It can do so much more than keep your fridge and freezer fresh! Those little boxes of baking soda have been around forever — 155 years, in fact. Companies began manufacturing and selling sodium bicarbonate (a salt of carbonic acid) in 1846. Over the years, people have discovered countless uses for the versatile white powder for baking, household cleaning and personal care.
Baking soda is a natural substance with a crystalline structure that makes it an effective cleaning agent. It neutralizes acids and bases, actually eliminating odor instead of just covering it up. In baking, it releases carbon dioxide, causing cookies, cakes and breads to rise. It’s also a common ingredient in toothpastes, with whitening properties and a mildly abrasive property which helps clean teeth.
Here are a few more ways to use baking soda:
- Sprinkle on carpet before vacuuming.
- Sprinkle in bottom of garbage can before adding trash bag.
- Use instead of detergent when running dishwasher to give it a good cleaning.
- Dissolve a few tablespoons in water, microwave to boil, let sit a minute. Stains should wipe away from the microwave’s inside surface.
- Mix with water to form a paste; use with toothbrush to remove crayon marks on walls.
- Use as scrub to remove stains from coffee mugs.
- Add half a cup to laundry to remove stains and odors.
- Mix with vinegar and use to scour pots to remove light rusting.
- Sprinkle on/mix with cat litter to control odor.
- Fill a pair of old socks with baking soda and stick in shoes overnight to remove odors.
- Mix three parts baking soda with one part water; apply to jewelry, let sit a few minutes; polish clean with soft cloth.
- Mix half-teaspoon in water to use as mouthwash.
- Sprinkle on carpet and fabric in car to remove odors.
- Use to extinguish a stove fire.