Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is primarily used in baking as a leavening agent. It releases carbon dioxide, causing the dough to rise. However, there are also millions (okay, I’m exaggerating this bit) of other uses for it, just like good ol’ vinegar. You see, baking soda has several unique properties such as a flexible molecular structure that allows it to be used as a mild abrasive, an attractant that cleans effectively, and an alkali to neutralize acidic substances. Buy them in bulk at restaurant/baking supply stores. When stored in an airtight container in a cool place, baking soda lasts indefinitely.
Without further ado, here are the 62 amazing uses of the non-toxic, biodegradable baking soda.
- Leavening Agent
- Vegetable Softener
- Meat Tenderizer
- Increase Crispness
- Fluffier Omelet
- Iced Tea
- Garlic Odor
- Fishy smell
- Oven & Microwave
- Stove Tops
- Tough Crust
- Relieve Heartburn
- Insect Bites
- Allergic Reaction
- Remove Splinters
- Mouth Wash
- Denture Cleanser
- Armpit Deodorant
- Facial Scrub
- Bath Salt
- Foot Soak
- Sinus Rinse
- Enhance Performance
- Skin Burn
- Fade Age Spots
- Mouth Ulcer
- Fire Extinguisher
- Remove Tarnish
- Remove Rust
- Clothes Softener
- Remove Stain
- Clean Toilet
- Bathroom & Sink
- Floor Cleaner
- Crayon Marks
- Freshen Air
- Freshen Upholstery
- Bed Wetters
- Sports Gear
- Pet Gear
- Pet Shampoo
- Food Bowls
- Freshen Plushies
- Windows & Mirrors
- Light Snow
- Plant Fungus
- Grease Stain
- Car Batteries
- Camping Must-have
- Eliminate Insects
- Repair Plastic
- Swimming Pool
- Food Compost
- Clogged Drain
- pH Balancer
- Soil Enhancer
In The Kitchen
Baking soda is primarily used as a leavening agent as it interacts with with acidic components in batters, releasing carbon dioxide, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in pancakes, cakes, and bread.
You can use baking soda to soften beans faster and decrease cooking time by increasing the pH.
A Chinese technique where baking soda is used on thinly sliced pieces of tough beef that renders them tender.
When used in breading for fried foods, baking soda enhances crispness.
Adding ½tsp of baking soda for every 3 eggs is one of the easiest ways to add a little more volume to your omelet.
A pinch of baking soda removes the bitterness from tea, leaving you with a smooth flavorful drink.
No more smelly hands. All you need to do to get rid of stubborn garlic “essence” is to rub baking soda thoroughly on your hands.
Remove fishy smell from fillets by soaking the raw fish in a mixture of 1 tsp baking soda to a cup of water for about 1 hour inside the fridge.
A good general cleaning solution for the oven is a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart/liter of warm water. This can be used to wash down the inside of the microwave oven.
Mix 1 part baking soda + 1 part degreaser + 5 parts water for an amazingly clean stove top. Clears grime build up easily. Works for elements too.
Baking soda is made especially for removing baked on cheese from pots or casserole dishes WITHOUT scrubbing. Just sprinkle some in, add hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Voila! Amazing if you’ve ever contemplated throwing that pan out cause it was so ridiculously hard to clean.
As baking soda is a natural antacid, dissolving just a teaspoon’s worth into a cup of water will help neutralize stomach acid and temporarily alleviate heartburn caused by acid reflux.
Apply a paste made of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water to insect bites to help relieve itching. Gently smooth the baking soda paste over the bug bite and allow it to dry. It also helps to bring the stinger of bees and wasps out.
Baking soda can be used to treat an allergic reaction to plants such as poison ivy or oak, the same way for insect bites, to relieve some of the associated itching. Upon a hive breakout, fill the tub with water, pour a cup’s worth of baking soda, soak inside for 30 minutes and the hives will go away much faster.
Applying baking soda paste to the affected area and wrapping it with a bandage will cause the skin to swell and push the splinter out. After 24 hours, pick off the splinter that is sticking out with tweezers. After that, apply apple cider vinegar to accelerate healing.
Sodium bicarbonate has no anticaries activity per se but is compatible with fluoride. In high concentrations, sodium bicarbonate is bactericidal against most periodontal pathogens. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a mouthful of water and swirl gently for a minute.
Did you know that Efferdent and Polident, the 2 leading brands for denture cleansers, contain baking soda as an active ingredient? The best homemade cleanser you can ever make is one that has a combination of vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar will kill microorganisms and dissolve tartar while baking soda absorbs the odor and loosen stubborn debris. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup (8oz/250ml) of half water and half vinegar.
Baking soda alone is too strong to be used as an underarm deodorant. Instead, use 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cornstarch. Baking soda eliminates odor while cornstarch helps it stick to skin better and eliminate sweating. Plus, the combination is gentler on the skin.
Baking soda works as an exfoliant not only for your face but your body as well. Just pour a pile of baking soda into your hands and scrub everything. Your face, your hair, your body, and the actual shower with it.
Fill a bottle with ½ water & ½ baking soda and another bottle with ½ water and ½ apple cider vinegar. First, rub the baking soda mix into your hair and let it sit for a minute. Then rinse and apply the vinegar mix for a minute before rinsing again. Baking soda helps absorb oil and grease produced by the scalp while apple cider vinegar acts as a conditioner. Work wonders for dandruff as well.
Baking soda’s natural sodium content and alkalinity leaves your skin feeling fresh and silky. Use about ½ cup of baking soda to a tub of water. Soak for 20 minutes.
Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda into a 1 quart/liter basin of warm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. Besides leaving a smooth feel to your feet, baking soda will also eliminate foot odor.
Make your own saline sinus rinse with 3 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda and a cup (8oz/250ml) of water. The role of baking soda is to act as a buffering agent to adjust the pH of the irrigating solution to that of the body.
Baking soda is used to enhance physical performance in athletes by buffering exercise-induced acidosis. Starting exercise 60 minutes after a single dose (250mg/kg) is enough to negate the effects of acid production in the body. However, caution is required as baking soda will also increase dietary sodium and may cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Sunburn, hot oil spill, heating coil burn, coffee making accident, or touched a hot pan. Forget soaking your fingers in ice cold water. Immediately make a baking soda paste and apply it to the burnt spot. You will experience a warming sensation, almost like a burn itself, at first. By the next day, not only will you avoid swelling/blistering, the pain will be gone completely.
1 tablespoon of baking soda per quart/liter of warm water. Run at least 2 bags full, 4 if possible. Fill, empty, refill, empty. Baking soda gives you a refreshing, soothing and pleasant experience, especially after multiple enemas for an extra deep clean out.
Just make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda, rub through hair to help loosen scales, leave for a few minutes, and wash thoroughly. A beautiful clean baby head ensues!
Aging skin loses elasticity and oil glands, which contribute to dry, flaky skin and spots. Baking soda polishes the skin and removes any lingering dead skin cells that cause further darkness and roughness to brown spots. Just make a paste and scrub away.
Baking soda, as an amphoteric, corrects the pH imbalance of the skin that contributes to acne formation. Its mild anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties lessens the irritation of inflamed acne. Make a paste and rub it over your face for 5 minutes before rinsing. Remember to use a moisturizer as baking soda dries your skin.
Start by combining a 1 tsp of baking soda and ½ cup of water. Swish this mixture around your mouth for about 1 minute then spit it out. The inflammatory properties in bicarbonate of soda can help shrink the swelling and reduce redness of canker sores. Do it as often as you can, especially right after meals. Works for gum boils as well.
Inside The House
Baking soda is an alkali by nature. Small kitchen fires caused by grease will form a smothering soapy foam when baking soda is thrown onto it. In addition to that, heating baking soda releases carbon dioxide. You’ll commonly find baking soda as one of the chemical agents of dry fire extinguishers.
Polish all your oxidized silver jewelry with baking soda. Use a deep dish, put foil on the bottom, use a generous amount of baking soda, throw in your silverware or any other tarnished silver items and watch them get shinny, like new.
A paste of sodium bicarbonate and water is useful in removing surface rust as rust forms a water soluble compound when in a concentrated alkaline solution. Cold water should be used as hot water solutions can corrode steel.
Baking soda works great as a fabric softener because it helps regulate pH levels of the load within the washing machine and imparts a soft, slick feel to the water as a surfactant. For especially smelly loads like sweat soaked clothes, socks and underwear, baking soda works exceptionally well to remove all odors. Just put a tablespoon of baking soda into the softener compartment of the washing machine drawer.
Baking soda in paste form rubbed onto a dampened blood stain can help lift the stain from the fabric. Works for counter tops as well, even if it’s by rubbing fingers onto it. Doesn’t matter if the stain is tea, coffee, red wine, berries or permanent black marker.
Sprinkle the toilet with baking soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then spray with vinegar to moisten. Scrub with a bowl brush and flush away.
Sponge off soap scum with a paste of baking soda and dish washing detergent.
Pour ½ cup of baking soda into a bucket of warm water and mop. Rinse clean for a sparkling floor.
Instead of punishing your kid with timeouts, have him/her clean his/her masterpiece off your wall by sprinkling a little baking soda on a damp sponge and scrubbing away the marks with a little elbow grease. Then rinse the sponge and wipe the wall clean.
Be it in refrigerators, litter boxes, lunchboxes, closets, shoe cabinets, cupboards, trash or cars, baking soda will absorb the life out of odors. You can either leave baking soda in the open or hang it out of sight in a sachet. Test if the baking soda is expired by adding ¼ teaspoon of it into a mixture of ½ cup water and ¼ vinegar. If it fizzes, it’s still good.
Pouring baking soda all over the furniture and leaving it for an hour will pull out any odors that have settled into the furniture. It vacuums up really well. Use on mattresses before flipping over.
If you have bed wetters, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress. Wait a while. After vacuuming it off, you can’t tell where it happened.
Mix 4 tbsp baking soda to a quart/liter of water to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment such as gym bags, yoga mats, golf irons, racquets, etc.
Use it to effectively clean and deodorize pet beds, aquariums, terrariums, cage, etc.
Bathe your dog in 1 tbsp of baking soda for every cup of water. Run a brush through the fur to remove dead skin and hair. Thoroughly rinse out the solution and apply 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per cup of water to not only condition his hair but also any itch and pain on its skin. Rinse thoroughly and dry. On another note, you can also dry clean your dog by sprinkling baking soda all over, massage it into the coat and brushing it out. It pulls out dirt, grease and leaves your dog smelling fresh. Works great when you don’t want to get your dog wet, especially during winter.
Surround your pet’s food bowls with baking soda to keep pests away.
Stuffed animals become stale and musty over time. Freshen things up by sealing soft toys in a box of baking soda for a day or two.
If you have difficult marks from animal and insect droppings on your windows, just dampen a sponge or cloth with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda/water and gently rub. Remember to sponge off with only water to prevent getting a smudgy effect.
Looks great on Christmas trees, plus it’s not harmful to babies or pets. It will also help keep the air around fresh and carpet easier to vacuum when taking it down. A great alternative to sprayed on snow.
Outside The House
Baking soda is not fungicidal. However, as it is amphoteric, it interrupts the life cycle of spores by inhibiting germination. Add 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 gallon/4 liters of water and spray the leaves, stems and flowers at the first sign of the presence of fungal infection.
Easily remove grease stain on your garage floor or driveway with baking soda. First wet the spot with a little water and cover it with some baking soda. Then scrub it off with a brush.
Baking soda is perfect for cleaning battery acid corrosion on cars and mowers as it is mildly alkalic. Make a paste of ¾ baking soda to ¼ water and scrub away the corrosion. Remember to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning.
It’s a dishwasher, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, and has tons of other uses. Make sure you use a resealable bag.
Mix equal amounts of powdered sugar with baking soda and place in a container at areas where you would normally see cockroaches, ants and even beetles. Once the insects eat the baking soda it will react with formic acid in their stomachs and cause gas. They cannot eliminate gas so it will build up inside them and cause them to literally explode.
Use baking soda as a filler to make structural repairs to plastic parts. Make a fillet or bridge shaped pile of baking soda over the break in the plastic. Drip super glue onto the pile so it soaks into the powder and saturates it completely. When dry, the repair will take substantial abuse and rough handling.
Baking soda together with chlorine tabs and borax help raise the pH level of swimming pools while keeping it pristine.
To balance the acidity and keep the smell of a compost area down, use baking soda right out of the box on the compost pile. Just add a little extra baking soda and some sawdust if it gets a little aromatic when you open the lid.
If your pet or yourself has been sprayed by a skunk, mix ¼ cup baking soda into a pail of water and bathe yourself in it. Totally takes the smell out.
Not Useful As
Baking soda and salt should NOT be used as a toothpaste as it is far too abrasive and leads to increased enamel wear and gingival recession which increases your risk not only to cavities, but to root caries as well, which decay much faster and often result in the tooth having to be extracted if it has moved below the gum line.
Baking soda together with vinegar, lemon juice and salt are simply temporary fixes that just move the problem further down the drain. Baking soda may clear the gunk but not dissolve hair. The best solution to a clogged bathroom drain is a plumbing snake. For prevention, use a zip-it.
Drinking baking soda to provide a temporary relief to excessive acidity in your stomach, yes. To reduce acidity or raise pH levels in your body daily, no. This is because baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate contains sodium. Excessive sodium causes hypertension or high blood pressure. 1 tsp of baking soda would already meet 52% of your recommended daily allowance for sodium.
Never sprinkle baking soda into the soil of plants. Too much and it will mess with the healthy soil balance by salting the soil and killing beneficial organisms and plants. Baking soda is used to kill crab grass.