Sure, it’s a pro at making chewy chocolate chip cookies, but baking soda’s real claim-to-fame is its power to freshen and clean many spots in your home. It’s a super-effective (but gentle) abrasive and is a great natural deodorizer, so it’s helpful in all sorts of trouble spots. All of these are reason enough to stock up now.
1. STAINED AND STINKY PLASTIC FOOD CONTAINERS
Leftovers have a way of leaving their mark. To freshen your containers, wipe with a clean sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Or erase tough stains by soaking in a solution of four tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of warm water.
They sell those fridge packs for a reason. Baking soda will absorb strong food odors so they don’t linger or change the taste of neighboring foods.
3. UNRINSED FRUIT AND VEGGIES
Mixed with water, baking soda can remove dirt and the waxy coating on produce.
4. A FILTHY KITCHEN
Nearly every dirty spot in your kitchen can benefit from a baking soda treatment. With water, use it to clean counter tops, stainless steel sinks, microwaves, range hoods, and cooking utensils.
Give baked-on food the one-two punch by dialing up your dish detergent’s power with baking soda.
6. STALE-SMELLING SPONGES
Soak these kitchen staples in baking soda and water to freshen them up so you can use them a little longer.
7. MUSTY UPHOLSTERY AND CARPET
Deodorize the soft, cushy places around your house by sprinkling surfaces with baking soda, letting it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuuming it up.
8. A STINKY PET BED
The same goes for Fido’s favorite spot! Sprinkle, wait 15 minutes, and vacuum.
9. GRIMY TOYS
Naturally fight the effects of your little one’s grubby hands by wiping them with a sponge dipped in a baking soda and water solution.
And when your kid’s artistic efforts end up all over that wall you just repainted, scrub lightly with a damp sponge sprinkled in baking soda.
11. DUSTY STUFFED ANIMALS
These dust-collectors will be easier to clean if you place them in a large plastic bag with a cup of baking soda. Secure the top, take the bag outside, and shake well. The baking soda helps draw out soil and dust. After you remove them from the bag, vacuum everything away.
12. DINGY LAUNDRY
Both whites and colors will come out of the washing machine brighter if you add a cup of baking soda to your load. Combined with liquid detergent, it helps balance the pH levels to get clothes cleaner.
13. A MILDEW-Y BATHROOM
Scrub your tub, tile, sink and shower curtain with a damp sponge and baking soda. Rinse to reveal gleaming surfaces.
14. A CLOGGED DRAIN
Clear a stubborn drain by pouring a 1/2 cup of baking soda down it, followed by a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Cover with a wet cloth to contain the science fair-like effects (remember DIY volcanoes?). Wait five minutes and then flush with hot water.
Freshen up after your Zumba class by sprinkling some baking soda inside your shoes (and your gym bag while you’re at it.). Just tap it out before you wear them again.
16. GARBAGE CAN ODORS
Place some baking soda in the bottom of your can to fight trash stink.
17. AN OIL SPILL ON YOUR GARAGE FLOOR
Got an offending spot on your concrete? Pour on a little baking soda and scrub with a wet brush to make it disappear.
18. A MESSY GRILL
Combat a summer’s worth of cookout grime by sprinkling some baking soda on your grill-cleaning brush before you scrub away.
19. DIRTY PATIO FURNITURE
Before you pull out your lawn chairs for the season, give them a wipe-down with baking soda and water. And before you put them away at the end of summer, place baking soda underneath the cushions or inside their storage bags to keep them fresh.
Just like in the fridge, an open box of baking soda placed near your sheets and towels can fight musty smells.
21. DULL JEWELRY
When your sterling silver stops shining, get rid of tarnish by making a paste (three parts baking soda to one part water). Apply it with a lint-free cloth (not a paper towel, which can scratch), and rinse.