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10 Helpful Uses For Baking Soda

Baking soda is for more than just baking. Check out this list of its many helpful uses!

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is also known as “bicarbonate of soda,” a naturally occurring substance present in all living things. It helps living things maintain the pH balance necessary for life. Baking soda is made from soda ash, which is sodium carbonate.

This product is a must-have in every home as it’s a great all-purpose cleaner and deodorizer.

Check out these great baking soda uses:

1. Doing Dishes?

Don’t forget the baking soda. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda to your dishwater. It will help cut grease and loosen food on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on, baked-on foods, soak in a baking soda and detergent mixture, then use dry baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth as a scratch less scouring powder. In fact, if you run out of dishwashing liquid, make a paste with baking soda and water and use it as detergent to get dishes clean. 

Natural cleaners for burnt meal in pot.

2. Cleaner Fruits and Vegetables

The experts agree—you should wash produce before consuming it. To clean more of the dirt, chemical residues, and waxes from all varieties of fruits and vegetables, use baking soda. Shake some onto wet produce, scrub, then rinse. Works better than water alone.

Fruits in a pot filled with water being cleaned.

3. Remove Product Buildup

For extra clean hair, try adding a small amount of baking soda (about the size of a quarter) to your shampoo. Wash, rinse, and condition as you normally would. The baking soda helps remove built-up residues from styling products and mineral abundant waters.

Woman brushing hair in front of mirror with a wooden brush.

4. Great For Dental Gear

Baking soda works well as a cleaner for dentures, retainers, or mouth guards. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water. Then soak dental gear for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water after soaking. It’s also a great replacement for toothpaste if you’ve run out. Just dip your wet toothbrush in a bit of baking soda and brush your teeth, then rinse.

Chattering teeth toy.

5. Camping Necessity

Baking soda is a must for any camper. It can serve as a dishwasher, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher, and first-aid treatment for insect bites, sunburn, and poison ivy, as well as much more. Plus, it saves space (one box compared to many products!).

6. Lawn Furniture Cleaner

To clean and deodorize lawn and pool furniture, mix a solution of 1/4-cup baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Wipe the furniture with this solution, then rinse clean. For tougher stains, sprinkle baking soda directly onto a damp sponge, scrub with it and rinse.

7. First-Aid

Relieve the itching and pain of an insect bite with a baking soda paste. After you have removed any stinger, make a paste by combining 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply it to the affected area and let it dry. Wash it off and repeat, if needed.

Rubbing baking soda on a mosquito bite on arm.
Baking soda is great to have on hand for insect bites.

8. No More Smelly Dogs!

Instead of heading for the bathtub every time Fido smells, try giving him periodic dry baths. Rub dry baking soda into his fur, then comb or brush it through and out. Baking soda is non-toxic and safe for use on and around your pets.

Beagle on a leash looks up and smiles.

9. Quell Sweet Cravings

If you’re having a strong craving for sweets, rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in 4 ounces of warm water. Do not swallow. Simply swish for 10 seconds and spit. Your craving should disappear!

Two powered donuts against a white background.

10. Clean Car Lights and Chrome (remove bugs, tar, and grime)

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Using a damp sponge, rub the paste on affected areas in a circular motion; rinse.

Hand with a purple wipe polishing a headlight.

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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