We usually consider baking soda as an essential ingredient to add to our 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 conventional products and sprays, baking soda is completely natural, non-toxic and odor-free, which is much more eco-friendly. Plus, it will save you a fortune on buying expensive products for every cleaning task imaginable.
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What’s more, 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.
In the meantime, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could clean with baking soda, and save you time.
1. Deep cleaning your oven
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.