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10 Uses for a Box of Baking Soda

Years ago, marketing executives in charge of selling boxes of baking soda decreed that it was not only a great way to make your cakes rise and cookies spread, but an effective refrigerator and freezer deodorizer as well. It turns out it isn’t the most effective at removing odors from your fridge, but there are dozens of uses that make it an inexpensive household tool that comes in handy for everything from brushing your teeth to scrubbing pots and putting out fires. Baking soda isn’t just for cookies anymore – here are ten great ways to put that little orange box to good use.


  • Give yourself a facial 1 of 10
    Give yourself a facial
    A small spoonful of baking soda added to your regular facial cleanser will turn it into a gentle exfoliant, sloughing away dead skin cells.
    Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski.
    Photo credit: istockphoto.com/DomenicoGelermo
  • Keep barbecue flare-ups at bay 2 of 10
    Keep barbecue flare-ups at bay
    A spray bottle filled with 2 cups water and 1 tsp. baking soda kept nearby will tame any flare-ups - generally caused by too much grease on the barbecue.
    Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski.
    Photo credit: Paul Boxley's photostream
  • Get rid of pet odours 3 of 10
    Get rid of pet odours
    When your carpets start to smell like wet dog, shake baking soda generously over them, let sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum well.
    Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski.
    Photo credit: Flying Tugboat Studios
  • Brush your teeth 4 of 10
    Brush your teeth
    People have been using baking soda to clean their teeth for eons. There are plenty of ways to use baking soda to brush your teeth - some mix it with water to make a paste, others add a pinch to their toothpaste. Source:
    Buzzle (and household wisdom!) Photo credit: istockphoto.com/avava
  • Scrub your pots and pans 5 of 10
    Scrub your pots and pans
    Here's a trick I learned from my mom: when you need to scrub burnt-on food from pots and pans, sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of a pot, add a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Cool and scrub.
    Photo credit: Wordridden's photostream
  • Do a science experiment 6 of 10
    Do a science experiment
    Our 6 year old, a wannabe mad scientist, always wants to do experiments. Try this: put a spoonful of baking soda into a tall beaker or inexpensive glass vase set on a towel or baking sheet (to catch drips!); if you like, add a drop of food coloring. Slowly pour in some vinegar and watch it fizz!
  • Make play-dough 7 of 10
    Make play-dough
    Here's an old-school formula: mix 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch and 3/4 cup water, along with a few drops of food coloring if you like. Stir in a pot over medium heat until thick, then cool and knead until you have a soft dough.
    Source: Kiddin' Around
  • Keep your drains running clear 8 of 10
    Keep your drains running clear
    To keep them flowing freely, shake a few spoonfuls' worth of baking soda into your drain, then run hot water from the tap.
    Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski.
    Photo credit: bazadwalker's photostream
  • Remove crayon drawings from the wall 9 of 10
    Remove crayon drawings from the wall
    Make a paste with baking soda and water and use it to gently remove crayon from walls.
    Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski.
    Photo credit: ingamun's photostream
  • Polish your silver 10 of 10
    Polish your silver
    This is a cool trick: line a 9x13" baking pan with aluminum foil, and lay silver cutlery inside. Shake baking soda generously overtop (some add a bit of salt, too) and pour in boiling water to fill the pan. Let the mixture sit, and the silver tarnish will disappear. Remove with tongs and rinse well.
    Source: Real Simple (and others!)

Some ideas adapted from Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski – a great resource for earth-friendly household products and cleaning solutions!

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