I consider baking soda to be second only to vinegar. Both have a robust afterlife. When your baking soda expires there are so many uses for it in your kitchen, your bathroom, your garden, your closet … that it almost makes me smile when I find an expired box. Transfer it into clean and empty spice jars, the kind that have a plastic insert with holes. Keep one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one in your closet. Then it’s easy to grab and sprinkle whenever and wherever you need it.
Bathroom Cleaner: mix baking soda with liquid soap to form a paste you can use to clean the bathtub, shower and sink. This works just as well as more expensive and chemical-laden cleaners.
Kitchen Cleaning Arsenol: baking soda is great for cleaning pots, pans, glass and Pyrex cookware and buffing stainless steel cutlery.
Natural Oven Cleaner: Make a paste with baking soda and a little water and rub all over your oven walls and door. Close the oven and turn on to 200 degrees for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let it cool. Wipe clean.
Health and Beauty
Antacid: mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 4 ounces of water. Drink and you’ll feel much better. Caution: do not use more than 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
Bath Soak: add a cup to your bathwater to soften your skin.
Body Scrub: some will suggest you also use it as a face scrub but it’s much too abrasive for your face. You’ll eventually end up with broken capallaries. But as a body scrub it’s fine.
Breath Freshener: gargle with half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. Do not swallow.
Canker Sore Relief: gargle with half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. Do not swallow.
Decongestant: loosen up a stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.
Deodorant: apply with a powder puff or cotton ball.
Diaper Rash: put two tablespoons in baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.
Itch Relief: either use the bath soak above or mix with water to form a paste to relieve itchiness from insect bites, rashes, bee stings, jellyfish sting and poison ivy. Once the paste is dry you can rub it off or wash it off. It is amazing how this paste takes the itch away for hours.
Odors Be Gone: by rubbing your hands with baking soda and water. This is especially helpful in the kitchen when working with garlic and/or onions.
Sunburn Relief: use the bath soak above to gain relief from sunburn or windburn.
Teeth Whitener: dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and then in baking soda. Caution: this trick has been around for a very long time, however my dentist feels that the baking soda is too abrasive and that the hydrogen peroxide kills healthy tissue.
Around the House
Air Freshener: mix baking soda with perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags and leave in any rooms that need a little pick-me-up.
Ashtray Prep: sprinkle in ashtrays to help reduce the odor and prevent smoldering cigarettes from catching fire.
Brush Restorer: boil stiff brushes in a mixture of 1/2 gallon water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and a cup of baking soda.
Bug Deterrant: place an open container of baking soda under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.
Fire Extinguisher: keep near your stove, the fireplace, with your candles … anywhere where there is danger of fire. Dump it on a small fires to extinguish them.
Flower Freshener: keep cut flowers fresh much longer by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in your vase.
Fridge Freshener: put an open container of baking soda in the fridge and in the freezer to absorb any odors.
Laundry Freshener: soak yucky smelling items such as dish rags, babies bibs and anything musty smelling in baking soda and water.
Play Dough: mix 2 cups Baking Soda with 1 cup Cornstarch and 1 and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually until it looks somewhat like mashed potatoes. Place the dough in a owl and cover with a damp cloth until it’s cooled. Turn out onto a work surface that’s been liberally sprinkled with cornstarch. Knead until it’s the desired consistency.
Rain Deterant: wipe your windshield with baking soda to repel rain.
Rug and Vacuum Freshener: sprinkle on your carpet and let sit for about 30 minutes. Then vacuum up. It will freshen both the rug and the vacuum cleaner.
Shoe Freshener: sprinkle in your (or kiddos, or hubbies …) slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate yucky odors or follow Nicole’s lead and use an old pair of pantyhose – well let her tell you her no mess way to freshen your shoes.
In The Garden
Rabbit Deterrant: sprinkle baking soda around your garden to keep the rabbits from eating your herbs and veggies.
Tomato Sweetener: sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda onto the soil around the plants.
Litter Box: sprinkle baking soda into your cat’s litter box to help absorb the odor.
Pet Freshener: sprinkle on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize both fur and skin.
Baking Powder Substitute: if your recipe calls for baking powder and you have none, baking soda is a perfect stand in when mixed with cream of tartar or vinegar. Mix 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda. Use the same amount of this mixture as the recipe calls for of baking powder.
Bean De-gasser: soak dried beans in a baking soda solution before boiling them to make them more digestible. Rinse well before boiling.
Chicken: if you live on a farm, you may already know this trick. When boiling a freshly caught chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. The feathers will come out much easier, and the meat will be clean and white.
Fish: I’ve heard that you can remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge but if my fish smells fishy I would toss it.
Omelets: Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.
Produce Cleaner: wash fruits and vegetables with a little baking soda.
Sports Drink: Make a sports drink by mixing 1/16 teaspoon baking soda with boiled water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and Kool-Aid.
Tomatoes: Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.
Wild Game: Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.
Ashtrays: Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution with just enough water to make a paste. This will not only remove debris but deodorize as well.
Baby Bottles: Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.
Barbecue Grills: Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.
Bathroom: Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs.
Brush & Combs: Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.
Carpet Cleaner: Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.
Chrome Cleaner: Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.
Coffee Maker: Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.
De-greaser: Remove grease from pots and pans.
Dentures: Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.
Deodorize Thermos’ & Water Bottles: Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.
Diaper Deodorizer: Use it to wash diapers.
Dishes: Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers. Use less water if you need a little extra scrubbing power.
Dishwasher: Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.
Drains: Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.
Enameled Pots: Make a thick paste with baking soda & water to scrub enameled cast iron & stainless steel pots and pans.
Formica: Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.
Fresh Smelling Garbage: Clean garbage cans with it.
Fridge Deodorizer: Clean the fridge with it.
Garages & Grease: Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.
Laundry: Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.
Marble: Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.
Marked Up No More: Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.
Ovens: Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.
Pots & Pans: Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.
Purses: Dip a scrub brush or toothbrush in baking soda to scrub canvas handbags. Rinse well by running under water and hanging to dry or going over with a wet wash rag until all traces of the baking soda are gone.
Shoe Polish: Clean your shoes with it.
Shower Curtains: Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.
Toaster Oven: Next time you leave a plastic bag on top of your toaster oven you can use baking soda to remove the melted plastic. Sprinkle the baking soda on a damp rag or sponge, then use the rag to clean the toaster.
Toilet: Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.