9 Home Uses For Baking Soda

Do your curious kids touch and taste everything in sight? Time to befriend your box of baking soda! Free of harsh chemicals, baking soda is an effective and kid-safe household product that can be used on everything from kitchen drains to diaper rashes. Here are nine ways to use this impressive natural cleaning product in your home.

1. Odor Remover

Baking soda boasts incredible odor-eliminating powers. You can sprinkle it in shoes, cat boxes, ashtrays, and cloth diaper pails to neutralize stinky scents, or leave an open box in the fridge. Sharon G. also advises adding it to the wash: "Baking soda in your laundry will help get rid of smells."

2. Stain Remover

Combined with vinegar, baking soda can pull stains out of everything from carpets to cloth diapers. Toni L. gives the following directions for using baking soda to remove stains: "Put a good amount of baking soda on the stain, then spray/sprinkle some white vinegar over the baking soda. It will go really bubbly and smell very strongly of vinegar. Put in the wash and ta-da! Stain gone."

3. Scouring Powder

"Use baking soda to scrub like any scouring powder," advises Katherine C. "Unlike traditional scouring powders, baking soda doesn't scratch surfaces and is non-toxic. So scrub surfaces like kitchen counters with a sponge sprinkled with baking soda, then rinse the surface with either water or vinegar."

4. Stainless Steel Cleaner

Why spend 20 minutes trying to remove burnt food from a pan when baking soda can do the work for you? As mother-of-three Sharon G. suggests: "Use vinegar and baking soda for stainless steel pots . . . Sprinkle the bottoms (inside bottoms) of the pans with baking soda, put on over the heat (stove), [and] pour on vinegar after a minute. This will lift any baked-on crud."

5. Drain Cleaner

Moms like Jodi L. swear by baking soda and vinegar for freshening up kitchen drains: "To keep sink drains clean and odor free I periodically pour baking soda into the drain, then white distilled vinegar," she explains. "The foaming action cleans the pipes."

6. Coffee-Pot Cleaner

"Baking soda is great for coffee pots," Tabitha N. advises. To clean any lingering coffee residue, fill the water canister with a baking soda and water solution and run it, then rinse . . . easy!

7. Shampoo and Body Wash

Baking soda is a natural alternative to chemical-laden shampoos and body washes. "I use it in my hair as part of my homemade-shampoo routine," says mother-of-two Sonya M. And, she adds, "It makes a good face scrub."

8. Skin Soother

So long itchy mosquito bites and rashes: in addition to its cleaning abilities, baking soda is a natural skin soother that moms use to treat itchy skin conditions ranging from bug bites and windburn to diaper rash and eczema. Pour baking soda in a warm bath, or as mother-of-three Krista H. suggests, "make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it where [your child is] itchy."

9. Flower Saver

Want to prevent cut flowers from quickly wilting? Katherine C. claims you can add a few days of freshness with a dash of baking soda: "Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase."