Baking soda is one of the most useful items in a Southern kitchen. It comes in handy whether you’re whipping up a Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake, dyeing Easter eggs, concocting an egg substitute, cleaning burnt rice out of a pan, or making a science class volcano. Honestly, is there anything baking soda can't do?
Baking soda is extremely absorbent, which is why it's a great for soaking up oil and grease. It also acts as deodorizer, perfect for sprinkling on stinky gym shoes and freshening up refridgerators alike. Add in vinegar or dishsoap and it becomes a powerful cleaning tool and a DIY disinfectant that can clean everything from chrome to tile and lift stains out of laundry, too. Plus it’s a perfect leavening agent for chocolate chip cookies, buttermilk biscuits, and soda breads. We’d argue that baking soda is so useful, it deserves a better spot in the kitchen, than being shoved into the back of your fridge.
Here are 20 ways to use baking soda to help clean your home:
Unclog a Slow Drain
Pour a cup of baking soda down a slow drain, following it with a heated cup of vinegar. Let that sit and foam for approximately 10 minutes. Then flush with a pot of boiling water.
Baking soda is nonabrasive enough to scrub down ceramic or glass stovetops. Make a paste of warm water and baking soda and scrub with a damp sponge.
Remove Laundry Stains
Make an equal-part vinegar and baking soda paste and rub into the pizza stains on your white jeans. Leave the paste to set for 30 minutes and rinse in cool water rinse cycle. For serious stains, apply paste for 30 minutes and then leave item to soak overnight in a tub with water and equal parts vinegar and detergent. Do a quick cool rinse cycle and let the item air dry.
Make a paste of two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the grout with an old toothbrush and then leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with clean, cool water.
Freshen Your Rugs
Sprinkle your area rugs or carpet with baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes and then vacuum it up to give them a little deodorizing refresh.
Keep a Stainless Steel Sink Shiny
Sprinkle baking soda onto a soft cloth and use some elbow grease to rub into the stainless steel sink and buff it shiny. Rinse well.
Scrub Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards can be tricky to clean, but baking soda can help scrub them clean and deodorize them. Simply sprinkle the board with baking soda, scrub with a damp sponge, and rinse.
Clean the Dishwasher
Sprinkle one cup of baking soda on the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run a short cycle on the hottest setting to clean the interior and kill odors.
Add a half cup of baking soda to a load of laundry along with your regular detergent to help brighten colors and lift odors.
Keep the Fridge Fresh
Your Southern mama probably already taught you this one, but keep a small bowl of baking soda (or even the whole box) in the refrigerator to help neutralize any odors.
Tidy Your Tupperware
Fill your stained Tupperware or other storage containers with hot water and a dash of baking soda. Let them sit overnight to freshen them up and fight stains.
Clean Your Showerhead
Combine 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of white vinegar in a gallon-sized plastic bag with a zipper. Place the showerhead in the bag, submerging it in the bubbling mixture, and securing the bag with a rubber band around the neck of the showerhead.
Neutralize Trash Can Odors
Cut odors from the kitchen trash by periodically sprinkling baking soda in as waste accumulates. When you’re doing a deep clean, wash out the trash can with hot water and dish soap, while it is still damp, sprinkle with baking soda. Leave for 15 minutes then rinse and allow to dry.
Clean Painted Surfaces
Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge and lightly rub on walls, moldings, and even painted furniture to gently remove dirt and stains without damaging the paint. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Save this one for your bedroom deep cleans: Remove bedding and then vacuum the mattress to remove any stray hairs, dust, or dirt. Then sprinkle baking soda over mattress and let it sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly and re-make bed.
Clean Tile Floors
Cleaning tile floors is a snap, if before you grab your mop and add half cup of baking soda into a bucketful of warm water. Then mop your tile floors and rinse. Note that baking soda should not be used on hardwood or waxed flooring as it can damage the finish.
Tackle Shower Limescale
Get rid of pesky limescale with a nontoxic scrub. Make a paste of two parts baking soda and one part dish soap and use a scrub sponge to tackle shower and bath stains. Rinse the residue with warm water.
If you want to skip the store-bought toilet cleansers, simply sprinkle some baking soda in the toilet bowl and give it a scrub with a toilet brush.
Get Stains Out of Coffee Mugs
When your favorite coffee cup starts to have a noticeable coffee stain, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and give the stain a good scrub. Pop in the dishwasher when you’re done.
Clean Your Le Creuset
If your Dutch oven, pot, or pan has stubborn stains or oily residue on it, fill the pot with warm soapy water and a tablespoon or two of baking soda. Bring the water to a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
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Read the original article on Southern Living.