Tips on cleaning with baking soda

It can't sing and dance, but this venerable white powder is still the most versatile substance around. These non-toxic crystals act as a chemical cleaner, double as a scouring powder, neutralize odours, keep your drains unclogged and are handy for putting out grease or electrical fires if you sprinkle it on dry. And baking soda is also used in, well, baking!

Tips on cleaning with baking soda

You can clean with it

The cleaning uses of baking soda are myriad. Here's just a sampling:

  • For regular cleaning on hard surfaces, pour a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge or cleaning cloth and wipe. Follow up with another clean, damp sponge or cloth to remove any residue.
  • To remove surface stains in the kitchen or bath, pour out enough baking soda to cover the stain and add just enough water to make a paste. Let the paste stay on the stain for several minutes, then scrub with a sponge and wipe it away.
  • To help remove oil and grease stains from clothing, add 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of baking soda to the wash.
  • To keep your kitchen sink unclogged, pour125 millilitres (1/2 cup )of baking soda down the drain each night, followed by warm water. Do the same thing for other drains in your house once a week.

Kills odours on its own

The odour-killing powers of baking soda are equally famous. There's a good chance you have an open box in the back of your refrigerator right now. Here are a few more dry applications:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, rugs and even car mats. Let it stand for 15 minutes and then vacuum it up.
  • When you're changing the kitty litter, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of the cat litter tray and then a little bit more on top of the new kitty litter (unless your brand of kitty litter already includes baking soda).
  • Pour baking soda into ashtrays to control the stench of old cigarette butts.

Kills odours mixed with water

Baking soda also soaks up odours when it's dissolved in water. Pour 60 mililitres (four tablespoons) of baking soda into one litre (one quart) of warm water. Use the solution to:

  • Rinse your mouth to get rid of garlic breath.
  • Deodorize a stinky plastic container. Fill it with the solution and let it sit overnight.
  • Soak a diaper that smells like ammonia because of urine.
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