Posted on May 28th, 2021
In recent years, baking soda has received significant attention for its merits as a gentle, environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner. Sodium bicarbonate – the active ingredient in baking soda – is non-toxic, so it’s safe for use around children and pets. It’s also an ideal choice for people with chemical sensitivities or respiratory health concerns, like asthma and COPD.
As a truly multipurpose cleaner, baking soda can be used in virtually every area of your home, from the kitchen sink to your carpets. It’s an abrasive, whitener, odor absorber, and grease fighter, all rolled into one. Practically the only thing baking soda can’t do is completely disinfect surfaces. (For that, you’ll need an EPA-registered disinfectant or help from our professional house cleaners in Oklahoma.) In this guide, we’ll cover the six best uses for baking soda in the home, so you can start enjoying the benefits of this effective, affordable green cleaner.
6 Ways to Clean Your Entire Home With Baking Soda
Use baking soda to deodorize your carpets.
If you have carpets, keeping your home smelling fresh can be a challenge. Carpets are made of highly porous material that absorbs and traps odors from pets, liquid spills, cooking, and cigarette smoke. In humid areas, carpets are also susceptible to developing mildew.
Though professional carpet cleaning is the only way to completely remove odor-causing bacteria and pet dander from carpets, baking soda can keep them smelling fresh between your cleaner’s visits. We typically recommend baking soda over commercial carpet deodorizer sprays because it absorbs moisture rather than adding additional water to carpets. Unlike liquid sprays, it can’t cause water stains or contribute to mildew growth.
Once or twice a week, use a colander to lightly and evenly dust baking soda over your carpets. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours, then vacuum as you normally would. (To treat very persistent odors, you may need to let the baking soda sit overnight.)
Keep drains free of debris (and odors) with baking soda and vinegar.
Chemical drain cleaners pose health risks to people and pets, and they may even damage your plumbing. Many liquid plumbing solutions contain bleach and lye, which produce toxic fumes that may linger in your indoor air for hours, leading to skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. These highly corrosive chemicals also eat away at pipes (particularly older metal and PVC pipes) and sink enamel with repeated use, potentially creating the need for costly repairs.
To keep your drains flowing normally and eliminate unwanted odors the safe way, pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour a cup of warm white vinegar into it immediately afterward. You should hear a fizzing sound as the vinegar and baking soda react with one another, creating tiny bubbles that help break up drain-clogging debris. Let the mixture “fizz” for about ten minutes, then pour a cup of boiling water down the drain to flush away the loosened grime. Wear thick rubber gloves and pour the water slowly to avoid steam burns.
Make your shower sparkle with a baking soda scrub.
Because baking soda acts as a mild abrasive, it’s excellent for removing soap scum and grout stains. To make your shower shine, sprinkle baking soda onto a wet cleaning sponge. Then, add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid and work the mixture into a lather before scrubbing your shower thoroughly. When you’re done, rinse the area with cool water and use a cloth to polish it dry.
To lift stubborn grout stains, you’ll need to combine two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide to create a thick whitening paste. Apply the paste directly to tile grout, let it sit for ten minutes, then scrub away stains with a stiff brush and rinse.
Freshen up the kitchen sink with baking soda and lemon juice.
In addition to treating drain odors with baking soda, you can add a fresh lemon scent – and a brilliant polish – to your kitchen sink with this simple baking soda and lemon scrub: Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the meat of the lemon with baking soda. Then, scrub the sink vigorously, re-applying baking soda as needed. When you’re done, discard the lemon, rinse the sink with cool water, and buff it dry with a microfiber cloth.
Cut through oven grease and grime.
Though most modern ovens come with a self-cleaning feature, they aren’t always the best way to remove caked-on grime. Ovens can get as hot as 600 degrees Celsius during self-cleaning, which contributes to high energy costs and produces dangerous compounds, including carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
To clean your oven the green way, start by removing the oven racks and immersing them in hot, soapy water. Then, mix one cup of baking soda with one cup of water until a thick paste is formed. While wearing rubber gloves, spread the paste evenly around the interior of the oven (make sure to avoid getting paste on the heating elements). Let the paste sit overnight so it can fully absorb built-up grease. In the morning, scrape away the paste and grime before spraying the inside of the oven with white vinegar. The vinegar will react with the leftover baking soda residue to dissolve any remaining grease. After ten minutes, wipe the oven out with a damp cleaning rag, then rinse and reinsert the oven racks.
Keep clothes looking bright with a baking soda laundry booster.
Adding a cup of baking soda to each load of laundry is a great bleach-free way to eliminate odors and tough stains. Unlike bleach, baking soda won’t strip the dye out of natural fabrics, so it’s a safe choice for colored items.
Need Housework Help? Contact Our Oklahoma City Maids
While baking soda has many uses, there are some tough jobs it can’t handle. Baking soda is ineffective against the dangerous bacteria often found in kitchens and bathrooms, including salmonella, e. coli, and staphylococcus. Likewise, while baking soda can remove odors from carpets, it can’t treat them for deep stains or remove allergens. To tackle difficult jobs like these safely, you may need the assistance of a professional house cleaner. Cleaners have access to specialized equipment that can sanitize your home and bring stained carpets and upholstery back to life, risk-free.
Alternately, you can contact us directly to arrange an appointment with one of our licensed, bonded maids in Oklahoma City.