Beautiful Baking Soda: 5 Ways to Use It for Cleaning

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | January 21st, 2009 | 5 Comments
topic: Green Living, Healthy Home

sponge1Baking soda. What a cleaning mainstay in my home. I believe one reason I always associate it with clean is because it is an odor killer: It leaves everything smelling fresh.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate — a mineral known as nahcolite — and commonly found in mineral springs. Ancient Egyptians used it as a form of a soap, most likely because it scrubbed away dirt and removed odors. In modern times baking soda is commonly found in the supermarket in the baking section, as its primarily use in the home is as a leavening agent. But I love it for cleaning, and many old-folk formulas for cleaning employ baking soda.

Baking soda’s attributes for cleaning include:

  • It is a nonabrasive material, so it can be used to scrub without scratching.
  • It is slightly alkaline (pH about 8.1; 7 is neutral); when wet, it neutralizes acid-based chemicals and odors.
  • It adsorbs odors from the air. (Note that “adsorbs” with a “d” instead of “b”is not a typo; adsorbing is pulling chemicals and odors from the air to it.)
  • It eats away at and loosens grime.

Here is how these attributes translate into cleaning formulas for the home:

1. Nonabrasive Soft Scrubber

The best of any of my cleaning formulas, I concocted this at the request of the wife of the publisher of my book Clean & Green. It rinses beautifully and doesn’t leave any grit. Use this formula on tubs, shower stalls, sinks, stainless steel appliances and more.


1/2 cup baking soda

Enough liquid soap or green all-purpose or dish detergent to make a frosting-like consistency

(optional: 5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree oil, or rosemary)

Place the baking soda in a bowl and squirt in enough liquid soap or natural detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop onto a sponge, scrub the tub or area to be cleaned, and rinse.

2. Aklaline Carpet Deodorizer

Sprinkle baking soda liberally over carpet. Leave overnight. Sweep as much of the baking soda as you can into a dustbin to throw away. Vacuum away the residue.

3. Laundry Odor Neutralizer

To eliminate perspiration odors and even chemical smells, add up to a cup of baking soda or laundry soda per load of laundry. Soak for six hours to overnight, agitating the load a few times during soaking. Then wash as usual.

4. Odor Eliminator

Most refrigerators have an opened box of baking soda in the back because of baking soda’s ability to adsorb and neutralize odors. Change the box every few months. In other areas, just sprinkle baking soda on places that need to be deodorized. For non-fabric surfaces, spray until damp and white. Let set for a few hours, whether dry or damp, before cleaning.

5. Oven Cleaner

Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of a dirty oven. Spray with water until damp. Let set overnight. In the morning, just scoop out the baking soda, taking the grime with it, and rinse thoroughly.


  1. [...] 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water, and adsorbs odors from the air. Baking soda is indispensable for numerous household cleaning [...]

  2. Baking soda is a natural cleaner that can be used for shining silver. Simply soak your silver jewelry or other items in a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Allow it so sit for a few hours. Then remove and rub the surface. Rinse and dry and your silver will be bright and shining once again.

    Debbie | July 27th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  3. Here’s a few extra ideas for baking soda:

    1. Put some on your pet’s brush before brushing. It helps make them smell better.

    2. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to a vase of cut flowers to help them last longer.

    3. You can sprinkle baking soda in flower beds to help repel pests such as rabbits.

  4. Wow who would have guessed so many different ways to use baking soda

    cooker | October 10th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. Oh, great! I had no idea that I can use baking soda for so many purposes! I like it! It’s really cheap and chemical-free – as a mother of two little children it is very important for me!!! Thank you!

    Kyle Lee | September 7th, 2015 | Comment Permalink

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