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How to Clean With Baking Soda

Looking for an inexpensive, multi-purpose, natural cleaner for your home? Try baking soda! Here are 8 tips on how to use baking soda to clean your home from the Domestic CEO.

By
Amanda Thomas,
February 20, 2014
Episode #098

How to Clean Your Sink

Baking soda – it’s been around for a long time (even dating back to ancient Egyptians who used it as a cleansing agent, like soap). Turns out, they were onto something. It’s incredible that such a simple product can be a powerful cleaner and yet non-toxic and gentle at the same time. .

Many people are looking for a greener way to clean their homes. If you’ve got kids or pets, baking soda should be on your list of must haves since it's a perfect non-toxic cleanser. Hey, even if you don’t have kids, harsh chemicals can leave lasting effects on everyone. Baking soda is a healthier, gentler way to a clean your home. Here are my 8 best baking soda cleaning tips:

Tip #1: Use Baking Soda as a Kitchen Scrub

Does your kitchen need a good scrubbing? There’s no need to use harsh chemicals that can damage surfaces and make you sick. Just mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap. My favorite is the original blue Dawn dish soap. Mix thoroughly and use this as a soft scrub to clean your sink, stove top, stubborn residue on pans, bathtubs, tile grout, and just about anything else in your kitchen. As with any scrub, you’ll want to make sure to test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it doesn’t damage your particular surfaces.

Tip #2: Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Oven

Pairing baking soda with its good friend, vinegar, takes cleaning to a whole new level! (Even Everyday Einstein says so. Check out his episode called Vinegar + Baking Soda = The Ultimate Cleanser?)

To clean your oven, first scrape out any loose icky burnt stuff and then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over all the other gooey, burned spots. Next, put some plain white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it over the baking soda. Now, watch for the cool science project that will happen in your oven. Let this bubble for a while; maybe 30 minutes or so. Then take a tough scrubby sponge or wired scrubber and start working away at the stubborn spots.  Once all the stuck-on stuff is loosened, rinse with a cloth and warm water. You’ll probably want to wipe and rinse thoroughly a few times. Now, isn’t that better than using that smelly, chemical oven cleaner?

Tip #3: Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Stove Top

The same cleaning technique you used to clean the inside of the oven also works great for cleaning the top of the stove. Use this method when you’ve had a bad spillover or there are some messy rings on the burners. The soft scrub mentioned earlier will do the trick on regular stove top messes, but when you’ve got a big job, baking soda and vinegar will tackle it much better. Sprinkle baking soda generously over the top of the stove and then spritz with vinegar. Let this sit for at least 15-30 minutes before scrubbing.  Be sure to use a scrubbing sponge that’s recommended for stove top cleaning; especially if yours is glass. Don’t use a wired scrubber for this surface.

Tip #4: Use Baking Soda to Unclog Drains

Do you have a clogged drain? Maybe your drain is running slow? Baking soda comes to the rescue here as well.

Simply dump a ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a ½ cup of white vinegar. (are you sensing a theme here?) Let that bubble and fizz for about 15 minutes. Then follow up with a nice big pot of boiling water. If you have a stubborn clog you may have to repeat this process one more time. Unclogging your drain using this method not only saves quite a bit of money, it’s also easy on your pipes.

Tip #5: Use Baking Soda as a Carpet Freshener

Is your carpet smelling a little funky? You can buy powders that can be sprinkled on the carpet and then vacuumed later but what exactly is in that stuff? If you’ve got kids down on the floor or pets lying on the carpet, maybe you’d like a greener, safer option.

Here it is: Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Stir this really well. Add this to a container that has a sprinkling top. I bought a parmesan cheese dispenser at the dollar store.  I recommend doing a spot test on your carpet before using this everywhere. Sprinkle a bit in an inconspicuous area like a closet or in a corner behind furniture just to make sure nothing stains. (I've never had a stain happen, but better safe than sorry!)

If the spot test is ok, go ahead and sprinkle this wonderfully-smelling stuff all over your carpets. I let mine sit for about 30 minutes so the baking soda can work it’s odor-absorbing magic and the cinnamon makes my house smell like I just baked something yummy. Vacuum as normal and enjoy the fresh smell of your clean rugs!

Tip #6: Use Baking Soda to Deodorize Your Cutting Boards

Has an overpowering onion invaded the cracks and crevices of your cutting board? Baking soda comes to the rescue. Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on the cutting board. Add a bit of water to make a thick paste. Let this sit for just a few minutes and then give it a good scrub. For an extra freshener, slice a lemon and rub the entire cutting board surface with the cut side of the lemon. Rinse with warm water and you’re all set. That strong onion smell is history!

Tip #7: Use Baking Soda to Freshen Garbage Disposals

That same guilty onion that smelled up your cutting board also did a job on the garbage disposal. Really, when you think of everything that goes in the disposal it’s a wonder it doesn’t smell nasty more often!

To solve this pungent problem, sprinkle a ½ cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then turn on the disposal and let it run with very hot water. I like to follow up with a few lemon slices after that. Give them a good grind in the disposal as well and everything will smell fresh as a daisy! (Or rather, as a lemon).

Tip #8: Use Baking Soda to Clean the Toilet

Baking soda is awesome for scrubbing and freshening toilets. Sprinkle about a ½ cup of baking soda in the toilet bowl. Use the toilet brush to scrub everywhere, especially under the rim. Once you’re done scrubbing, let it sit for about 10 minutes before flushing. This gives the baking soda time to deodorize those interesting smells that like to linger in the toilet.

With all the versatile cleaning jobs that baking soda can handle, you may want to purchase the supersized bag from your local warehouse store. Just make sure you have the space to store it in your kitchen cabinets!

How do you use baking soda around your home? Tweet me your tips @thedomesticceo. Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

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