More and more people are becoming concerned about the health risks of the many chemicals in most household cleaning products. Not only do these chemicals pollute the air in your home, they can also cause respiratory irritation and worsen allergies. Many of their long-term effects on our health are not known, so many people have opted for safer and more natural cleaning solutions. One of the best (and cheapest) ways to clean your home safely is with sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. Baking soda is literally safe enough to eat, and it works wonders on dirt and grime in your kitchen and elsewhere!
Not only can baking soda help you avoid the harsh chemicals and toxins of conventional cleaning products, it also has lots of other great uses around the home – and even as a natural health remedy. It is also extremely cheap, and doesn’t pollute the environment.
Below are 15 ways to use this safe, natural, and effective substance in your house and home:
1. Clean Your Bathtub
A safe and effective way to wash your bathtub, sink, and surrounding tile is by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda on a clean, damp sponge and scrubbing the tub as usual. Thoroughly rinse the bathtub and wipe it dry with a clean towel.
It also works well to clean fiberglass and glossy tiles. For extra cleaning power, you can make a paste with the baking soda for a deep-down clean.
Simple Bathtub Cleaner Recipe
- Baking soda (1/2 Cup)
- Coarse salt (1 Tbsp)
- Dish soap (1 Tbsp)
To make the paste, mix the ingredients. Apply a thin layer to the area you want to clean and let sit for ten minutes. Scour with a clean sponge, and thoroughly rinse the tub.
2. Freshen Your Sponges
After using your sponges for a while, they can begin to smell like mildew. Baking soda is perfect for eliminating the stale smell from overused sponges. To clean your sponges, mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water and allow the sponge to soak for several hours.
3. Clean the Microwave
Baking soda can gently clean your microwave without leaving a harsh chemical smell. Apply some soda to a clean, damp sponge or microfiber rag and gently scrub the outside and inside of your microwave to remove stubborn, dry food residue.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly with water to get rid of any leftover particles.
4. Polish Silver
Clean your silver flatware and dishes using baking soda. Create a paste that is three parts baking soda and one part water. With a clean cloth or sponge, rub the paste onto your silver. Thoroughly rinse off and allow to dry.
5. Clean the Coffee Pot
If your coffee pot or teapot has become stained, you can get it sparkling clean with a little baking soda. Wash your mugs and coffee pot in a solution of 1-quart warm water and ¼ cup baking soda.
Not only will this help to remove stains, but will contribute to eliminating the bitter off-tastes left by the dried and burnt coffee residue. If you find the stains to be stubborn, you can soak them overnight in a solution of ¼ cup baking soda, one teaspoon dish detergent, and 1-quart warm water.
6. Clean the Oven
If you have a dirty oven full of baked-on food and you want to know how to get it clean, baking soda is the perfect alternative for cleaning without the harsh chemicals found in commercial oven cleaning products.
Just sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of the oven, and dampen it with a spray of water. Allow it to rest overnight, then scrub the area in the morning. Scoop out the residue with a vacuum or sponge, then rinse. Try this homemade natural oven cleaner recipe.
7. Remove Grease and Oil Stains
If you find that your car has an oil leak, it can leave ugly stains on your garage floor and driveway… Just sprinkle some soda on the spot you want to remove and scrub it with warm water and a wet brush.
8. Natural Fruit and Vegetable Scrub
Even if you buy organic produce, it is important to make sure to wash your fruits and veggies before consuming them. Not only can this get rid of any pesticides that may have seen use during the growing of the produce, but it can remove bacteria from your food.
You can make a natural produce cleaner by adding one teaspoon of baking powder to one tablespoon water. The paste is an excellent way to get rid of unwanted bacteria and pesticides from your produce.
9. Clean and Unclog Drains
Baking soda is a wonderful natural drain cleaner. It is perfect to unclog any drain without much effort. You can use baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar to clean your pipes. Unlike the harsh drain cleaners that you can find at your local supermarket, this is a safe alternative for removing clogs.
Empty a box of baking soda into your drain, then pour in some apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for 15 to 20 minutes, then run hot water down the drain to flush it out.
10. Deodorize Trashcans
Trashcans, both indoor ones, and outside ones can get pretty stinky. Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your trashcans can help to neutralize odors and keep those stinky smells at bay.
11. Extinguish Grease Fires
If you encounter a minor grease fire in your kitchen, you can use baking soda to put it out quickly. Pouring baking soda on the fire will instantly stifle the flames. When the baking soda is heated, it discharges carbon dioxide and produces water.
The carbon dioxide doesn’t support combustion like oxygen. It smothers the fire, allowing the water that has formed to cool the fire to below the temperature needed for ignition.
12. Natural Deodorant
You can make natural homemade deodorant with baking soda, which is an easy way to combat body odor without subjecting your body to the harsh chemicals found in most commercial deodorants…
13. Face Exfoliator
Baking soda is ideal for removing dry skin from your face. You can create your own exfoliate by combining one teaspoon baking soda with half a cup of water. Using a circular motion, rub the paste into your face, then rinse with cold water.
14. Remove Splinters
If you’ve ever gotten a splinter, they can be difficult to remove. If left too long, you risk the area getting infected. Baking soda can help you remove splinters naturally. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with warm water and soak the affected area at least twice a day. After a few days of this, your body will expel the splinter naturally.
15. Clean your Hair Brush
Your hair brushes and combs will hold onto the harmful chemicals found in the hair products that you use. You can use baking soda to clean hair brushes, removing the hair product residue deposited on your comb and brush after every use.
To clean your brushes, mix two teaspoons baking soda with one cup of water, and rub the compound into your brush and comb, then rinse.
16. Soothe Bug Bites
While baking soda works exceptionally well to get rid of bed bugs, it is also perfect to relieve pain and itching after you get bitten.
If you’ve ever suffered from a bug bite, you know how much they can itch… To relieve the itching, when you first realize you have a bug bite, create a paste by combining one teaspoon of water and one teaspoon baking soda. Apply at least three times a day until the bite disappears. (This works well for bee stings as well.)
17. Relieve Heartburn
Baking soda has numerous health benefits, including relief for heartburn. Baking soda is an excellent antacid because the bicarbonate helps to neutralize the stomach acid that causes indigestion. Add half a teaspoon baking soda to two cups of water. Drink an hour after eating to find relief from heartburn.