a must-have household item for cleaning various things and areas of a home. It is also one of the gentlest ingredients used for cleaning/freshening up a home, and an economical one at that, too!
Now, let’s look at all the cleaning (and deodorising) uses for baking soda in your home.
1. Clean Kitchen Counters
For spills, grease, and overall dirt and grime buildup, there is no better way to clean kitchen counters than with some baking soda and water. The most effective way to do this is to wipe down the counter with a damp cloth, followed by a scrub down with a water and baking soda solution. Use a scrubber for this and finish off by rinsing the counter with a clean damp cloth.
TIP: Dry the counter immediately with a lint-free cloth to prevent water spots.
2. Freshen Up Upholstery
Those musty odours you get from your couch and sofa cushions tend to develop over time, especially during the rainy season when there is a lot of moisture in the air. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to get rid of bad smells from your couch using baking soda. Keep in mind that a dirty couch must be cleaned and not merely deodorised; if your couch isn’t in need of cleaning, simply sprinkle baking soda over the upholstery, allow it to absorb the odour for a good 20-30 minutes, and then vacuum the powder up with an appropriate attachment.
3. Remove Crayon from Painted Walls
There are different ways to clean your walls, however, when dealing with crayon on an interior wall, a gentle approach is recommended to prevent damaging the paint. For this, dampen a sponge in cold water, squeeze out excess water, and sprinkle some baking soda over the sponge; use this to gently wipe away the crayon.
TIP: Use a fresh side of the sponge as you clean to avoid transferring colour back onto the wall.
4. Deodorise Pet Beds
No matter how often you bathe your pets, their beds end up smelling a little funky because dogs and cats are always playing and rolling around the floor! In fact, regular cleaning of your pet’s bed is important to remove bacteria and flea/tick larvae while deodorising between cleans will keep it smelling fresh. Unlike upholstery, is it advisable to vacuum the pet bedding first, then put it out in the sun and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the material. Direct sunlight aids in killing bacteria and, like baking soda, removes bad odours. Give it 15 minutes out in the sun before bringing the pet bed back inside to vacuum up the powder.
5. Remove Black Stains from Pots/Pans
To remove burnt stains from pots and pans, merely scrubbing with regular dish soap and elbow grease won’t work. Instead, it can be removed rather effortlessly with the help of baking soda and water. To do this, follow the quick steps below:
- Make a paste of baking soda and water; spread it over the base and sides (where there are black stains).
- After 20 minutes, pour boiling water into the pot/pan (a minimal amount to cover the stains).
- When the water is cool enough to touch, scrub the base, empty the water out, and clean with dish soap and water.
- If needed, repeat the steps until the burnt stains vanish.
6. Remove Food Stains on Plastic
Food containers absorb colours from leftovers, leaving unsightly stains on the plastic. If these stains are relatively new, they can be removed by soaking the plastic in 5 cups of warm water mixed with 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Leave it aside for 20 minutes before scrubbing clean with regular dish soap and water. For old, stubborn stains, baking soda may help to lighten them, if not remove them completely.
7. Clean Exteriors of Stainless Steel Appliance
For this, white vinegar will be used in combination with water and baking soda. In a basin, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar; after the mixture stops bubbling, add 3 cups of water and stir well. Dip a cloth or non-abrasive scrubber in the mixture and squeeze out excess water; wipe the exteriors of all your stainless steel appliances to clean them up. This solution will also leave the steel with a gorgeous sheen!
8. Unclog and Freshen Up a Toilet
Again, white vinegar and baking soda are your friends when it comes to unclogging a toilet.
Here’s how to get it functioning properly again and smelling fresh:
- Take out as much water as you can. If the toilet is up to 70% full or lesser, this method will work perfectly.
- Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the toilet water followed by 1-2 cups of vinegar. Pour in the vinegar slowly to prevent the water from bubbling over. After 5 minutes, add in another 1-2 cups of vinegar and leave it for at least 1 hour.
- Heat up 8 cups of water in a pot on your stove; wait until the water heats up enough to develop small bubbles on the base of the pot and switch the stove off (don’t boil the water).
- Add the hot water to your toilet bowl and the water should go down to its normal level. If not, repeat the steps one more time.
9. Get Rid of Dullness from Sterling Silver
Have you noticed your sterling silver turning black and dull? Well, this type of tarnishing isn’t permanent because a paste of water and baking soda can brighten it right up! Simply place the piece of jewellery in the paste so that it is coated completely. After 30 minutes or so, take a damp, lint-free cloth and wipe it clean. If the paste has hardened in some intricate spaces, hold it under running water to remove.
10. Clean Bathroom Surfaces Daily
Your bathroom sink, tiles, shower curtains, and other surfaces can be maintained in a pristine condition with just baking soda and water. Simply mix and dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 4 cups of water and pour the solution in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well (before every use) and spray bathroom surfaces before wiping them clean with a microfibre cleaning cloth. Do this daily for a clean bathroom every day!
11. Brighten Up Laundry
There are quite a few laundry hacks out there and one of them is making your laundry appear brighter and cleaner with the help of baking soda. To a load of dirty laundry, add in 1 cup of the powder along with your regular detergent and run a normal cycle. While this works for coloured fabrics too, the results will be more noticeable with your whites.
12. Deodorise Gym Shoes/Bags
After you’ve worked out or come home from a run, sprinkle baking soda in your shoes and tap the tips to ensure that the powder spreads evenly inside. Allow the ingredient to absorb odours until you need to wear the shoes again. At this point, simply tap the shoes to remove the powder before you put them on. In a similar manner, you can freshen up your gym bag with baking soda.
13. Deodorise Carpets/Rugs
Vacuuming may suck up all the dust and dirt from your carpet or rug but if it has a dingy or musty smell, other measures must be taken to get rid of it. Nevertheless, it is advisable to clean your carpets/rugs before attempting to freshen them up with baking soda. After you’ve vacuumed the carpet or rug, sprinkle a good amount of your natural, deodorising powder over it and leave aside for a couple of hours. FInish off by vacuuming up the baking soda for a refreshed carpet/rug!
Baking soda is, and always will be, one of the greatest natural cleaning ingredients out there along with white vinegar. So, before you buy another bottle of a chemical-based cleaning product, give the solutions above a try and see for yourself just how many things you can clean with baking soda!