I’m back with another Frugal Friday post and this week I’d like to talk about extraordinary uses for baking soda. Just like vinegar it’s inexpensive and has multiple uses in and around the home. I keep my baking soda in a glass parmesan cheese jar I picked up at the dollar store, the large holes make it easier to pour and carry around the house.
Around the House
Remove mineral deposits from showerheads – Cover the head with a thick sandwich bag filled with 1/4 baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Loosely fasten the bag to let some of the gas escape. secure with a rubber band and leave for about an hour. Turn on water to remove any remaining debris.
Clean burned or scorched pan – Boil enough water to cover 1/4 of the pan and add 5 tablespoons of baking soda. Turn off heat and leave for a few hours, preferably overnight. The burned on gunk will slide right off.
Clean a cutting board – Works on wood and plastic boards. Scrub with a paste made from 1 tablespoon of each, baking soda, salt and water. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
- Clear a clogged drain – Pour one cup of baking soda followed by a cup of hot vinegar. Give it several minutes to work and flush with one quart of boiling water. If the drain is clogged with grease – Use 1/2 cup each, of baking soda and salt followed by 1 cup bowling water. Let sit overnight and rinse with hot tap water in the morning.
- Rid hands of food odors – Get the essence of strong smelling foods like fish of your hands by wetting them and vigorously rubbing with about 2 teaspoons of baking soda instead of soap.
- Clean your microwave – Loosen splatters with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda in 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl and cook on High for 2-3 minutes.
- Freshen sponge or towel – When a kitchen sponge or dish towel get that sour smell, soak it overnight in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of antibacterial dish soap dissolved in 1 pint of warm water.
In the Medicine Cabinet
Treat minor burns – The next time you grab the wrong end of the frying pan, quickly pour some baking soda into a container of ice water, soak a cloth or gauze in it, and apply it to the burn. Keep applying until the burn doesn’t feel hot anymore. This treatment will also prevent many burns from blistering.
- Soothe bee stings – Make a paste of 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with several drops of cool water, and let it dry on the afflicted area.
- Combat cradle crap – Make a paste of about 3 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon water. Apply it to your baby’s scalp about an hour before bedtime and rinse it off the following morning. Do not use with shampoo. You may need to apply it several consecutive nights.
- Relieve itching inside a cast – Find temporary relief by using a hair dryer – on the coolest setting – to blow a bit of baking soda down the edges of the cast.
- Alleviate athlete’s foot – you can use wet or dry baking soda. First, try dusting your feet (along with your socks and shoes) with dry baking soda to dry out the infection. If that doesn’t work, try making a paste of 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon water and rubbing it between your toes. Let it dry, and wash after 15 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your shoes.
Good to Know
Wash insides of pets’ ears – If your pet is constantly scratching his ears, it could mean irritation or ear mites. Ease the itch (and wipe out any mites) by using a cotton ball dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup warm water to gently wash inside his ears.
- Scour BBQ grills – Make a soft paste of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water. Apply the paste with a wire brush and let dry for 15 minutes. Then wipe it down with a dry cloth and place the grill over the hot coals for at least 15 minutes to burn off any residue before placing any food on top.
- Keep weeds out of cement cracks – Looking for a safe way to keep weeds and grasses from growing in the cracks of your patios, driveways and walkways? Sprinkle handfuls of baking soda onto the concrete and simply sweep it into the cracks. The added sodium will make it harder for dandelions and weeds to grow.
- Wash new baby clothes – Get all the chemicals out of your newborns clothing without using any harsh detergents. Use mild soap and 1/2 a cup of baking soda.
Did you find the information useful? I hope so, baking soda is such a common household item you probably have a box in one of your cabinets right now.
Information obtained from Reader’s Digest extraordinary uses for ordinary things; 2005