Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tip of the Day: Baking Soda Does it All

This is the supposed to be the final segment in this series of how to live cheaper and better using substitutions or home remedies.  In my first post on this topic, I focused on substitutions for beauty aids.  The second segment focused on medicinal substitutions, and the third post talked about substitutions for pricey cleaning supplies. Today I am focusing on the many uses of baking soda.  Because there are so many uses, I am dividing this topic into two separate posts.  I will finish up in next week's "Tip of the Day."

Before I get into that, I want to thank those readers that commented on this segment and/or shared their own home remedies or tricks for better living.

Joeh at Cranky Old Man mentioned that vinegar will clean hard water mineral deposits off anything.

And now, onto the baking soda.  I love baking soda.  My family will tell you that I use it for everything.  From cooking to cleaning to brushing my teeth, this product really does it all.  Although I don't have enough time to mention everything here, there are literally hundreds of different ways to use baking soda.  I have chosen some of the more unknown uses to list here.  Many of the uses come from a book put out by Arm & Hammer that lists over "100 Helpful Household Hints."

Remove black shoe marks on kitchen or bathroom floors with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda.

Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub your fruits and vegetables.  This removes dirt, wax, or pesticide residue.  Rinse well.

Remove crayon marks on walls with damp sponge dipped in baking soda.

Wax from dripped candles can be removed from most hard surfaces with a baking soda paste.  Scrub with a nylon scrubber.

Remove water spots on wood floors with a sponge dampened in baking soda solution.

A fresh stain of oily or greasy food on a cloth chair can be absorbed with equal parts baking soda and salt.  Sprinkle, rub lightly, leave on for a few hours, then vacuum.

Use baking soda to simulate snow on your Christmas tree.

A permanent filler for nail holes on white walls is a mixture of baking soda and white glue formed into paste.

To remove tarnish from silver, boil water and 1/2 tsp. salt with 1 to 2 tsp. baking soda.  Place tarnished silverware in pan with boiled mixture and a piece of aluminum foil.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.  Rinse the silverware well, then use a soft cloth to buff dry.

Use baking soda instead of fabric softener.  Add 1/2 cup at the rinse cycle.

If you've washed a crayon in with a load of clothes, rewash the load with the hottest water possible, adding 1/2 to 1 full box of baking soda.  Repeat if necessary.

If you've stained your white clothes by washing them with colored ones, undo the damage by soaking them in warm water to which you have added baking soda, salt, and detergent.


  1. I've heard about Baking Soda for teeth brushing, but not a lot of the other things you mentioned. Mostly, it sits in the back of our fridge and does whatever it does back there. So this is great advice that I will have to show my wife.

  2. These are some great favorite use for baking soda is mixing it with vinegar to make a cool volcano eruption...purely a boy science

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  4. Susanne
    These are facts that are very nice to know about. I am personally thankful that in our World today, we are getting more and more aware of how the chemicals we use to clean our homes affect our indoor environment.And that such things as the ones we already have are way better and safer to use. Great post Melanie!

  5. oops I called you Melanie, so so sorry. Jen!!!

  6. Oooh, you forgot to add that it also whitens teeth :D (smile showing teeth)


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