Tips and tricks,  Zero waste

15 clever tricks featuring plain old baking soda

15 ways to use baking sodaHow to get the most out of your baking soda

Baking soda is great! It’s cheap, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly, and you can use it for so many different things. But the main reason why we wanted to feature this ingredient is because you probably already have some at home, sitting in your pantry waiting for the next time you want to make banana bread. Though thankfully baking soda doesn’t go bad, it does lose its effectiveness with time. And before that happens, there are so many other great ways you could be using it! So, we’ve prepared a little feature on its myriad applications to help you get the most use out of this inexpensive, and perhaps underappreciated ingredient. Read on and you’ll soon be turning to your trusty jar of baking soda on a daily basis! 

1. Soothe mosquito bites

There are few things quite so irritating as a mosquito bite! To help calm the itch, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to form a paste. Apply it to the bite and leave on for about 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

2. Whiten your teeth

Brighten those pearly whites by brushing your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and water. Rinse out your mouth, then brush your teeth again with your usual toothpaste. Do a baking soda brush just once or twice a week get a brighter smile. 

3. Keep your kitchen sink shining

Dust baking soda over your damp sink. Leave on for 15 minutes to allow the baking soda to work its wonders, then scrub vigorously using a sponge and a bit of dish soap. Rinse your sink, then dry it with a microfibre cloth. 

15 ways to use baking soda

4. Help your cut flowers last longer

A bouquet is a beautiful thing! To keep your blooms looking fresh longer, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in your vase. Repeat every two days. It’s not magic—it won’t make your flowers last forever—but it will extend the life of cut flowers a couple days. 

5. Soften your linens

Did you know that you can use baking soda as a softener? Just add one cup of baking soda directly into the main drum of your washing machine before adding your laundry. Your clothes will be soft to the touch.

6. Unclog drains

Say goodbye to clogged drains without resorting to harsh chemicals! Just mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon salt into one cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture down your clogged pipe and let the solution do its work for 30 minutes, then pour a litre of boiling water down the drain. Wait for the hot water to drain completely before turning on your faucet.

7. Clean your pet dishes and toys

For squeaky-clean pet toys and food dishes, dilute four tablespoons baking soda in one litre of water. Place your pet objects in the container of baking-soda water and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off with water. Dishes and rubber toys can be wiped dry with a tea towel and then they’re ready to go. However, we recommend throwing fabric toys into the washing machine after a baking soda soak. This trick will neutralize odours and help prevent bacteria populations from growing.

15 ways to use baking soda

8. Scour burnt pots and pans clean

To clean a burnt pot or pan, mix water and baking soda together to form a paste. Heat the paste in the burnt pot for about 10 minutes, then leave to cool. Once cool, use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the pot or pan. The burnt residues should come right off!

9. Create natural dyes

Create your own natural, non-toxic dyes by mixing baking soda with naturally colourful ingredients. Good options include turmeric, cocoa, matcha, beet juice, or red cabbage juice. You can use them to dye fabric, colour pastries, or paint lovely pictures with your kids!

10. Deodorize your home
  • Fridge: place a small bowl of baking soda in your fridge, leave for two to three days, then repeat. 
  • Shoes: Dust a small quantity of baking soda in your shoes, leave for a few hours, then vacuum out your shoes.
  • Carpets: Sprinkle a layer of baking soda on your carpet or rug, leave for a few hours, then vacuum up the baking soda.
  • Garbage bins: Dust a small quantity of baking soda at the bottom of your trash can or bin, before placing your garbage bag inside.
11. Clean your make-up brushes

To disinfect your make-up brushes, pour four tablespoons baking soda in one litre of water. Let your brushes soak in the mixture overnight. In the morning, carefully rinse your brushes with fresh water and allow them to air dry. 

12. Replace baking powder when you’re out

It’s happened to us all, you’re in the middle of whipping up a delicious dessert when you realize you’ve used up all your baking powder. Good news! You can replace it with baking soda! Just use one teaspoon baking soda for every three teaspoons of baking powder. Psst… just a reminder: our baking soda is food grade, so you can use it in any of your baking recipes! 

15 ways to use baking soda

13. Maintain your appliances
  • Dishwasher: Pour four tablespoons of baking soda directly into your empty dishwasher and start your machine up.
  • Washing machine: Add two tablespoons white vinegar and one cup of water directly into the drum of your empty washing machine and start a wash cycle.
  • Coffee maker: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one litre of water. Pour the mixture into the water compartment of your machine and brew until the solution has passed through. 
  • Oven: Dust baking soda inside your oven and spray evenly with water. Leave overnight then wipe down your oven with a microfibre cloth the next morning. 
14. Clean your mattress

To keep your mattress clean and extend its lifespan, sprinkle some baking soda over the entire surface of your mattress using a mesh strainer. Leave on for 30 to 45 minutes, then vacuum the excess off. 

15. Replace your dry shampoo

Whichever dry shampoo you use, if you find yourself suddenly out, you can use a bit of baking soda on the roots of dry, brushed hair. Leave on for a few minutes, then brush your hair again to remove excess before styling as you please.

Now you have 15 great ways of using up your baking soda. Of course, they’re just a fraction of the infinite uses of this versatile ingredient. We’d love to know what your favourite baking soda tricks are! Please share your ideas with us in the comments.

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