Baking Soda: Versatile, Cheap, and Effective

So, as someone who pays credence to both frugality and doing-it-yourself, I wish to share some of the many uses of a simple, inexpensive, household item you probably have on hand. Two words: Baking Soda. It is truly a do-all, miracle substance whose versatility and low price make it my “go to” item.

Kitchen: 

  1. Baking (may as well state the obvious first)
  2. Use to control strong odors in not only the fridge, but your pantry and the spice cabinet too.
  3. Use to clean and brighten grout. Just sprinkle a little on grout, grab an old toothbrush and dampen it with warm water, and scrub! Repeat as necessary. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Got ugly black marks and scuffs in your white sink? Don’t you hate those?! Put in your drain stopper, put a generous amount of baking soda all over marks, cut a lemon in half, use lemon half to scrub the marks. Don’t rinse! You can leave baking soda and lemon mix for 30 minutes, 2 hours, even overnight. Rinse with warm water. Scuffs and marks should be a thing of the past, or at the very least faded drastically. I love this trick because; it really works, all natural ingredients are totally safe to use on food prep area, and your sink will not only look shiny and clean, but it will smell so, so nice, too!
  5. Stubborn pots and pans? Throw some baking soda on that mess, let it set for a few minutes, and a little warm water, grab a sponge, dish rag, scrub brush, etc., add a little elbow grease, and watch that crud disappear.

Laundry:

You probably already know baking soda is a great laundry detergent booster. But baking soda works just fine solo, too. Remember this next time you find yourself fresh out of detergent and you don’t feel like running to the store.

General Cleaning:

Fingerprints, dirt, and who-knows-what on your walls, yuck! Grab a bucket, add about 1/2 cup of baking soda, approximately 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and plenty of lukewarm water, mix it well. Grab a dampened rag, gently wipe down walls, and when the job is done, marvel at your walls.

In the bathroom, great for cleaning: Toilets, Showers, Bathtubs, and Sinks.

A trick you may not know; baking soda and vinegar work great on slow-draining sinks. Pour about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of baking soda directly into drain. Then pour in about half as much vinegar, place an old, damp rag over drain, wait about 15-20 minutes, finally flush drain with warm water for about 5 minutes. Voila! Cheaper than a plumber, and safe for pipes and septic tanks.

Carpet that smells not so fresh? Sprinkle with baking soda, wait approximately 10-15 minutes, vaccuum as usual. Smell that? No, I don’t.

Beauty/Personal Grooming:

Use with toothpaste to polish and brighten your smile.

I saved the best for last: baking soda is a fantastically effective, safe, gentle, exfoliant! Place a tablespoon or so in your fingertips, add just enough lukewarm water to make a gritty paste, apply with a circular motion all over face, rinse thoroughly. You will love the results! You can also use this method on dry, scaly feet, elbows, and knees.

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