There are few things I covet as much in cleaning as I do baking soda, and the incredible thing about it is it is so inexpensive! If they raise the price on baking soda, I’d still pay a premium for it because it does so much, not only for cleaning purposes around your home, but for personal care as well. So, let’s take a look at 7 of my favorite baking soda hacks!
Make Your Sink Sparkle
Baking soda serves three main purposes when it comes to cleaning:
- It’s an abrasive;
- It’s a deodorizer;
- It’s a brightener.
So, you can see how it already has so many different possible applications. When it comes to the first application—an abrasive—let’s talk about how baking soda can make your sink sparkle, no joke, like a diamond! Because it has the ability to provide mild abrasion, which means it can scrape dirt off a surface, even dirt that’s very fine and hard to see, it leaves nothing behind on stainless steel. So, when you rinse it clean, all you have left is a beautiful clean shine. To achieve this diamond-like sparkle simply sprinkle a little bit of baking soda into a wet sink. Then use a wet sponge or cloth, along with a little bit of soap, and give it a nice scrub. I like to work from the top to the bottom almost in a circular motion so I’m not missing anything. Make sure to get right down into the drain! Finally, rinse with warm water and give it a good polish with a plush microfiber cloth. I promise you, the results will blow your mind.
Baking Soda as DIY Deodorant
I want to talk about using baking soda as an underarm deodorant. You might be incredulous. You might think that’s gross, but I’m going to challenge you. If you don’t believe me, go out and try this yourself for a week. You will be so impressed with how well this deals with odors—and I know because I’ve used it myself for years! Not only do I save a ton of money, but it is so efficient that people who I’ve told about confirm that it lasts for up to 24 hours. So what you do is you portion out a little bit, like maybe a quarter teaspoon? Then I even it out in my hands and just kind of pat it under, you’ll see a little bit fall off, but hey, a little bit of baking soda never hurt anybody, and then you just go about your day. It takes seconds to apply. It doesn’t turn the underarms of your shirts yellow, and the most impressive thing is how it fights odors.
Baking soda is fantastic as a laundry brightener. So what does this mean? It helps bring out the bright colors in your clothing and also helps whiten whites. So whenever you’re doing a load of whites or colors, you can throw in a quarter cup of baking soda directly in the drum. Now, the other thing that it does as a side benefit, is it helps deodorize. So if you have a particularly smelly load of laundry, you can throw the same amount in and you’ll see your stuff will come out and it will smell nice and fresh. It won’t smell like anything (aside perhaps from the detergent), but the baking soda will help to neutralize any odors.
All-Purpose Bathroom Scrub
This has to be one of my favorite DIY cleaning recipes. It’s an all-purpose scrub that I love using in the bathroom, although, you can also use it in the kitchen or anywhere else where there’s griminess or soap scum that you want to get rid of. This replaces what you would call a cream or a powdered cleanser. To make this recipe:
- Mix equal parts, dish soap and baking soda into a bowl. Only make as much as you need at this moment—this recipe will not keep!
- Add a little water to it, just a few drops, and stir until you get a pudding-like consistency.
- For added fun (and value), add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (depending on how much you added in step 1). When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, I always like to pack in an extra mold and mildew resistant antibacterial punch, which means I’ll generally use tea tree essential oil.
It’s so easy to make and it’s super inexpensive. Once you have this made up, you’ll apply with a dampened sponge using the S-pattern. Then you’re just going to let that sit for a few minutes—as we know, pretreating does all the work for you—and when you’re ready flip your sponge over the scrubby side and scrub it on down, give it a nice rinse, and polish it dry. You’ve cleaned like a pro for pennies!
You might notice that when you pick up produce, it has a waxy coating on it. A really simple and inexpensive way to get rid of this is to take your produce, splash it with a bit of water, and give your produce a little massage with some baking soda, then give it a rinse. Now, if you have a lot of things—say you’re doing something like grapes or berries—you can add a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl filled with water. Throw your produce in there and then kind of give it a swirl with your hand and try and massage each of the items, then strain it out and give it a rinse. Whichever way you choose your produce will come out nice and clean.
Have you ever thought to clarify your hair with baking soda? I think I read about this tip probably 15 years ago in Cosmo or one of those other girly magazines. I thought, “Let’s see if this really works.” So I tried it, and I swear, I’ve been doing it ever since.
If you think about what goes on in the average person’s head of hair—they’re putting products on there, your scalp is collecting dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, and even though you shampoo it and generally take good care of your hair, there tends to be some buildup over time. It’s the same reason why people like going for facials. So think about doing this as a facial for your scalp. So here’s what I do: I portion out a tablespoon of baking soda onto a tissue and leave it by the shower. When I get to shampooing I grab the tissue and drop the baking soda into my hand and stir it around with the shampoo. I apply this to my scalp and scrub really well. Give yourself a nice extra long lather. When you rinse it out and you come out of the shower your scalp will feel so much cleaner, so much less dirty, greasy, and heavy. It just feels so good. So if you’re someone who uses a lot of product or you feel like you work in an environment where your hair and your scalp gets quite a bit dirtier/greasier than average, I think you will love this. Now the one caveat is if you color your hair, you just want to check with your colorist and make sure that the baking soda will not affect your dye job.
If you open your dishwasher door and get hit with a bit of an odor, there are a few things that may be happening here. First of all, your filter may need to be cleaned. Secondly, it may need a little deodorizing. For a DIY dishwasher deodorizer simply take a cup of baking soda and sprinkle it all over the bottom of the dishwasher (the dishwasher should be empty), and let that sit overnight. The next morning run it through on the hottest possible cycle (the sanitize or cleaning cycle if you have one), and you’ll see that by the time that load is done your dishwasher will smell significantly fresher!