Growing up with Depression-era parents meant getting the most use out of whatever you had available was priority number one. “Waste not, want not,” was at the core of our values, and nothing helped us stretch the budget more than baking soda. What many of us may think of as just a baking ingredient or fridge-deodorant is actually quite useful all around the house. In fact, there are several uses for baking soda in regards to personal health that might surprise you! Here are some of the lesser-known remedies and uses that baking soda has to offer. Scroll through, and let us know if you have any tips to add to the list in the comments section below!
Mix a tsp. of baking soda with a little water to create your own toothpaste that will leave your mouth feeling fresh while whitening your teeth for a brighter smile!
If you have sensitive skin, try using a a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to create a paste. This works as a substitute deodorant! In fact, you can use it on your feet (or sprinkle baking soda into your shoes to neutralize odor).
3. Bug Bites
Soothe any bug bites or irritated skin with the same type of paste you would use for the deodorant. To relieve itching, rub dry baking soda into damp skin after a shower.
4. Hair Cleaner
Add a small amount of baking soda to your shampoo the next time you wash your hair. The baking soda helps remove the residue left by many shampoos, leaving you with a cleaner and more manageable head of hair.
Mix a 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and drink the solution the next time you get heartburn or an upset stomach.
After washing your face with warm water and a mild soap, create a paste using water and baking soda that’s not too runny and apply it to you face in circular motions for 2-3 minutes for softer, smoother skin.
7. Tile cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge to clean those delicate bathroom surfaces. For tougher messes, add a little salt and dish soap to make a grease-fighting solution.
8. Clean Dishwasher/Microwave/Coffee Machine
Run an empty cycle with the dishwasher and coffee machine, replacing the soap/coffee with baking soda. Also, use 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 cup water in a microwave-safe container and cook on High for 2-3 minutes to clean your microwave.
9. Polish Silverware
Give that cherished silverware a polish with a mixture that’s 1 part baking soda and 3 parts warm water. It’s safe for the finish and will give the silver a nice sparkle.
10. Laundry Supplement
Adding about 1/2 cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry will get your clothes cleaner, make them smell fresher, and make your colors brighter; it’s all about the pH balance!
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11. Clean/Deodorize Carpets
Sprinkle some baking soda onto a rug and let it sit at least 15 minutes (although the longer you let it sit, the better) before vacuuming. This will help clean and deodorize both your rugs and your vacuum.
12. Extinguish Grease Fires
If you’re cooking and a small grease fire erupts, first things first do NOT put water on it. Instead, turn of heat, try to remove the oxygen from the flame, and dump baking soda on the fire. Remember, this only works for small fires, and it takes a lot of baking soda. Always keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case.
13. Deodorize/Unclog Drain
Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for about ten minutes, and then pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain. This will help clear any clogs, and deodorize your drain at the same time.
14. Closet Freshener
Just like you would with your fridge, place an opened box of baking soda in your closet to keep your garments smelling fresh and clean.
15. Clean/Freshen Sponges
Got some sponges that smell a bit funky? Don’t throw them away! Instead, soak them in a solution that’s 4 tbsp of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water and they’ll be good as new!
16. Fluffier Omelet
Who doesn’t love a delicious omelet in the morning? To make it even better, add 1/2 tsp for every three eggs to make your omelet fluffier!
17. Fruit Scrub
Give your fruit and extra deep cleaning with a sprinkle of baking soda on a sponge.
18. De-ice Walk Ways
While salt is the original go-to when it comes to de-icing walkways, baking soda actually works quite well and is less erosive.
19. Remove Splinter
Soak the splinter in a solution of a tbsp of baking soda and a cup of warm water twice a day and the splinter will eventually fall out.
20. Clean Painted Surfaces
A little baking soda and a damp sponge will safely clean ink, crayon, or pencil markings off of painted surfaces. It’s also great at getting out scuff marks left from furniture.