The word baking soda or sodium bicarbonate and the first thing that strikes the mind of most is a cake or something related to baking, and rightly so. But most people remain unaware of the many uses of this wonderful product other than baking.
Baking soda has been widely used as a cleanser, deodorizer, and soother for a long time, and therefore, it finds a great deal of application around a household ranging from beauty to health. What’s more, a box of baking soda costs far less than many fancy cleaning products with equal effectiveness, if not more, adding to its appeal.
The following article covers some handy baking soda cleaning hacks to make cleaning around the house more accessible and inexpensive.
Clear Food Residues From Pots And Pans
Clearing up food residues or burnt food that sticks to the frying pans is arguably one of the most challenging tasks around the kitchen. And, those who have witnessed the same know that some elbow grease is certainly not enough to get the pan shining again. But have you tried using some white vinegar and baking soda for the job?
Fill the pot or the pan you want to clean with water, and to it, add one cup of white vinegar alongside two tablespoons of baking soda. Let the solution sit still for about 10 minutes before emptying the pan and scrubbing it with a scouring pad. As for any residue that’s left or stubborn marks, make a thick paste of baking soda and white vinegar (equal parts) and scrub thoroughly.
Clean Your Microwave Oven
Though everyone wishes to maintain a clean and hygienic microwave oven, the stains and food odor are hard to get rid of and tricky. Let’s see how baking soda can help you with it.
In a microwave-safe bowl, take a cup of clean water and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Place this bowl in the microwave without a lid and run for 2-3 minutes. Now, with a damp cloth, nicely wipe the interior of the microwave, and you’re done. The baking soda and water solution in the form of steam deodorizes the microwave while also loosening up the caked stains, making it easier to wipe them off using a cloth.
Remove Crayon Marks From The Walls
No matter how many coloring books or sheets you get for the kids, the walls will continue to be the number one canvas choice for them. But, this doesn’t mean you must halt their creativity.
Sprinkle baking soda on a slightly wet cloth and rub the crayon stains. Then wipe the same place with a dry and clean cloth. The crayon marks should be off of the wall.
Note: Ensure to rub the cloth lightly against the wall as you do not want the paint to peel off along with the stains.
Get Rid Of Kitchen Grease Stains
Cooking fried food, or just food in general, is bound to leave a ton of grease all over the kitchen, whether it is the countertop, sink, uncovered utensils, and worse of it all, the kitchen fan extractor. Water and a damp cloth wipe hardly clear the grease in the unappealing process it is.
On a damp sponge, sprinkle some baking soda and use it to extract the grease off, followed by a wipe using a clean and damp cloth. In the case of the sink, follow the baking soda scrub with a quick clean water rinse. The baking soda loosens the grease from the deepest layer, making the process both easier and worthwhile.
Get Your Bathroom Sparkly Clean
While many cleaning products and sanitizers, specifically for the bathroom, are available in the market, most of them are so toxic that the instructions indicate protective gear such as masks and gloves during application. Not to mention how hazardous it can get for a household with pets and kids and the effect of the same on the environment.
One can make their own environmentally friendly, potent, and safe bathroom scrub. Add white vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and water to a bowl. You can use this to clean tiles, walls, etc., using a damp cloth. You can further sprinkle baking soda in and around the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and using a toilet brush, give it a nice scrub.
Clean Hairbrushes And Oral Appliances
Regularly used grooming items such as hairbrushes, plastic curlers, etc., and oral appliances like retainers, toothbrushes, and mouthpieces need to be kept clean and hygienic.
To clean the dirt hairbrushes attract, including oil and dandruff, mix a teaspoon of shampoo and baking soda in a cup of water and let the brush soak in it for 30 minutes or so. Repeat the process once a month, if not every week. As for the oral appliance, instead of using a chemical cleaner, let it sit overnight in a cup of water with two tablespoons of baking soda.
Freshen Up The Garbage Cans
While trash helps you keep your house clean, how often do you clean the trash can itself? Trash cans can smell terrible if not occasionally cleaned. Well, guess what? Baking soda can help you with that as well.
Sprinkle baking soda and water, added with your favorite essential oils at the bottom of the bin. Discard and refresh it every few weeks. You can also sprinkle baking soda in a small cardboard box and place it at the bottom of the trash can for a similar effect.
Deodorize The Refrigerator
The sheer variety and number of items one places in the fridge justify the wave of strange odor whenever someone opens it.
Combine one cup baking soda and a few drops of lemon essential oil in a container or a mason jar and store it inside the fridge. The baking soda helps neutralize the overwhelming odor of different foods, keeping every item fresh. You can keep the jar in the fridge for about a month. After a month, refill it with fresh baking soda.
Clean Carpets And Rugs
The rugs and carpets in a house are subject to all sorts of activities, resulting in the accumulation of dust and dirt to pet hair, grease, and food droppings. The same can be a prime cause of allergies and reactions in an indoor environment if you don’t clean them regularly.
To get your rugs and carpets smelling fresh again, sprinkle baking soda in liberal amounts onto the carpet along with your favorite essential oils, letting it sit for a couple of hours. Using a handheld vacuum, clean the surface afterward, and your carpet is as fresh as new.
Deodorize Stinky Sneakers And Sports Gear
One of the most widely used baking soda hacks is odor-neutralizing footwear, especially worn for sports. Sprinkle baking soda into your sneakers and let them sit overnight. Shake all the baking soda out the next morning, and voila.
Clean Pesticides Off Produce
It is hard to find organic produce in the market today, and even if you do, they are costly to consider. However, one can easily use baking soda to remove dirt, pesticides, and other contaminants from the produce at home.
Mix equal parts baking soda, white vinegar, and water in a bowl. For leafy veggies, fruits with outer covering, etc., soak them into the mixture for about 1-2 minutes. As for skinned veggies and fruits such as apples and grapes, pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it atop them 5-6 times. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes before rinsing them under tap water.
Baking soda not just acts as an excellent cleaner but also boosts the cleaning power of other products such as detergents or dishwashing tablets and liquid when used jointly.
Adding baking soda (one cup) to the regular cycle of the dishwasher helps eliminate the grease easily and effectively; doing the same with laundry will get your clothes cleaner, brighter, and fresher than ever. Try adding some baking soda to your sweeping routine and walk on the bare floors without troubling grease and stains.
What’s more, the addition of baking soda will also get your washing machine and dishwasher clean as well, with a damp cloth wipe being all that’s left to do for a shiny machine.
Many similar household items such as white vinegar can be efficiently and widely used with the right knowledge and understanding. So, the next time you’re at the supermarket buying a cleaner, think to yourself, do I have a better, affordable, and environmentally friendly alternative to the same?