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Twenty Uses For Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

A while back I wrote about the many ways I use vinegar in our home.  And I’ve been saying over and over again that you only need vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and soap for the majority of your cleaning.  Well, several people have asked me what I use baking soda for – it’s high time I gave baking soda it’s due!

1.  Shampoo Replacement.  The number one article here at One Green Generation is A Non-Toxic, Frugal Way To Wash Your Hair Without Buying Shampoo.  I explain it all in detail there, and I wrote a follow-up about it here as well.  Try it!

2.  Deodorant.  Another very popular post here is How To Make Your Own Deodorant (A Very Simple Recipe).  I encourage you to try that as well – so simple!

3.  Air Freshener & Deodorizer. Brilliantly easy, all you need to do is open up a box of baking soda, or dump a pile of it into a bowl, and leave it in an offensively smelling area – your fridge, your closet, your pet area, you car, wherever!  (Change it out every 3-6 months.)

4.  Carpet and Garment Deodorizer. Just sprinkle a bit over the offensive area and let it sit.  A little while later, you can vacuum or shake it out.

5.  Counter, sink, and tub Cleaner. Just like using Bon Ami or some other powdered cleaner, sprinkle it onto the surface and rub with a wet cloth.  Be careful on delicate surfaces – test it out first to make sure it won’t scratch, though it’s more delicate than most powdered cleaners.  To shine the surface afterward, you can spray a bit of vinegar and wipe clean.

6.  Jewelry and Silverware Cleaner.  You can use a paste of a baking soda mixed with a bit of water (3:1 or so), or if that doesn’t work well enough you can try replacing the water with hydrogen peroxide.

7.  Coffee, Tea, Rust, and Hard Water Stain Remover.  Scrub with the same 3:1 (baking soda: water) paste, and it should do the trick!

8.  Pot and Pan Cleaner.  Sprinkle some baking soda onto your rag or sponge, and clean your pots – it will take off many stains.

9.  Drain Unclogger. If water hasn’t yet backed up, pour 1 cup of baking soda down, followed by 3 cups boiling water. Repeat if the drain doesn’t clear. If the drain still doesn’t clear, follow with 1 cup of vinegar. This makes it bubble, fizz and usually that does the trick! If this does not work, we usually buy enzymes from the local health food store.

10.  Cat Litter Extender. If your cat is persnickety about clean litter, in addition to cleaning the litter daily, you can shake a light layer of baking soda onto the litter and mix it up. 

11.  Garlic Smell Eliminator. Cutting boards and other surfaces can be cleaned with a thick paste of vinegar and baking soda. Apply this paste and let it sit for 10-15 minutes – it will both clean and deodorize.

12.  Bath Softener. If you want to feel extra soft and silky, dissolve 2 cups of baking soda in your bath water.  This works well if you have itchy skin from bites or hives also.

13.  Exfoliator.  I use the same mixture for my hair (above) as a light exfoliator on my face every couple of weeks.  It’s quite rejuvenating.

14.  Homemade Toothpaste.  You can make your own toothpaste by using two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of peroxide.  I don’t do this regularly, but I have done it in a pinch.

15.  Denture or Retainer Soak. You can soak these overnight in a glass with water and baking soda.  It will leave them clean and deodorized.

16.  Fill small holes in Drywall. Yes, I have rented many homes and sometimes you find yourself without spackle.  Ah, just mix a bit of white toothpaste with some baking soda and fill the holes!  Let it dry completely before you paint or anything – but you might find you don’t need to paint! 

17.  Fire Extinguisher. Great for a grease fire in the kitchen, a car fire, or another small fire.  Just sprinkle it over the fire until the fire goes out.  Keep it in your kitchen for sure!

18.  Shoe Deodorizer. Sprinkle a small amount in your shoe, or put some in an old sock and tie the sock – then stuff it in your shoe overnight.

19.  Ant, Roach, and Flea Deterrent.  If you have ants or roaches, sprinkle baking soda in the areas where they are coming in the house.  If you have fleas on the lawn, sprinkle baking soda around the areas where you and your pets walk by.  This helps.  I’ve written other tips for organic ant control here.  You can try it with snails and rabbits, too!

20.  Cook with it. Lots of yummy things.  Like pancakes!


Please Pick Up Where I Left Off!


What else do you use baking soda for?


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47 comments to Twenty Uses For Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

  • Jude

    I have to agree — baking soda, vinegar and peroxide are the trinity of household cleaning products. I love my homemade laundry detergent — a combination of baking soda, borax, washing soda and soap flakes — no nasty ‘scents’ — just fresh clean clothes.

  • You can use a paste of baking soda and water to ease the sting of bee stings. It really does help.

  • Tree

    I have to agree with most of these (and I have cleaned this way for years). However I have Very Hard Water and I cannot use BS for my hair. We have been trying to go No Poo for a while, but nothing except a LSL shampoo is working for us. We end up with waxy build up on our crown and cap and all over our bodies (from it running down with the water). In order to do any of the No Poo remedies we are having to use far more water (and gas to heat it) and still not getting clean, so we are still looking, but for those with Hard Water BS is not a good hair product.

    • Crystal

      I read that a lot of people with hard water still use the baking soda/no poo method. They purchase distilled water and after their shower is when they apply the baking soda. You will want to use the distilled water to rinse your hair instead of the faucet water. It’s a little bit of extra work – but it will be so worth it in the end! Hope this helps :)

  • I love this post! Thanks.

    I use baking soda for many of these purposes, and also as a stain remover for tough stains — with baking soda and a pumice stone, I cleaned off years of rust and who-knows-what off of an old enameled sink I got at a salvage place…now it’s a lovely, clean, and pure white centerpiece of our kitchen, thanks to baking soda!

  • I can use baking soda as a jewelry cleaner? Excellent. Maybe I’ll finally clean and get rid of some of my old jewelry sometime…

  • Scour crayon off your walls! Worked better than 409!

  • Thanks for posting this. There were many news uses that I didn’t know about.

  • Awesome list! Makes you wonder why we ever invented other products when baking soda and vinegar are so darn versatile – not to mention cheap and eco-friendly.

  • Rob

    I use it for teeth brushing, and I put a little in my communter mugs, fill with water and let soak overnight. Nice shiny little commuter mugs. Don’t use it for shampoo (diont use shampoo) or deodorant… I am naturally good smelling :P

  • Lifehacker just had something – Recharge your towels.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but do believe it would work well.

    I use plain baking soda for deoderant only, and I’m pleased to report it works EXCELLENT! It withstands stressful days, bike rides, and intense yoga classes. It doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

    The packaging is completely recyclable as well, bonus!

  • Great tips! Always discover new baking soda uses.

    Although it’s good to use baking soda to brush your teeth, you don’t want to do this consistently as it’s abrassive to the enamel of your teeth.

  • film på nett

    wow..I really like this:) Thank you so much, really usefull!

  • Jude, I have yet to make my own laundry detergent. I use locally made, fragrance free, condensed liquid soap made out of simple ingredients. But it is one I have meaning to make for a long time!

    Owlfan, I’ve done that as well – thanks for the addition.

    Tree, It seems some people with hard water are ok with it and others are absolutely not. I wonder if it’s something besides the hard water – very strange. Does liquid soap work, or do you need detergent?

    Milkweed, you’re welcome. Amazing what baking soda can do!

    Stephanie, : ) have fun with your jewelry!

    Going Green Mama, ha – of course!

    Beany, good to hear – thanks for your comment.

    Green Bean, so true – it wasn’t due to convenience, because it’s more convenient to just use baking soda than to have 5 different cleaners that do the same thing. Marketing, I guess, makes us think we need all 5….

    Rob, I’m a huge fan of baking soda as deodorant. Works much better than store-bought for me. Interesting about the towels – I’ll have to try that.

    Marisa, I know others here do brush regularly with baking soda. I didn’t realize it was too abrasive.

    film pa nett, thanks for reading.

  • em

    Love your blog!
    Another use for baking soda silver polisher: warm water, baking soda, a bit of salt and aluminum foil. Works like magic to bring the shine back to any silver. The silver object does have to be in direct contact with the aluminum foil to work best.

  • [...] trio of amazingly simple household cleaners.  Check out all the things you can do with vinegar and baking soda, if you haven’t [...]

  • Pootch

    Mix one teaspoon full of sodium bicarbonate powder into the cup full of water. Stir to dissolve the powder completely. The solution is colourless. This solution will be used to clean your nasal cavities.

    Getting the right concentration is by trial and error. Too much powder will give a hyperconcentrated sting, while too little power will give a hypoconcentrated sting, similar to the swimming pool experience.

    Suck up the solution using the syringe. Tilt your head to one side over the sink, until the top of your head is pointing directly at a wall. Insert the syringe (without a needle of course), into your upper nostril. Gently pump the solution into your nose. After that, straighten your head to let the solution flow out into the sink.

    Repeat for the other side, and for a few times.

    When you have almost finished the sodium bicarbonate solution, gargle with the remaining solution. Sodium bicarbonate helps to dry up the mucus due to its high concentration.

  • [...] need to turn on the heat much (increased quality of life!).  I do make my own shampoo and household cleaners, because it’s cheaper and easier than looking for a local green brand that [...]

  • [...] use a lot of products.  For example, green cleaners don’t matter when all I use are vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen [...]

  • Manny Tavarez

    how much baking soda can be use for cooking beans?

  • ASshley

    I believe it is good to put Bicarb onto fruit trees. Does one spray the leaves to get rid of bugs or soak into the roots?


  • Wanted to let you know I just wrote a post on finding extremely cheap baking soda.


  • Az

    Add baking soda to ricinus oil until its a paste (Egdar Cayce recipe). Use it on blemishes, birthmarks and warts once or twice a day (take care, to not stain cloths with oil) for three weeks, off one, and then again three weaks, and you should see birthmarks and warts slowly disappear.

  • Frank

    How about using Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) in small quantities to raise the pH levels in aquariums if you find your aquarium water turning to Acidic from fish waste. Buying a box of Bi-Carb Soda (baking soda) at a supermarket is much cheaper than buying a small 100g net bottle at your freindly pet or aquarium store.

    NOTE: Do not make the mistake of adding Baking Powder to the aquarium which is different from BAKING SODA (Sodium Bicarbonate).

  • Linda

    When I was a kid and we would get stung by ants or other insects, my mom would put some baking soda on it, then add a few drops of vinegar. It would cool the bite and, at the same time, distract us kids with the fizzing. Kinda like magic.

  • Sarah Haynes

    Love baking soda! So cheap and green. Thanks for posting!!! :D

  • Ruth

    It’s good for burns, too. My Mum was in the Civil Defence in her youth, and she says it was part of their First Aid training. For very bad and extensive burns, you’re supposed to put the person in a cold bath laced with the stuff, apparently. :)

  • Andrew B Middleton

    Good site on the uses of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)! I’m trying to find a simple method of de-acidifying book pages, that doesn’t cost the earth.

  • misty george

    I use baking soda to treat my posion ivy rash. I pour some water and baking soda into a continer and mix it up and put it on my rash. It helps keep the rash and itching down.

  • suriaflow

    I often use Sodium Bicarbonate for gastric reflux or bad digestions. A little spoon diluted on a glass of water works like a miracle ;)

  • MechaPumpkin

    Hangovers. For years I’ve looked for ANYTHING that cures a sour stomach, and it turns out baking soda is the only hope. It’s no miracle cure (although on one or two occasions it has worked miraculosuly well).

    About 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a small amount of water, stirred, then drank.

    If you’ve never tried it, I think you’ll be surprised. Doesn’t do much for dehydration, lack of sleep, or headaches from the two, but it settles the stomach!

  • Amber

    Baking soda can also create the family fun past time of play dough. Plus it lasts much longer than the play dough you buy in stores.

  • eb

    we use baking soda in the dishwasher and in the washing machine with only a few granules of detergent. its economical, ecological and just fine.

  • I mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste to clean and disinfect my tub/shower. Baking soda & water as a paste is a replacement for my “special cleanser” for my stove top. I also dampen a rag and put a little baking soda on it and it is my replacement for a Mr Clean Magic Eraser!

  • Krista

    all you sodium bicarb lovers may find this interesting. it’s not only good for a household cleaning product but it’s also good as an internal cleaning product. A scientist / doctor by the name of Dr. Simoncini discovered that sb cures pleople of cancer! He found that cancer is a fungus and what better natural way to get rid of fungus then with sb. Look up cancer is a fungus on google pretty cool.

    My husband also had eczema he doesn’t want to use steriods due to the side effects and he’s been having a real hard time keeping it at bay. We thought we would try a sb treatment because some exema’s are fungus. Well, it seams to be working thus far. No new breakouts and it’s been 2 days.

    I can’t wait to start using sb on my hair and throughout my house. :) Thanks, Krista

    • Emmaline

      Hi Krista, I’m from Singapore. My son has really bad eczema on his hands and feet. How do you use the BS to help at least relieve the itch? I dared not hope on curing the eczema… Appreciate your reply. Thanks very much! Cheers!

  • Edith

    If you have an acute allergic reaction and cannot get to a hospital quickly, you can try alternating 1 tsp bs in 1/2 cup water, with 1 tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 tsp vit c powder in water. Leave 15 min between doses. I was taught this by a naturopath for an acute allergic reaction to mussels: (swollen eyes). I have used it since for reactions to soft shell crab and to bee stings. The theory as I remember (40 yrs ago) is that it alternates alkaline and acid levels in the blood which resets the allergic response to zero. Not a doctor so don’t know, just know it works for me.
    Thanks to all for so many great ideas.

  • Robert Andreas

    I find these comments very helpful

  • Krista

    Hi Emmaline, I will tell you what my husband does. It’s kinda detailed so i’ll give you my my email and then you can email me. I am excited with the results of his eczema. Fingers crossed it stays on the healing path. Hope you hear from you soon. Krista.

  • laura Smith

    I have been reading about bi-carb soda for all these uses like deodorant, I have been getting over Cancer recently and think it a good idea to start with the deodorant.

    The bi carb you buy from the local store apparently has aluminium – do you hvae to buy the bi carb from the health that apparently does not have the aluminium or is the other ok for the outside of your body and the other only if you are taking internally.

    Thank you


    • Laura, After writing several posts about baking soda, a number of readers have researched and found that baking soda (bi carb) is aluminum free – it’s baking powder that often contains aluminum. My own research confirms this.

  • Lil' Cookie...

    Wooow i so love yah for diz. you can also use a mixture of baking soda and water to remove acne……..try it now!!!!

  • I love these articles with baking soda uses! So many uses from just one eco-friendly ingredient! I actually just put a book out with 500 uses for baking soda –

  • John

    I was surprised when you listed tub cleaner as a use for baking soda. I discovered this completely on accident one day. I have apple cider vinegar and baking soda in my bathroom, and I noticed that the “store-bought” cleaners were not cleaning the tub effectively. The thought of, “why not use good, old-fashioned sixth grade chemistry?” I sprinkled baking soda throughout the tub, splashed on some vinegar, and I let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. When I grabbed the brush to scrub the tub, I thought I only needed to clean the parts I could see. That is, until I noticed the sparkling white streak across my tub that “looked” clean. The best part: no gloves, no harmful chemicals, and only a small amount of elbow grease required :)

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