The Many Uses of Baking Soda

Baking Soda – the mighty cleanser!

One of the least expensive ingredients in the grocery store is also one of the most versatile tools in our home – BAKING SODA! Not only is it a critical ingredient when baking cakes, cookies, muffins and more, it is also an invaluable ingredient in many cleaning recipes and techniques. Check out the following list of common uses for this miracle ingredient (besides baking):

  1. Odor reduction – Mix 1 c. Biz with ¾ c. baking soda, ½ c. vinegar and 1 gallon of water. Soak overnight and wash as directed.
  2. Sticky residue – Use baking soda on dry plastic and scrub with a damp cloth. Then wash with soap and water. If the plastic has a bad odor, crumple up newspaper and put it inside the container. Put on the lid and freeze for 3 days, then wash again.
  3. Stains – Sprinkle baking soda on dry plastic (such as Tupperware)  and scrub with a damp cloth.
  4. Drain Cleaner – Combine 1/4 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. salt and 1 T. cream of tartar. Pour mixture in drain and add 1/2 c. white vinegar. Follow with 1 c. boiling water; allow to stand, then flush with cold water.
  5. Drain Freshener – Mix 2 T. baking soda, 2 T. salt and 1 tsp. cream of tartar. Pour into drain and flush slowly with water.
  6. General Cleaner – Mix ½ c. of ammonia, 1/3 c. vinegar, 2 T. baking soda and 1 gallon of water.
  7. Wooden Cutting Board – To remove that smell of onion or garlic, sprinkle the board with baking soda, rub in with a wet cloth, then rinse well.
  8. Coffee Cup Stains – Scrub the stained cup with a moist rag dipped in baking soda. If this does not work then soak the cup in a diluted solution of 2 T. chlorine bleach and 1 quart warm water. Wash thoroughly.
  9. Dye Stained Load of Clothes –  First, put your normal detergent into the washing machine – the amount called for the size of load you are washing. Then add 1 cup water conditioner (Spring Rain, Calgon or Rain Drops) and 1 cup baking soda. Fill up washer with clothes and water, agitate for 5 minutes, allow to soak, finish washing. Check before putting in dryer. May still have to try Energine on remaining spots.
  10. Deoderizers –  Place dishes of baking soda in any enclosed area that needs refreshing. You can also add a cotton ball dipped in vanilla to sweeten the scent.
  11. Enamel Ware – Combine 2 T. baking soda and 1 quart of hot water.
  12. Formica Stains – Remove stains by rubbing baking soda on dry surface using a damp cloth.
  13. Cloudy Stemware –  Make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub the cloudiness from the stemware. OR try using 1/2 T. ammonia and water, soak overnight, then wash.
  14. Sticky Residue on Iron – Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub it on the surface of your iron.
  15. Refrigerator Odor – Open a container of fresh baking soda and place in your refrigerator for every day freshness. If the odor is more serious,  combine baking soda and water and wash the interior of the refrigerator with the solution;  1 C. vinegar combined with 1 gal. water can be used for more thorough cleansing or place activated charcoal on a cookie sheet while you keep the unit running.  The charcoal will eventually become used up but can be refreshed by putting it into a 300 degree oven for 1 hour. Replace in refrigerator to absorb more odor., do this for up to 10 days.  Activated charcoal can be purchased in an aquarium supplies or green house store
  16. RUST on plastic – use baking soda or  fresh lemon juice, let set 30 minutes, then wash off.
  17. SHOWER CURTAINS –  For lighter cleaning or spot cleaning use baking soda to remove mildew.
  18. THERMOS BOTTLE – clean using boiling water and 1 Tbsp. baking soda, then brush and wash.
  19. TILE Mildew – Tile can be washed with a paste of baking soda and bleach.  Use a small brush to scrub the area.  One gallon of hot water with ½ cup of ammonia will also do the job.

REF: Household Cleaning Recipes, C. Birdsong, CO State, 1983 Stain Removal Handbook, Max Alth Old House Journal, ISU staff specialists
Prepared by Iowa State University ANSWERLINE 800-262-3804

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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