It looks like baking soda can be used for many jobs and it’s often more effective than a shop-bought cleaning product. And of course, if you compare the cost, baking soda wins every time. Here is my favourite list of baking soda applications that really work around the house.
I’ve always enjoyed cake baking and use baking soda pretty much all the time. I would even use it to clean around the kitchen, but I’ve not realised how many other uses there!
1. Cleaning your drains
I’ve done this many times and it works a treat! Especially if your sink is slightly blocked up with food bits from washing up. Put about ½ cup of baking soda down your drains (sink). Boil about 1 cup of vinegar and pour slowly down the drains over the baking soda. You’ll see everything hissing vigorously as it cleans your drains. Repeat if you feel that the first application wasn’t enough. Pour more water down the drains to clean them after the treatment.
2. Hair comb cleaner
Hair combs are tricky to clean and sometimes it’s easier just to buy a new one, than to clean it. But that’s neither very cost effective or environmentally friendly. So, to clean your hair brush with baking soda, you need a tall container filled with warm water and a about tablespoon of washing up liquid and teaspoon of baking soda. Put your hair comb into the water and swirl it around to make sure the cleaning mixture gets nicely everywhere. Let the hair comb to soak for 5-10 minutes and rinse properly with hot water.
3. Make a nail cuticle softener
This is a very simple mix of equal parts of warm water and baking soda, which create a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your nail cuticles and leave on for 5 minutes or so. Wash off with warm water. Finish your manicure with filling your nails and adding nail moisturiser to complete the treatment.
4. Shoe Deodoriser
This is an easy and natural way to deodorise your shoes. Use an old pair of socks (the thinner the better, but without any holes!) and fill them up with about 1/2 cup of baking soda each. You can also use additional natural ingredients to make your shoes extra fragrant and add things like citrus peels, used and dried coffee grinds or few drops of lavender essential oil. Make sure the socks are securely tied with a knot or use an elastic band and place them inside your shoes and leave them overnight.
5. Homemade mouthwash
Add a one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water, mix well and use the solution to rinse your mouth. The baking soda works like a neutraliser and lowers the pH level in your mouth, which helps with bad breath.
If you happen to run out of toothpaste or you are looking for a natural organic toothpaste, this is the perfect recipe to go with. To make your own toothpaste, mix 1/2 cup of softened coconut oil with 3 table spoons of baking soda. Add few drops of edible peppermint essential oil or any other essential oil you fancy the taste of.
To make the toothpaste a bit more palatable (not that you are actually going to eat it!) add 1 sachet (or one teaspoon) of natural sweetener and mix everything together to a smooth paste. Keep in a closed glass jar for up to 3 months and use and a normal toothpaste.
7. Hair Shampoo
To create an extra clensing hair shampoo, just mix a tablespoon of baking soda with whatever amount of shampoo you use for one hair wash. Use as normally and give your hair extra massage as you work the mixture through your hair. Rinse your hair well and follow with a conditioner if using. Similarly like with the other applications, the baking soda helps to clean your hair and cuts through any extra dirt build up on your hair. It’s best not to use this hair treatment too often as the baking soda is quite strong and might affect your hair pH balance too much.
8. Have a foot bath
Fill a wash bowl with warm water and add 2 table spoons of baking soda. To make your foot bath nicely fragranced you can add peppermint, rose or lemon extract and a few dry flower (or rose) petals. The baking soda dissolved in a water will help to soften your skin and any cracked heels.
Have a good soak (whilst you catch up your latest magazine!) and after about 15 minutes use a foot pumice to get rid of any dead skin and leave your feet beautifully smooth. To make this home foot spa experience extra special, apply foot cream (or any rich or thick cream) and then pun on night socks. Your feet will feel like ‘new’ in the morning!
9. Make a face cleanser
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 table spoon of fresh lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil. Combine everything into a paste and apply onto your face. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse well with warm water. It might feel a little tingling, but that’s just the baking soda doing it’s job. Be careful to stay away from your eyes, nose and mouth when applying the face cleanser. This face cleanser will leave your face feeling fresh, looking brighter and smooth.
10. Washing Powder Alternative
I only found out about this baking soda use recently, but it’s one the most effective way to save money. I tend to do a lot of washing because of my chocolate making business, especially a lot of cotton aprons. I only use basic washing powder for these (and never fabric softener), so swapping to baking soda was easy and very budget friendly alternative!
All I do is to use 1 cup of baking soda for large load or ½ cup for smaller (or not too dirty) load and I place it directly to the washing machine drum. I also add about 1 table spoon of washing up liquid and run the washing machine on my normal cycle. I usually just short cycle on 40C and all aprons come out nice and clean even if they had a lot of chocolate on them before!
11. Oven Cleaner
I normally use shop bought oven cleaner, but the fumes are so strong that it can make you really dizzy. I’m also never sure that I’ve wiped the oven properly afterwards, even when I actually! But this mixture of baking soda and vinegar is truly amazing and it works a treat!
To clean your oven, you will need to first spray the inside of your oven with vinegar. This is best if you are using a plant spray bottle or you can just splash the vinegar gently inside the oven and the sides. Mix one cup of baking soda with just enough water to make a thick paste. Using a thick brush apply the paste to the inside of your oven. If you run out of the mixture just make up another batch.
Make sure you include the oven door and the glass. Leave everything for 8 hrs or overnight and then wipe with a clean cloth and rinse again to make sure all the soda and vinegar has gone.
12. Room Deodoriser
This is particularly useful if you want to get rid of any lingering smell from your carpet, sofa or large drapes or curtains. Sprinkle baking soda to wherever the smell is, leave for few minutes and then run hover over it and vacuum your room. You’ll be surprised how the smells are eliminated. This particularly works well for lingering dog smell.
Bonus tip – make your own deodorant
You can make your own deodorant with my simple recipe. It’s very easy to put together and works surprisingly in the same way as a normal deodorant.
More frugal household tips
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- 7 Uses for Kitchen Paper Towels >>
- Frugal Uses for Tumble Drying Sheets >>
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