Did you know that you can use baking soda for more than just baking? Baking soda, which is also called sodium bicarbonate, has many household uses, too. Due to its alkaline nature and high pH, this inorganic salt is great at softening water, whitening, brightening, deodorizing, cleaning, and scrubbing, so it’s a natural for green cleaning. Plus, it’s safe, environmentally friendly, and super economical. What more could you ask for? Check out these five green products you can make with it for just pennies!
1. Air Freshener. Ah! Bring a sigh of relief and take a breath of fresh air without using artificial toxic air fresheners. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and also absorbs excess moisture, so it’s great to use in places like the refrigerator and the bathroom. Set a bowl of it anywhere odors loom, such as under your kitchen sink. If you like the idea of a scented room deodorizer, simply mix in a few drops of essential oils. To make it more kid- or pet-proof, consider drilling or cutting holes in a plastic container with a sturdy lid and setting it out of reach.
2. Burnt-On Food & Grease Buster. Easily get rid of burnt-on grease, food, and grime from your pots and pans by soaking them in some baking soda and a little boiling water for several minutes or overnight. Then clean with a scrub sponge and notice how effortlessly everything comes off with little elbow grease. For grimy surfaces that can’t be soaked in water, such as cook tops, ovens, and grills, apply a paste of baking soda and eco-friendly dish soap. Follow up by cleaning with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge.
3. Creamy Scrub Cleanser. If you love the idea of a creamy scrub cleanser that doesn’t contain bleach or other harsh ingredients, but works just as well at disinfecting and gently cleaning delicate surfaces without scratching, then try making your own following this simple recipe. It uses just two ingredients — baking soda and castile soap — and it does a great job at cleaning and naturally whitening grimy surfaces, such as white porcelain sinks. And if you choose a castile soap with essential oils, you’ll also have additional cleaning benefits. Essential oils do more than just impart a pleasing scent. They also have inherent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
4. Laundry Booster. Do you have hard water? Have you noticed that your laundry seems dingy? If so, your laundry detergent may not be performing as well as it could. The solution? Simply add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry. You’ll notice that your clothes come out so much cleaner and softer. Also, some stubborn stains that may not normally be lifted by your detergent alone may suddenly disappear. Plus, you’ll save some cash, because you won’t need to use as much laundry detergent! Check out my recipe for Bergamot Baking Soda Laundry Booster, which uses essential oils to deodorize your laundry, which is really great if you have an especially “smelly” load! (Think sweaty gym clothes, pet bedding, etc.)
5. Powder Cleanser. Ditch your toxic bleach cleansers and switch to baking soda instead. Fill an empty spice jar or yogurt container with some baking soda for an easy way to dispense it anytime you need it. Baking soda is great for cleaning tile, tubs, sinks, toilet bowls, ovens, cook tops, and more. After shaking some on the surface, use a damp sponge or scrub brush to work it in. If you want a scented powder cleanser that kills bacteria, viruses, and mildew, check out this recipe for an aromatherapy cleanser.
Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013 – 2015. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013 – 2015.