It's white, it's absorbent, and it probably sits in your cupboard all year because you have no idea what to do with it. Yes, baking soda is a kitchen staple that almost never lives up to its potential.
It's great for almost everything, because it's completely natural and cleans really well.
Start getting the most out of your baking soda with these 30 helpful tips:
1. Make a face scrub
Remember this recipe, because we'll use it a lot: three parts baking soda and one part water makes a paste that's easy to spread around. Rub it on your face and rinse it off for a cheap but handy exfoliator.
2. Clean your drains
Pour some baking soda in your drain and then chase it with a dash of vinegar. Put the stopper on quickly and the frothy mixture will scrub the gunk out of your drain by itself.
3. Wipe away burnt-on food
If you have a serving dish with scorched food stuck to it, soak it in soapy water with a few sprinkles of baking soda. A soft rag should wipe off the food afterwards.
You can also rescue a pan with burnt food. Simmer water inside it with baking soda. After a few minutes, the food will scrape off easily.
4. Freshen your litter box
Before you add litter to your cat's box, pour in a layer of baking soda. As your pet uses the box they turn up the litter, so the baking soda will keep it fresher for longer.
5. Eliminate carpet stains
Every spill is a little different, but baking soda works well on almost all of them. Just blot out the stain, pour on some baking soda, and vacuum it up after a few minutes. The carpet should be good as new.
6. Clean Jacuzzi jets
If your tub has these pulsing water jets, you know they can get stinky after a while. To clean them, fill the tub until the water is just above the jets. Pour in two cups of baking soda and run the jets for 10 minutes.
Then, drain the water and refill the tub. Now run the jets for another 10 minutes and they should be much nicer.
7. Freshen your fridge
This is one of the most common uses for baking soda, but some people still don't know about it. A small container in your fridge will keep it from getting stinky. If you buy bulk sizes, filling a mason jar or cup with the powder will also do the trick.
8. Polish silverware
For this trick, line a baking dish with aluminium foil. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, then slowly add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of boiling water.
Place your silverware in the dish and the gunk should start coming off right away. Make sure you only leave your pieces in for about 30 seconds, unless they're seriously dirty.
9. Make toothpaste
Some people prefer baking soda toothpaste to the store-bought version, because it uses less chemicals. You can find a recipe here. Even sprinkling a little powder on your regular toothpaste will help it whiten your teeth.
10. Make natural deodorant
If you hate the sticky, gooey feeling of deodorant, dusting your underarms with baking soda will also keep them smelling fresh. Or, make your own deodorant using the powder.
11. Erase marks on your walls
Sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and rub the messiest parts of your walls. Wipe with a soft cloth and the marks should be gone.
12. Keep your septic tank regular
Flushing a cup of baking soda once a week will help keep the pH balance in your tank at a good level.
13. Fight grease fires
If there's a fire in your home you should call the fire department, but baking soda can handle some small grease fires.
Turn off the gas or electricity (if it's safe to do so), stand back from the flames, and throw handfuls of baking soda at the fire.
14. Freshen your carpet
Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on your carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up. The powder will take any nasty odors away with it.
Try mixing in a little cinnamon to add a pleasant aroma.
15. Keep garbage or recycling smelling nice
When you replace your bin liner, sprinkle a little baking soda into the bottom of the bag, to neutralize your kitchen's worst odors.