By Chaya Kurtz, Networx.com
What’s not to like about baking soda? It’s cheap. It’s available in every regular supermarket and in bulk at club stores. It’s biodegradable and unscented. Baking soda is an effective substitute for scrubbing cleansing powders. It’s also useful for weird things you’d never think of unless you were a chemist, like cleaning silver. Please enjoy these twenty ways to clean with baking soda, and have a green day!
Homemade toilet bowl cleaner: If you like your toilet to be non-toxic AND disinfected, then give the old throne a wash like this. Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet. Then add a half cup of vinegar. Next, add a few drops of tea tree oil. Let sit for ten minutes. Then swish and scrub with the toilet brush. Flush.
DIY drain cleaner: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. The bubbling action will clean the drain. Follow with boiling water to wash it all away. This works better as a preventative measure to keep drain clean, and will not clear a major clog (call a plumber if you have a major clog).
Natural shower door cleaner: Scrub a glass shower door with a wet sponge and baking soda.
Homemade laundry detergent: Baking soda is an integral part of homemade laundry detergent. Washing soda, baking soda, Borax, and soap flakes are the only ingredients in this cheap and effective homemade laundry detergent recipe.
Remove skunk smell from clothing: Thank you to Los Angeles exterminator A-1 Watkins for this tip. If you get sprayed by a skunk, he says that this will take the odor out of your clothes: “Combine 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap.” Let’s hope your clothes are white, because the hydrogen peroxide will bleach them but good.
Homemade goo remover: I like goo, but sometimes it does need to be removed. A mixture of baking soda and corn oil make homemade sticker goo remover.
DIY scrubbing cleanser: If you want an alternative to store-bought scrubbing cleansers, whip up a batch of DIY scrubbing cleanser with only three ingredients: baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar.
Clean a glass stovetop: Glass stove tops are notoriously easy to damage with scrubbing cleansers. To get your glass stove top really clean without damaging it, one blogger suggests sprinkling baking soda on the stove top, and covering the whole thing with a towel soaked in hot soapy water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then use the towel to wipe it all away.
Remove urine smell from carpet: Take your peed-on area rug outside, turn it over, and sprinkle it with baking soda. Then saturate the rug with vinegar and watch it fizz. Let it sit for an hour, then wash and dry the area rug. If you have wall to wall carpeting, ha ha! Just kidding. You can also use baking soda as a deodorant carpet powder if you have wall to wall carpeting, which I’ll explain in a separate paragraph.
Homemade grout cleaner: This works best on floor tiles, as you need the help of gravity to keep the cleaning solution in one place. Sprinkle baking soda on the grout lines, then spray with vinegar. After it fizzes up, take a grout brush and scrub it (and the dirt) away. Wipe away the slurry with rags.
DIY air freshener: There are many DIY air freshener recipes that contain baking soda. Baking soda with a few drops of essential oil in a small Mason jar with cheesecloth is an easy one that works well.
Baking soda paste oven cleaner: To clean your oven without fumes, make a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it all over the oven. Let it sit overnight, and then scrub it off with wet rags.
No-scrub silver tarnish remover: Baking soda, aluminum foil, boiling water create a chemical reaction that removes tarnish from sterling silver. This does not work on silver plated objects.
Ecological tub scrub: Squirt a ring of liquid castile soap around your bath tub. Sprinkle baking soda all over it, then scrub with a brush or sponge. It’s good, and very healthy. Just be sure to wipe it all away with damp rags.
Remove melted crayon from clothing: My colleague figured out how to remove crayon from clothes that had gone through a dryer cycle with a purple crayon. It took her several rounds of cleaning, but Fels-Naptha and baking soda saved her clothes.
DIY fabric softener: A mixture of six parts baking soda and one part vinegar make a nice, natural fabric softener when added to the rinse cycle. Add only a half cup of this mixture to one load of laundry.
Garbage can deodorizer: If your garbage can stinks, give it a wash with soapy water and a scrub brush, turn it over and put it outside to dry, then sprinkle baking soda in it.
DIY carpet powder: Sprinkle baking soda mixed with a few drops of essential oil onto a carpet for a DIY deodorizing carpet powder, then vacuum it up.
Use baking soda to absorb grease spills: Did you drop a glass bottle of olive oil on your way in from the store? Cover the spill with baking soda, let it absorb the oil, then vacuum it up.
DIY dish detergent: There are people out there who mix up salt, baking soda, and citric acid and put it in their dishwasher instead of regular detergent. I’m sticking with my Cascade, but if you have successfully used this stuff without busting your dishwasher, please comment.