Endless uses of baking soda

Baking soda can save big bucks when shopping for cleaning products.

The answer: Unclog the drain, clean your teeth and remove odors from the refrigerator. The question? What is baking soda? While answering that question here won’t ensure you a spot on Jeopardy!, the information in this article could save you that amount of money on air fresheners, toothpaste, septic tank additives and various types of cleaners.

Listed are 20 great uses for baking soda that Michigan State University Extension recommends:

  1. Tooth brushing: Create a paste of baking soda and water in a small container and apply the homemade paste to your brush.
  2. All-purpose cleaner: Dissolve four tablespoons baking soda in one-quart warm water for a general cleaner. Or use baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda cleans and deodorizes kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  3. Remove black heel marks: Rub the heel marks with a paste of baking soda and water. Don't use too much water or the baking soda will lose its abrasive quality. Rinse and wipe dry.
  4. Facial scrub: Once you’ve washed your face, apply a soft paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Gently massage in a circular motion, avoiding the eye area; rinse and blot your face dry.
  5. Erases crayon, pencil, ink and furniture scuffs from painted surfaces: Sprinkle soda on a damp sponge, rub clean and rinse.
  6. Unclog a drain: Pour a 1/2 to one-cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to one-cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water.
  7. Scrub pans: Sprinkle soda on crusted casseroles and roasting pans and let sit for five minutes. Lightly scrub and rinse.
  8. Deodorize: Dust baking soda under your arms to absorb body odor.
  9. Laundry: Cut the amount of chlorine bleach used in your wash by half when you add 1/2 cup baking soda to top loading machines or 1/4 cup to front loaders.
  10.  Settle your stomach during occasional indigestion. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1/2 cup of water and drink for a safe and effective antacid.
  11.  Clean bird bath: A paste of baking soda and water will remove stains and will not harm birds that drink and bathe there.
  12. In the garage: Oil or gas leaks – sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and salt over the spill. Let it soak for a while to absorb and simply sweep it up.
  13. Stripping wallpaper: Add one tablespoon of baking powder to your water and your wallpaper will be much easier to remove.
  14. Removing tea and coffee stains from cups: Make a paste of baking soda and water, and then apply to the stain letting the mixture set for approximately one hour. Rub and rinse.
  15. Shine chrome: Apply a baking soda and water paste to chrome, letting it air dry. Once dry, buff chrome with a soft cloth.
  16. Odors on your hands: Sprinkle baking soda on wet hands, rub together and rinse.
  17. Cleaning glass: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rag and clean glass. Rinse with clean water and polish with a soft cloth.
  18.  Carpet or rug odor remover: Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire dry carpet or rug. Wait at least 15 minutes, or overnight if the odor is particularly bad, then vacuum.
  19. Plastic food containers: To get rid of strong odors in plastic, wash with hot water and baking soda, then sprinkle the container with two to three tablespoons of baking soda. Let it cover the container and then let stand for at least one hour. Wash as usual and the odor should be gone.
  20. Just for kids:Baking soda clay
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions: Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Add several drops of food coloring. While stirring constantly at low heat, cook until the mixture becomes thick and forms a ball. Remove from heat and place to cool on a plate. Cover with a damp cloth until cool. When clay is cool enough to handle, sprinkle with cornstarch and knead the clay until smooth. Store in an air tight container for many hours of fun!

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