10 things you didn't know you could clean with baking soda

Baking soda in kitchen
Baking soda in kitchen (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Baking soda is usually considered an essential ingredient to add to our delicious cakes and bakes. But, did you know about its miraculous cleaning and deodorizing powers? Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, has a mild alkaline pH making it a perfect cleaning agent that works quickly to break down dirt and grease easily when mixed with water. 

Unlike many shop-bought products and sprays, baking soda is completely natural, non-toxic and odor-free, which is much more eco-friendly. This is always ideal if you have children in the home. What's more, it will save you a fortune on buying expensive products for every cleaning task imaginable. Also, bear in mind, these are the 7 things you should never clean with baking soda.

Best of all, when combined with white distilled vinegar or lemon, the ensuing chemical reaction works wonders on the toughest of cleaning jobs. If you want to know more about the benefits of baking soda, read our useful guide on what makes baking soda and vinegar so good at cleaning.

Bear in mind, white vinegar is highly acidic. so isn't great for cleaning certain surfaces. To find out, check out these 7 things you should never clean with white vinegar to prevent further damage! In addition, you'll need to know what is the best type of vinegar you can clean with and how to clean with vinegar without the smell.

In the meantime, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could clean with baking soda, and save you time. 

Plus, here's what happened when our Homes writer cleaned her home with lemons. And check out these 7 things you never knew you could clean with denture tablets.

 1. Deep cleaning your oven  

Baking soda on stove

Baking soda on stove (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cleaning your oven may seem like a challenge, especially when you have a serious build-up of grease and grime. However, no job is tough for the humble baking soda. 

Simply pour baking soda onto the surface of the stove top and inside the grimy oven, and let it sit for five minutes. Then, scrub gently with a damp cloth until you remove all grease, and before wiping clean with a soft cloth. This isn’t limited to the oven though, as you can also use baking soda to know how to clean a dishwasher and how to clean a microwave to remove stains and smells.  

2. Cleaning your fruits and vegetables 

Baking soda sprinkled on bowl of fruits and vegetables

Baking soda sprinkled on bowl of fruits and vegetables (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Experts say that baking soda can remove 96% pesticides and residue from our fresh fruit and veggies. Simply fill a large bowl with water and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Let your fruit and veg soak in the water for up to 15 minutes before lightly scrubbing the outer skin. Rinse thoroughly before eating.   

3.  Deodorizing bad smells 

Baking soda on fridge shelf

Baking soda on fridge shelf (Image credit: Shutterstock)

As well as having magical cleaning powers, baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can literally suck the bad odors out for good. If you place an open box or small jar of baking soda on a musty closet shelf or shoe storage, this will get rid of offending smells. Another tip is to keep an open box inside the fridge which will keep it smelling fresh each time.  

4.  Smelly sponges and dish cloths 

Dirty dish washing sponge

Dirty dish washing sponge (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Even our cleaning products can get grimy and in need of a good clean. And considering the dish sponge is No1 on our 10 dirtiest things in your kitchen list, baking soda is the ultimate disinfectant. Just mix four tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of warm water and soak your sponges or dish clothes for one minute. Rinse and leave to dry thoroughly. 

5.  Carpet stains (and any other stains) 

Baking soda on carpet stains

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Our carpets are subject to all sorts of dirt, spills and odors on a daily basis. The good news is, baking soda can tackle all of these at once. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the stain, then take a brush to gently work it into the fibres. Leave baking soda to sit overnight for best results, before vacuum cleaning your carpet to remove all traces. In addition, if you splash your walls, know how to clean painted walls to remove stains

6.  Kids toys 

Collection of kids toys

Collection of kids toys (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Children’s toys can get really grimy at the best of times, especially if they’ve been in mouths and hands all day. Baking soda is a safe way to disinfect toys, especially if you don’t want harmful chemicals sprayed on them. Simply, mix four tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of warm water. Pour this into a clean spray bottle to spray directly onto the toys. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.  

7.  Brighten up your dull laundry

Laundry Drying

Laundry Drying (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want your laundry colors to come out of the wash more vibrant, baking soda will make your load brighter. Just add a cup of baking soda, combined with liquid detergent, to your washing machine. This will help balance the pH levels and leave your clothes cleaner, brighter and smelling fresh. 

8.  Stainless steel sinks and appliances  

Baking soda in the sink

Baking soda in the sink (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to get your dull, stainless steel appliances sparkling, baking soda will get the shine back. Just create a paste by mixing a little baking soda with water. Next, scrub the paste into any marks or grimy areas of the stainless steel, before letting it sit for around 20 minutes. Then use a damp, microfiber cloth to wipe off the residue.  

9.  Burned pots and greasy pans 

Baking soda in pan

Baking soda in pan (Image credit: Shuterstock)

It’s always a chore when scrubbing food off burnt pots or grease-laden pans. When soap and water just won’t cut it, baking soda can literally cut through the grease. In this case, you’d need to combine baking soda with an acidic substance such as vinegar or lemon. This will create a fizzing reaction, which is needed to help loosen or lift burned food or stubborn oils.  

10.  Unclogging drains 

Pouring baking soda and vinegar down drain

Pouring baking soda and vinegar down drain (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re dealing with a blocked drain, baking soda can help dissolve or loosen any blockages. Simply pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of vinegar. This should start to fizzle once combined. Wait for around five minutes before flushing with hot water to remove clog. You can also read our helpful guide on how to unclog a drain without using a plunger.

And for another cleaning tip, here's how to get rid of ants safely with household products. Also check out what happened when I used only baking soda and vinegar to clean my home for a week. And here are 7 natural hacks to make your home smell good without chemicals. 

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!