Baking Soda is a versatile, environmentally friendly and inexpensive product that belongs not only with your baking ingredients but in a lot of places throughout your house. Baking soda – sodium bicarbonate if you are a chemist – is a leavening agent, hence its use in baking, but it is also useful as a cleaning agent in a number of mediums. Stored in a dark place in an airtight container, baking soda will last indefinitely and it costs close to nothing, as compared to other cleaning agents. The next time you are in your local grocery store, pause at the baking soda display and consider whether you might want to pick up an extra box or two for one or more of the following uses.
Are Foods in Your Refrigerator Losing Their Flavor?
Have you ever noticed that when you leave leftovers or strong smelling foods in your refrigerator, the flavors of some other foods start to taste like the stronger smelling foods? This is called flavor transfer and it can be impeded by placing an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator. The baking soda will act as a cleaner and deodorizer, helping to keep the air in your refrigerator fresh. Just be sure to change the box every 30 to 60 days.
Is Your Dog a Bit Too Smelly?
Is your dog smelling a bit too much like a dog? If so, baking soda can be used to freshen your dog in a safe and inexpensive way. Simply sprinkle baking soda on your dog and massage the baking soda into your dogs hair. After rubbing it in, give your dog a thorough brushing and you will find that your pet is smelling much fresher.
Pool Toys a Bit Slimy?
Depending on the level of chlorination in your swimming pool, you may find that at times your pool toys and rafts can grow somewhat slimy. Slime is never a good thing on a toy! Fortunately, when your pool toys do start to feel slimy, baking soda can take the slime away. Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a quart of warm water and wipe down all of your pool toys. Then rinse them off and you will find that the slime is gone. The baking soda is safe for your pool so your slime-free toys are ready for use.
Are You Losing the Battle with Baked-on Grease?
Are your struggling night after night with hard to clean pans? Is baked-on grease really irritating you? Baking Soda may be the answer to your problem! Add about three tablespoons of baking soda to warm water and detergent and put the mixture in your pans. Let the mixture soak the pan for a few minutes and then scrub. You will find that the grease and other baked-on elements are much easier to remove.
Does Your Microwave Smell Like Last Week’s Leftovers?
Microwave ovens retain the smells of anything that you cook in them. Those smells can then infuse unwanted flavors in the next things that you cook in your microwave. You can avoid this by wiping down your microwave after each use with a wet sponge sprinkled with baking soda. If you are really troubled by microwave aromas, you can also leave an open box of baking soda in your microwave between each use (just be sure to change it every 30 to 60 days).
Is Your Backyard Grill Getting Too Dirty?
Unless you are meticulous in cleaning your grill after each use, it will start to get really dirty over the course of a summer or a series of autumn tailgates. Baking soda can help clean up your grill in a jiffy! Simply sprinkle dry baking soda on a damp sponge (or use a baking soda and water paste with a wire brush for really tough grime) and wipe your grill clean.
Is Your Furniture Getting Musty?
Does your furniture smell less than fresh? Whether you have pets or you smoke or you have another reason for musty furniture, baking soda can chase the must away. Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture that you want to clean and let it sit for half an hour. Vacuum up the residue and you will have fresh smelling furniture again.
You can even take this a step further by adding scented oil to the baking soda. When we anticipate guests arriving, my wife always cleans our furniture with a mixture of baking soda infused with lavender oil. The house always smells nice and fresh for our visitors!
Are Your Carpets in Need of Freshening?
As with furniture, baking soda can bring a fresh, clean scent back to your carpets without the need for chemical cleaners. Sprinkle baking soda all over your carpet and let it sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum and enjoy the fresher, cleaner scent of your rugs.
Does Your Sink Stink?
Even if you have a garbage disposal, you may find that your kitchen sink smells a bit from time to time. Empty half a box of baking soda down the drain while you run warm water and the baking soda will take away many of the smells that are coming from your drain and pipes. I usually do this when I switch the baking soda in my refrigerator so that I can dump the old box down the drain rather than throw it in the trash.
Is Your Kitty Litter Box More “Fragrant” than You would Like It To Be?
I don’t have a cat, so I am relying on my neighbor, Carolyn, for this tip. Carolyn has several cats, which is nice because they chase the snakes and other vermin away from my yard. Carolyn began having problems with her cat litter box a few years ago because it was making her house rather unpleasantly scented. She began pouring baking soda into the kitty litter box (mixing it with fresh kitty litter) and she found that many of the scents went away.
Are You Embarrassed by Smelly Sneakers?
Sneakers do not need to stink. Pour a little baking soda into your sneakers before you wear them and the baking soda will absorb odor-causing sweat while it neutralizes the smells that are already in your sneakers. One of my sons is a cross country runner and he relies on this to keep his running shoes usable.
I am sure that my readers can offer many other ways to use baking soda as a cost effective alternative to commercial cleaners. Let us know how you use baking soda!