How to Use Baking Soda

Three Methods:Household CleaningPersonal Care and HygieneCooking and Miscellaneous

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, is most known for removing odors in the refrigerator and in your home. It is also known for use in baking, but is also a non-toxic compound that can be used as a replacement for hundreds of other less environmentally friendly harmful chemicals

Method 1
Household Cleaning

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    Scrub hard surfaces. Powdered baking soda can clean sinks, bathtubs, shower tiles, kitchen counters, metal surfaces, or even car headlights. Just sprinkle 2 teaspoons (10mL) onto a damp, clean sponge or rag, and scrub away. Rinse the area well once clean, to avoid a white residue. Because baking soda is non-toxic, this makes an excellent replacement for harsh chemicals in houses with young children.
    • Never use baking soda on aluminum surfaces. This causes a chemical reaction that weakens the metal.
    • For stubborn stains, make a paste with water and baking soda. Apply to the stain, leave on for thirty minutes, and wipe away with a damp sponge. Rinse well.
  2. 2
    Scrub burned food off cooking equipment. Do you have a casserole dish or pot covered in black, baked-on food? Scrape it clean again by scrubbing with baking soda, a mild abrasive.
    • For seriously burned surfaces, replace the sponge with a square of sandpaper. This will scratch the base of the dish as well, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.
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    Keep odors out of your refrigerator and freezer. Leave baking soda in an open container inside the fridge to absorb smells. Replace the baking soda every month or so to maintain the deodorizing effect.
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    Freshen rooms with trays of baking soda. Baking soda will remove funky odors from your house as well. Try keeping ashtrays full of baking soda, plus essential oils to add a sweeter smell as well.
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    Deodorize carpets. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and let set for about 15 minutes. Vacuum up as usual. The baking soda should absorb unpleasant odors.
    • Before trying this on an expensive or colorful rug, test this on a hidden location. If there are signs of color change or fiber damage after vacuuming, do not use the baking soda on the rest of the carpet.
  6. 6
    Clean up spills from wood floors. Baking soda can absorb liquids that have soaked into the cracks of hardwood floors. Vacuum and sweep as usual after leaving it there for a few minutes.
    • Test for damage by applying baking soda and water to a hidden location first . Do this in advance, so you know whether you can use baking soda to clean up a spill when it happens.
    • This is particularly useful for animal urine and other smelly liquids.
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    Keep sink drains smelling sweet. Add 2 tablespoons (30mL) of baking soda to the drain, then white distilled vinegar. Wait for 30 minutes, then run warm water for a couple minutes.
    • Baking soda can also clear up a slow sink. Pour 1 cup (240mL) baking soda down the drain, then pour down boiling water. If you have plastic ABS waste pipes under your sink (black plastic pipes found in most modern houses), let the water sit for 5–10 minutes after boiling to cool it to safe temperatures (below 180ºF/82ºC).
  8. 8
    Clean hard water stains in toilets. If you live in a hard water area and are tired of the mineral buildup, pour 1–2 cups (240–480mL) baking soda directly into the toilet bowl. Pour 1 cup (240mL) vinegar down fill tube in the toilet tank. Once the bowl stops foaming, scrub the bowl well with a brush.
  9. 9
    Add to laundry loads. Add ½ to 1 cup (120–240mL) baking soda to any load of laundry as a detergent brightener. To remove stains from white laundry loads, submerge the clothes in cold water with 1–2 cups (240–480mL) baking soda and 2–8 cups (480mL–1.9L) white distilled vinegar. Let soak 45 minutes, wring out clothes, and wash as usual.
    • You can even find recipes online that use baking soda to replace detergent entirely.

Method 2
Personal Care and Hygiene

  1. 1
    Brush your teeth using baking soda. Not everyone likes the taste of baking soda, but some people swear it's safer and more effective than commercial toothpaste. Brush your teeth with a paste of baking soda and water, then rinse.
  2. 2
    Wash your hair and skin. You can make shampoo, body wash, or facial wash out of baking soda and water.
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    Prevent foot odor. Pour a little baking soda in your shoes to prevent sweating and stinky feet.

Method 3
Cooking and Miscellaneous

  1. 1
    Make eggs fluffier. Add a tiny bit of baking soda to your eggs when beating them, for fluffier omelettes.
  2. 2
    Darken sun tea. Add a pinch of baking soda to your sun tea before setting it outside. Your tea should be darker once ready.
  3. 3
    Keep milk fresh. Bring milk to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of baking soda. This may keep the milk fresh longer, but it may also hide odors from spoiled milk. Use with caution.
  4. 4
    Make your own homemade baking powder. If you've run out of baking powder, make your own with ⅝ tsp (3mL) cream of tartar and ¼ tsp (1.25mL) baking soda. Use in place of 1 tsp (5mL) baking powder.
  5. 5
    Clean produce. Rub baking soda onto produce and rinse, to help wash off pesticides.
  6. 6
    Use baking soda as a pesticide. Although this technique is unproven, some people find that leaving baking soda around will deter cockroaches and silverfish.
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    Put out small grease fires. Use cup fulls of baking soda to put out burning oil or grease. Do not use your hands to transfer the baking soda into the fire. For large fires and deep fat fryer fires, use a fire extinguisher or call emergency services instead.


  • Use baking soda to remove tea or coffee stains from mugs.


  • Brushing your teeth excessively with baking soda could be harmful to the enamel. It is abrasive so you should be careful not to use it everyday.
  • Do not use baking soda to clean aluminum surfaces. This may weaken the metal due to a chemical reaction.

Sources and Citations

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