Baking soda is a bit of a miracle substance. Sure, you can use it to bake, just as its name implies, but there are a lot more things you can do with baking soda! The big advantage is that it is a natural substance with the scientific name sodium bicarbonate – a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃. Baking soda is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. And while those facts might be helpful in a trivia game, what is really helpful is knowing the many ways you can use baking soda around the house!
9 Smart Ways to Use Baking Soda
Skin Exfoliator: If you strive for clean, smooth, baby-like skin, make a nice exfoliating paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water. Gently massage it on your skin, getting as much coverage as you want. Once it’s all massaged on your skin, rinse it all off with some warm water and enjoy the smoothness.
Toilet Cleaner: I know, I know…none of us want to do it. Not a single person in the house wants to deal with THAT one dreaded job. But hey, you have baking soda on your side to make it easier! Dump roughly a single cup into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about an hour (catch up on your Hulu queue while you’re waiting). After that hour has passed, go back and flush the toilet. You’ll now have a clean and odorless toilet.
Homemade Clay: The artist in your family (maybe that’s you?) might find this project fun: Mix some baking soda in with 1 1/4 cups water and 1 cup of cornstarch. The result is something quite similar to store bought modeling clay. After using it, store it in an airtight tin to maximize its shelf life.
Car Surface Cleaner: Your car gets you from point A to Point B and then back to A again at the end of the day. Naturally, you want the best for your car so it can get you back to point B the next day. Keep your car’s paint job nice and shiny by making a baking soda paste and rubbing it all over your car’s dulling paint job. Let the paste sit for five to fifteen minutes and then rinse your car off. Voila! Now your Camaro looks as good as the day you bought it back in ’72.
Deicing Salts Substitute: Those of us who experience winter weather have had that moment: you walk in from the cold winter air, dust your jacket off, and start the boring, monotonous task of getting all the salt off your shoes. Would you believe that baking soda can also help you here? Substitute a fine dusting for all those salts you’re tossing onto your driveway and patio. Baking soda provides you with good traction and melts the ice just as well as salt. Plus, it won’t cause damage to your shoes or your floors.
Deodorant: Stick or spray? You don’t have to pick either with baking soda! Its magnificent quality of being able to make anything smell nice makes it a viable option when choosing deodorant in the morning. There are no fancy steps to applying it; just firmly pat the baking soda under your armpits and go about your day.
Tougher Laundry Detergent: You might have heard about using vinegar to brighten colors in your laundry before, but what can baking soda do? Half a cup mixed in with your detergent makes your detergent work much more effectively. Your clothes will be cleaner and your colors brighter. I would say you probably don’t want to mix the vinegar trick with the baking soda trick, though…your clothes probably wouldn’t live through it.
Deodorize Your Home: This is probably the most familiar use for baking soda (beyond baking, of course): It can deodorize just about anything. Put an open box in the back of your fridge to keep odors bearable, sprinkle some across the bottom of your trash can before you put a new bag in to keep the smells at bay, and leave a snowstorm of the stuff on your living room carpet before you go to work (just don’t forget to vacuum it all up when you get home!).
Personal Foot Bath: Chances are a personal sauna for your entire family to relax in is beyond your budget. Still, you can experience the soothing spa experience with baking soda in a nice foot bath. Simply fill a tub with warm water, then add and stir in at least tablespoons of baking soda.
I hope these tips have given you some new ideas on how to use our cheap but super effective friend to all, baking soda. What other ideas do you have?