Part of being prepared and being resourceful, is using an item or product for more than one purpose. It’s important to be able to know how to use common household items, like baking soda, in a variety of ways, to assist you with a multitude of needs.
Baking soda is a great tool (a must-have product, in my opinion) to keep in your environmental-friendly, “green” household. In addition to using it for cooking, you can use it for cleaning, refreshing, maintaining and more. Below, are 25 resourceful uses for baking soda.
Natural Tooth Cleaner and Brightener
You can combine baking soda with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution to create a non-fluoride, natural tooth cleaner and brightener.
Gentle Facial Scrub
Instead of getting your skin treatments at an expensive spa, why not make your own facial scrub, as part of you natural, anti-aging skin regimen. Make a paste by combining 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub the paste in a gentle circular motion to freshly cleansed skin, to remove dead skin cells and pore-clogging debris, while at the same time stimulating healthy skin cell rejuvenation. Rinse with cool water and apply a non-petroleum facial cream afterwards. This is gentle enough for daily use.
Pat baking soda under your arms to neutralize body odor. This is a great alternative to using harsh deodorants, which typically contain high amounts of health-disrupting, toxic aluminum in them.
Relieve Insect Bites & Itchy Skin
For fast relief from swelling and itching caused by insect bites, simply make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. Allow the paste to air dry on skin, and leave on until the next time you take a bath or shower. To ease the discomfort of dry, itchy skin, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it onto slightly damp skin after a bath or shower. Allow the baking powder to dry onto your skin fully before dressing.
Add 1/2-1 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize harmful acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. This will also make your skin very soft, due to the baking soda’s ability to gently exfoliate skin. Baking soda can also be combined with 1 cup of Epsom salts for an effective muscle-soothing, stress-relieving bath treatment.
Relieve Tired Smelly Feet
Dissolve 1/4 cup of baking soda in a tub of warm water (the warmer, the better) and soak feet for 20-30 minutes. After soaking, gently scrub feet with a foot brush or washcloth, and rinse with cool water.
Hand Cleanser and Softener
Skip the harsh chemical-laden soaps, and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts baking soda to 1 part gentle liquid hand soap. Rinse clean with water.
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of odor and neutralize germs. Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda and 4 tablespoons white vinegar in 1 quart of warm water, and soak sponges for 30-60 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow sponges to air dry, preferably in direct sunlight if possible.
Polish Silver Flatware
Use a baking soda paste made by mixing together 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. To keep your silver flatware shiny and stain-free, rub the baking soda mixture onto your silver pieces using a clean soft cloth or sponge, and rinse thoroughly afterwards in cool water.
Clean Vinyl Shower Curtains
Remove shower curtain, and lay on a flat surface, such as a picnic table, top of your washing machine, etc.. To clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain, simply sprinkle some baking soda directly onto a clean damp sponge or brush and scrub the shower curtain. Rinse with water and either hang shower curtain back up in shower to dry, or let dry outdoors in direct sunlight.
Gently Clean Baby Clothes
Baby’s skin requires the most gentle of cleansers, which are increasingly available, but odor and stain fighters for laundry are often nothing but pure chemicals and too harsh against skin, especially the delicate skin of a baby. For tough stain removal, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your natural laundry detergent during the wash cycle, or, add 1/2 cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle, for effective, yet baby-safe laundry deodorization.
Remove Oil and Grease Stains
Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor, or in your driveway. Simply sprinkle baking soda directly on the grease spots and scrub with a wet utility brush. More stubborn stains may need multiple applications, and you can also combine the baking soda with liquid dish washing detergent for extra cleaning power.
Because it is a mild alkali, baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc.. Always be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub away corrosion from the battery terminals. After cleaning, apply a very thin layer of petroleum jelly to the terminals before re-connecting the cables, to help prevent future corrosion. (Always be careful when working around a battery–they contain a strong acid.)
Deodorize Your Fridge and Freezer
Place an open box in the back of your fridge or freezer to neutralize food odors. Replace box every 30 days.
Deodorize Cutting Boards
For effective deodorization, sprinkle your cutting boards with baking soda, scrub with a brush, and rinse well. To also help neutralize germs, combine equal parts baking soda and white vinegar, and allow mixture to sit on cutting board for a couple minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Liberally sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet, and let set overnight, or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up any larger amounts of baking soda with a dustpan and broom, and vacuum up the rest. (Note: Your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.)
Deodorize Vacuum Cleaners
By using the above method for deodorizing your carpets, you will at the same time also be deodorizing your vacuum cleaner.
A Staple for Camping Kits
Baking soda is a must-have for all your camping trips. It can be used as a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher and more.
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity, if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire–and call the Fire Department just to be safe.
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank, and help you to avoid future costly septic tank repairs.
Fruit and Vegetable Scrub
Baking soda is the food-safe way to clean dirt and residue off of fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp food brush, scrub gently and rinse. You can alternatively add a sprinkle of baking soda to a bowl or sink of water, and allow produce to soak for 5 minutes, before gently scrubbing and rinsing.
Diaper Rash Relief
If your baby’s delicate bottom is susceptible to painful diaper rash, you can prevent it naturally by adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda into your baby’s bathwater for effective natural relief. Additionally, instead of sprinkling baby powder onto your baby’s bottom when diapering, which typically has added harmful fragrances and chemicals, make a 50/50 mix of baking soda and pure cornstarch, and use that instead.
Keep Flowers Fresh
Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase. Replace baking soda water every other day to naturally extend the life of cut fresh flowers and plants.
Prevent Digestive Gas
Prior to cooking beans (pinto beans, black beans, lentils, etc.) soak the dried beans in a baking soda-water solution overnight, to make them more digestible, and significantly reduce intestinal gas.
You can quickly dry out and heal acne by making a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Wash skin with a gentle, natural facial cleanser, and then generously apply the baking soda paste to surface zits. Allow paste to air-dry on skin overnight while you sleep, and rinse off the following morning with cool water.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews