For those of you who are looking for a more natural cleanser to use around your home, look no further than baking soda or bicarbonate of soda. Baking soda is a naturally occurring material that is present in most organic life forms. It is a gentle abrasive and natural deodorizer which makes it perfect for cleaning. Baking soda has three properties that set it apart from other common household cleaning products:
- It is non-toxic. Granted, if you were to consume large quantities of it you would probably feel somewhat ill. It is, however, not poisonous.
- It is multi-purpose. Why buy different products for the various parts of your house when you can use one product for all of them?
- Best of all, it is cheap! I don’t think I need to tell you why this is a benefit.
Here are just a few of the many ways you can employ baking soda as a cleanser around your house:
1. Removing Odors from Your Kitchen
Place a box or small bowl of baking soda in your fridge, freezer, or cupboards to keep away unpleasant odors. You can also sprinkle some in the bottom of your trash cans before putting the bag in to reduce the smell of the garbage.
2. Cleaning Kitchen and Bathroom Surfaces
Sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth, wipe down the surface then rinse with clean water. For tough stains on surfaces, make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part of water. Scrub surface with that paste to help remove stains.
3. Cleaning Silver
Use the paste described in the last tip to clean your silver. Rub paste onto each item, rinse with warm water, and dry with a soft cloth.
4. Remove Burnt-on Food in Pots
Sprinkle baking soda in the pots then fill with hot water. Soak the pots overnight and the burnt-on food will be much looser and easier to remove.
5. Avoid Clogged Drains
To avoid your drains getting clogged, pour ¼ cup of baking soda down the drains weekly and rinse through with hot water.
6. Pet Odors
If you have cats, sprinkle baking soda into the litter box before you fill it with litter or use a litter that already has baking soda in it. Sprinkle baking soda on pet beds, wait 15 minutes, and vacuum to remove odors. You can also use baking soda to clean pets themselves and remove that “wet dog” smell. Just sprinkle baking soda onto the pet and brush out the fur.
7. Prevent Spills from Becoming Stains
If there is an unfortunate spill, baking soda can prevent it from becoming a stain. Blot the offending liquid as much as possible then clean the spot as you normally would. Sprinkle the spot with baking soda before vacuuming. This decreases the chance of a stain forming and helps remove any odors caused by the spill.
8. Brighten Clothes
Add ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent for whiter whites and brighter colors. It also softens the water so you can use less detergent. If you have grease stains or other difficult stains on the clothes, try pretreating the spots with the baking soda paste previously mentioned in this list.
9. Remove Smells from Food Containers
To remove stale smells from food containers rinse the containers with water and baking soda. For smells that are harder to eliminate, let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture.
10. Remove Scuffs or Grease Spills from Floor
Sprinkle baking soda over the spots then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors.
11. Clean Children’s Toys
Because baking soda is non-toxic, it is the perfect cleanser for children’s toys—particularly if they’re still at the age where everything goes in the mouth. Dissolve ¼ cup of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Submerge the toys in this mixture or wipe them off with the cloth that’s been dipped in it. Make sure to rinse the toys off thoroughly with clear water.
12. Clean Lawn Furniture
You can use the same mixture just described for cleaning children’s toys to wipe down lawn furniture.
13. Clean Fruit and Vegetables
If you have unrinsed produce, you can rinse them off with a mixture of baking soda and water. This will remove the dirt and waxy coating on them.
14. Refresh Sponges
If your sponge is starting to smell a little funky, but you’d like to keep using it a little longer, soak them in baking soda and water to freshen them up.
15. Remove Crayon from Walls
If you have children who like to express their artistic side on the walls, scrub the walls lightly with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda to remove the artwork.
16. Remove Dust from Stuffed Animals
Place stuffed animals in a large plastic bag with a cup of baking soda. Secure the top, take the bag outside, and shake well. The baking soda will draw out dirt and dust and you can vacuum it away.