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20 Things to Do with Baking Soda

You've probably got a box of baking soda sitting at the back of your fridge, but this powerful deodorizer has hundreds of uses around the home.

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Use baking soda to clear a clogged drain

Most kitchen drains can be unclogged by pouring in 1 cup of baking soda followed by one cup of hot vinegar (heat it in the microwave for one minute). Give it several minutes to work, then add one litre of boiling water. Repeat if necessary. If you know your drain is clogged with grease, use a half cup each of baking soda and salt followed by one cup of boiling water. Let the mixture work overnight, then repeat if necessary.

Read on for more brilliant baking soda uses all around the house.

Coffee makerPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean an automatic coffee maker

Properly caring for your automatic coffee maker means never having to worry about bitter or weak coffee. Every two weeks or so, brew a pot of one litre of water mixed with a quarter cup of baking soda, followed by a pot of clean water.

Here are more helpful hints on how to clean a coffee maker.

Baking soda uses - woman using footbathPhoto: Creative Cat Studio /

Soak away smelly feet

For hot, sweaty feet or tired, achy toes, plop your feet in a basin of cool water with baking soda stirred in. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse and dry. This will help cut down on foot odour and may also help ease athlete’s foot.

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Clean your hair

When it comes to personal grooming, too much of a good thing (we’re talking built-up gel, hairspray and conditioner) can spell bad news for your hair. But a thorough cleansing with baking soda at least once a week will wash all of the gunk out of your hair. Simply add one tablespoon of baking soda to your hair while shampooing. In addition to removing all the chemicals you put in your hair, it will wash away water impurities.

Here are more healthy hair secrets you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

Baking soda uses - Handyman putting up wallpaper on the wallPhoto: Shutterstock

Use baking soda to wash wallpaper

Wallpaper that’s starting to look a bit dingy can be brightened up by wiping it with a rag or sponge moistened in a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda in five litres of water. To remove grease stains from wallpaper, make a paste of one tablespoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of water. Rub it on the stain, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, then rub off with a damp sponge.

Check out 25 cleaning hacks for hard-to-remove stuff.

Old hardcover booksPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove musty odour from books

If books that have just been taken out of storage have a musty smell, place each one in a brown paper bag with two tablespoons of baking soda. Don’t shake the bag, just tie it up and let it sit in a dry place for about one week. When you open the bag, shake the remaining powder off the books and the smell should be gone.

Discover more do-it-yourself tricks to get rid of household odours.

Ham and cheese omelettePhoto: Shutterstock

Make fluffier omelettes

For restaurant-quality “puffiness,” add a scant one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda to every three eggs you beat. The omelette will be light and fluffy. You can also use this trick to make big fluffy curds when scrambling eggs. Don’t add too much or your eggs will taste bland, and be careful not to over-salt since the soda adds a slightly salty taste.

Find out the secret ingredient for super-fluffy pancakes.

Dry brown beansPhoto: Shutterstock

Soften beans

Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water.

These Depression-era cooking tips are just as relevant today.

Pan-fried fish filletsPhoto: Shutterstock

Get rid of fishy odours

Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. To avoid that, scrub your wet hands with baking soda (as if it were soap), then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet (and feel softer too).

Enjoying this roundup of baking soda uses? You’ll love these dollar store solutions for life’s little dilemmas.

Modelling clayPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a rainy day activity for kids

Avoid hearing another whiny, “I’m bored.” Boil two cups of baking soda with one cup cornstarch and 1¼ cups water until thickened. Remove from the heat and cool. It makes a fun, pliable modelling clay that’s good for a day.

Check out more clever uses for cornstarch all around the house.

DishwasherPhoto: Shutterstock

Deep-clean a funky-smelling dishwasher

One of the most popular baking soda uses is to keep our fridges smelling fresh, but that deodorizing power works on other appliances, too. Sort out a stinky dishwasher with a baking soda wash. Put 1 cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it on a rinse cycle. If the smell persists, sprinkle a few tablespoons on the bottom of the washer to sit there between loads. There’s no need to rinse it out before running the next load.

Here’s the one ingredient you should always add to your dishwasher.

Boiling water in potPhoto: Shutterstock

Salvage a burned pot

By the time you’ve thought, “What’s that smell?” and then remembered you left the stove on, it’s often too late. The bottom of the pot is a blackened mess. You can save it, though. Scrape out as much food as you can and then fill the pan a quarter full of water. Pour in a half cup of baking soda and bring the water to a boil. Turn it off and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you can clean off the black stuff with ease.

You could also try this viral trick that makes pots and pans look brand new.

Red tomatoesPhoto: Shutterstock

Make tomatoes taste sweeter

If last year’s garden tomatoes tasted dull, take action this year to ensure your garden harvest is as good as it can be. Sprinkle baking soda lightly on the soil around the base of your tomato plants; the resulting bounty will taste sweeter.

Here are 20 gardening tips that’ll save you time, money and effort.

Woman with sore mouthPhoto: Africa Studio /

Soothe a canker sore

It’s hard to believe how much pain a tiny sore on the inside of your mouth can cause. Help the sore heal faster by swishing every couple of hours with a solution of one teaspoon baking soda stirred until it dissolves into one cup warm water.

Here are more home remedies for canker sores worth trying.

Stainless steel microwavePhoto: Shutterstock

Make your microwave sparkle

Got a lot of gunk baked onto the walls of your microwave? Put one cup water and a few tablespoons of baking soda into a glass container. Microwave on high for three minutes. Use a damp sponge to wipe off all the loosened grime.

Here’s how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen, according to Charles the Butler of CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show.

Baking soda uses - man with indigestionPhoto: Tero Vesalainen /

Protect a sensitive stomach

Careful use of baking soda can help make certain foods more palatable. A very tiny pinch of baking soda in coffee, orange juice, or tomato soup, for example, can prevent an acidic stomach after eating. Be careful not to overdo it or food will taste bland.

Find out more home remedies for indigestion.

Baking soda uses - itchy armPhoto: noppawan09 /

Stop a mosquito bite in its tracks

For a fresh bite, rush inside and pour a tablespoon of baking soda in your palm. Wet it with a few drops of water to make a paste, then smear it on the bite area. Let it dry and flake off. Treating a mark this way as soon as possible will minimize the red welt and the itching should promptly subside. The same treatment works for bee stings, assuming you have carefully removed any sign of the stinger.

Find out the best mosquito repellent plants to grow in your yard.

Weeds growing in drivewayPhoto: Shutterstock

Discourage weeds in cracks

Baking soda uses extend to the back yard, as well! To keep grass and weeds out of the cracks between your paving stones, sprinkle on baking soda and sweep it into the cracks.

These yard tool hacks will make your life so much easier.

Woman lying on beachPhoto: GaudiLab /

Take the sting out of sunburn

Pour a cup of baking soda into a lukewarm bath, then soak and relax. It will help lessen the pain more quickly.

Now that you’ve added these baking soda uses to your arsenal, check out 30 old-time home remedies that actually work.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things