If you have something to clean, you are sure to find a product made just for the job. More likely, you will find dozens that promise to do the job. However, not all of these products work. And those that do may not be the best thing to use since they are full of toxins and chemicals that can hurt our health and our environment.
These chemical-laden products can get into our soil, our water, the air we breathe, our lungs, our skin, and even our stomachs! Add to that the poor packaging that can’t be recycled or are slow to biodegrade, and you have a recipe for environmental disaster.
Luckily, you don’t have to use harsh chemicals for a majority of your daily cleaning needs. Instead, consider using baking soda. You will be amazed at how many ways baking soda can be effectively used. And to think, it is cost effective and environmentally friendly as well!
The next time a household chore looks daunting, think about pulling out the baking soda. Not only is it safer, but it is often stronger than the chemical solution found in local stores.
Here are 10 different ways to use baking soda when cleaning. By following these steps, you will find great results at super prices while being environmentally friendly.
1. Toilet Cleaning
This job is usually on the top of the “most hated jobs” list in any household. In fact, most people put it off and put it off until the toilet is beyond dirty and even stained.
The brown ringed stains occur because of the minerals in the water. These stains make your toilet look like it has been months since you cleaned, even if you cleaned that day. No one wants a guest to sit on a toilet with a brown ring!
Most people with brown rings grab a harsh chemical. The problem is that many of these chemicals cause damage to the porcelain, as well as irritate the nose and eyes of the person using the cleaner.
That is why you need to prevent the brown stains ,and baking soda is perfect for that. To prevent brown stains from occurring in your toilet bowl, do the following:
- Use one cup of baking soda.
- Sprinkle in the toilet once a week.
- Leave on toilet’s surface for 30 minutes.
- Spray with vinegar. (This acts as an acid)
- Scrub the toilet with a toilet brush or cloth.
If you do this weekly, you should not get any stains in your toilet. That means you’ll never need the strong chemicals.
2. Remove Carpet Stains
If you have carpet, you are sure to have stains because accidents happen. Food is dropped. Drinks are spilled. Pets have accidents. Babies spit up. Shoes bring in mud. Children drop art supplies. And more.
The best way to clean a stain is to do so as soon as it happens. But don’t reach for the carpet cleaner. Instead, reach for a natural solution of baking soda and vinegar! Using this mixture will have your carpet looking perfect again in no time.
- Cover the stain with vinegar.
- Let it soak for 10 minutes
- Cover with baking soda.
- Spray more vinegar on top of the baking soda.
- Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. (For best results or tough stains, let it sit overnight)
- Wipe the area with a clean cloth
- Vacuum any remaining baking soda
3. Keeping Your Clothes New Looking
What is worse than doing laundry? Doing laundry and finding that your clothes look dingy and stained when you are done! Using the right products to get great results when washing your clothes can keep them looking new, saving you money on new clothes. But, this won’t happen if you spend all the money you save on expensive laundry products.
Of course, there is also the problem of toxicity. Laundry products have lots of chemical additives that are bad for you and the environment. That is why you should try baking soda.
What can baking soda do for you? It will make your whites look whiter. This is perfect for those that work in an office setting and need to stay sharp. But baking soda works on colored clothes as well, making them look brighter. No matter what you wear, baking soda will make your clothes look their best. Finally, baking soda will make your water soft and your bleach more potent, which means you won’t have to use as much laundry soap or bleach, saving you even more money.
- Add ½ cup of baking soda to your wash.
- Add detergent and bleach as needed (remember, you’ll need less than usual)
- Wash like normal
You will be amazed at the results!
4. Freshen Your Refrigerator
Refrigerators can get smelly. Sometimes it is due to food that is beginning to spoil or food that has been left too long. Other times, however, it is simply that the food has a strong odor. Onions, cantaloupe, garlic, fish, and more can make you wrinkle up your nose every time the door is opened. Luckily, baking soda can help.
- Store opened box of baking soda in the fridge
- Change monthly
If this doesn’t get rid of the bad odors, you may need to clean your refrigerator. But, once again, baking soda comes to the rescue.
- Mix baking soda with vinegar.
- Wipe down the interior of the refrigerator
- Now add an open box to keep it smelling fresh
- Change the baking soda box each month
If your refrigerator has stains, rust, or food residue on the inside, you can use baking soda as well.
- Apply baking soda to the stained area
- Scrub with cloth or toothbrush until stain is gone
5. Clean Coffee and Tea Stains
If you are a coffee or tea drinker, then you know how stubborn those stains can be. Coffee and tea can make your cups looks old, and your pots look dirty. This is especially bad if you want to have others over for coffee or tea! Not only does it look bad, but it can actually taste bad, too.
The problem is that these stains don’t just soak away in soap and water. And once you get them gone, they come back almost immediately. Although commercial cleaners are available, they are harsh and can cause problems for you and the environment.
Thankfully, baking soda can get rid or the stains and the awful bitterness these stains produce. Baking soda is non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry about ingesting chemicals that are bad for you.
- Mix ¼ cup baking soda with 1 quart water
- Soak cups in this mixture for at least 30 minutes. Tough stains should be soaked overnight.
If the stains did not disappear, try adding some vinegar to the soak.
6. Cleaning the Bathtub and Shower
Cleaning the tub is a never ending process. It becomes stained by dirt and grime, as well as the products you use to clean your body and hair. Many of these products leave a residue that looks dirty and discolored. Baking soda can get rid of the dirt, stains, mildew, and product build up.
- Get the tub wet
- Sprinkle on baking soda. When the soda hits the water on the surface, it will create a paste.
- Scrub the tub with a stiff scrub brush.
- If the stains are tough, mix the baking soda with vinegar and spray onto tough stain.
- Allow mixture to bubble.
- Wait 15 minutes.
- Wipe down with a sponge
- Rinse with warm water
The good thing about using the vinegar is that it also helps kill bacteria that may be lingering in your tub.
7. Cleaning the Dishwasher
Did you know that to be effective, your dishwasher needs to be cleaned? Many people assume that it is cleaned while cleaning the dishes, but the truth is that it needs its own cleaning process. If you don’t clean your dishwasher, your plates and glasses will come out still looking dirty or covered in streaks.
Some people find they have to run the dishwasher several times to get a load clean – what an added expense! Others try using products meant to clean the dishwasher but get concerned when they read the package. Do you really want to put something into your dishwasher that you shouldn’t swallow?
Once again, baking soda can come to the rescue. If you use baking soda to clean your dishwasher, you’ll notice that your dishes will look great and everything will smell better, too.
- Pour a cup of baking soda into the dishwasher.
- Run a full hot water cycle.
- Use normally.
If you need a more powerful clean, try adding vinegar.
- Pour ½ cup vinegar into a dishwasher safe bowl.
- Put the vinegar on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
- Pour a cup of baking soda into the dishwasher
- Run a full hot water cycle
- Use normally
8. Cleaning Patio Furniture
Storing patio furniture at the end of the season can often cause your cushions to look old, dingy, streaked, or left with spots of mildew. Products that are meant to clean the cushions don’t always do a good job because they are too harsh. This leaves your cushions with cracks or discoloration.
- Sprinkle baking soda under the chair cushions
- This will keep the cushions smelling fresh
Wipe Down Furniture:
- Create a baking soda paste with water.
- Wipe down furniture with a sponge.
- Rinse with water
This works especially well for white, plastic furniture.
For Mildew Spots:
- Create a baking soda, vinegar spray.
- Spray onto mildew spots.
- Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Scrub away with a sponge.
BONUS: Your outdoor grill can be “degreased” using a baking soda and water paste. So, while getting your patio in order, remove the grease from your grill as well!
9. Make Your Garbage Disposal Fresh
The same things that make your refrigerator smell can also make your garbage disposal smell. And if you happen to accidentally leave something in the disposal overnight or not thoroughly dispose of the food in the drain, the smell can get pretty disgusting. Baking soda can help! It will help loosen up the grime in the drain so that it can be rinsed away.
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal (This can be done on sink drains that have bad odors as well.
- Pour ½ cup vinegar into the garbage disposal.
- Cover the disposal or drain with a plug.
- Wait 15 minutes.
- Pour boiling water into the drain
- You can finish up by adding a lemon or lemon juice to the garbage disposal and then run like normal.
NOTE: Only use this method if you have metal pipes. Otherwise, this could damage the pipes.
10. Clean Pots and Pans
When you first buy pots and pans, they are so shiny. But after a few uses, you’ll begin to notice baked-on residue that is difficult to remove. Even soaking them in hot water and soap doesn’t do the trick. It is even worse if something gets burned onto the pan, like a sauce or meat drippings. You may be able to soak the worst off, but the stain remains.
Once again, baking soda is the answer. It will loosen the baked-on residue. Then adding some vinegar will pull it off the pot’s surface.
- Shake some baking soda across the inside of your pot
- Add boiling water
- Add some dish detergent
- Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Wash pot normally.
If you’d like to add vinegar, add it instead of the hot water and detergent. The chemical reaction is fun to watch and works wonders on baked on grime.
It is important to have baking soda as part of your cleaning arsenal. It can get rid of stains, dislodge caked on, baked on grime, remove residue, brighten and whiten, and do all of this without harsh chemicals. Adding vinegar to the mix can make almost any cleaning problem disappear. So, leave the toxic chemicals in the store and use the economic and eco-friendly alternative of baking soda.