Baking soda and vinegar are two things that I always buy in bulk, simply because they both offer up so many uses at such an inexpensive price. Most of this post is going to consist of a list of things you can do with these items outside of cooking, but I’m going to restrict it to things I’ve done myself. There are many more uses out there. Baking soda alone can be used to remove odors from almost anything, from refrigerators to carpet. Just sprinkle some in the offending area (on the carpet, in your shoes) and let it sit or put some on a plate and let it sit. It just sucks the odor right out of there. If you mix enough water with baking soda to make a paste, it works well as a toothpaste, a facial scrub, and as a sunburn reliever. I actually have some baking soda paste applied right now to my left shoulder to alleviate sunburn. It will work on pretty much any minor skin irritation, too.
Use vinegar and baking soda drain cleaner
In my last apartment, we had a super finicky bathtub drain. Going one week between “maintenance cleaning outs” was enough to land me in ankle-deep water before I even had a chance to shave my legs.
I sadly say that this is not a way to unclog very troublesome drains. But it is a great way to keep on top of a slow-moving drain or after you’ve used an oil/sugar scrub (which I’ve noticed tends to increase the likelihood of future clogging).
Don’t even get me started, though, on how eco friendly baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner is, compared to Drano Liquid Plumr anything you buy at the store. And with a little bit of extra elbow grease and a plunger, you can use them to unclog the toughest drains. It just takes a while.But here’s how you do it the easy way (before your drain becomes a clog monster):
- Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
- Dump in about 1/2 c. baking soda. Let that sit for a few minutes.
- Then, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1. c very hot water down on top of the baking soda.
- Cover with a drain plug (to keep the reaction down below the drain surface) if you have one and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.
Why this works: The baking soda and hot water treatment will loosen up any grimy sludge that’s hanging out at the bottom of your drain, and the explosive chemical reaction with the vinegar will jolt it all loose. Then one final super hot-water rinse will make all the bad stuff go bye-bye.
Vinegar and baking soda carpet cleaner
It’s inevitable; stuff spills or you track in mud by mistake on a rainy afternoon. Just the other day, my husband left a dirty footprint on the carpet. When this happens at your house, don’t get mad (well, maybe just a little bit) or run to the store for expensive cleaning concoctions. Simply become a carpet cleaner mixologist and open your pantry. Not only does this homemade carpet cleaner cost pennies to make, but also, it does wonders spot-cleaning furniture, erasing stains from rugs, and touching up soiled drapes. Not all carpets are the same, so make sure to do a small spot check before tackling big stains.
What You’ll Need:
Small spray bottle
1 teaspoon dish washing liquid
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Clean absorbent towel
- Gather the ingredients to make your carpet cleaner. Along with being an amazing concoction, vinegar and baking soda put on quite a show when mixed. Vinegar is an acid, and baking soda is a base, so when the two mix together, they create carbon dioxide, which results in lots and lots of cleaning bubbles. Add the dishwashing liquid to the spray bottle along with vinegar, and then top with the warm water. Working over a sink, with the top of the spray bottle close at hand, add the baking soda, and then quickly screw on the top of the spray bottle.
- Vacuum over the area and then wipe gently with the abrasive side of a sponge.
- Spray the soiled area generously with the carpet cleaner, and then gently rub and dab with the towel. You should start to see cleaning results right away.
- Continue dabbing and wiping with the towel to absorb the water and completely remove the stain.
Clean a Shower Head with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda, a natural abrasive, works to dislodge particles, thus clearing up stains and clogged passages. A baking soda and vinegar combination evokes a chemical reaction to clean out dirt, dust and any other deposits, thus leaving the object gleaming.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda (clears up clogged passages) – 4 tablespoons
- White vinegar (breaks down mineral deposits) – 1-2 cups
Step 1. Mix baking soda with white vinegar
- Pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into a bowl.
- Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the vinegar.
- It is recommended to do this step in a sink, as baking soda reacts with vinegar causing it to bubble.
Step 2. Soak the shower head in the solution
- Soak the shower head in the baking soda-vinegar solution and leave it overnight.
- Vinegar reacts with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to form carbonic acid, which acts as a strong cleaning agent.
Step 3. Clean the shower head with a toothbrush
- Pick an old toothbrush and gently scrub the shower head to wipe off any dirt and debris.
- You can also grab a pin, needle or a toothpick and poke it through the holes to clear the passages.
Step 4. Run under clear water and pat dry
- Run the fixture under clear water until there is no trace of cleaning solution.
- Pat dry using a towel or a paper towel.
- Run cold water through it for 2 minutes as it helps remove any remaining deposits on the fixture.
Tips Cleaning Home with Vinegar
Although vinegar is not registered as a disinfectant with the EPA, it will kill both salmonella and E.coli, two bacteria you’ll want to avoid. Consequently, white vinegar can be used to clean loads of things around your home. Here are just a few suggestions for what you can clean with vinegar:
In the kitchen:
Clean your coffeemaker: Run the machine with equal parts water and vinegar. Halfway through the cycle, turn it off and let it sit for an hour. Then complete the cycle.
Unclog a drain: Pour 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Rinse with water.
Clean your microwave: Put one cup vinegar and one cup water in a bowl and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Afterward, stains and dried food should be easy to wipe away.
Make glasses sparkle: Put one cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher before you run the cycle. After you run the dishwasher, your glassware shouldn’t be cloudy.
In the bathroom:
Remove mineral deposits from a showerhead: Put vinegar in a plastic bag and tie the bag around the showerhead. Let the bag sit overnight, and rinse the showerhead with water in the morning.
Prevent mildew in the shower: Spray vinegar on shower walls and curtains.
Throughout the home:
Clean glass: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a quart of water. Spray onto glass surfaces and wipe dry.
Remove mold from walls: Spray vinegar on walls, let sit for 15 minutes, rinse and let dry.
Clean spills on carpet: After removing as much liquid as you can, spray the stain with a solution of half vinegar and half water and let sit for two minutes. Blot with a towel.
Remove stickers: Rub labels with vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove.
Remove skunk odor from a dog: If your dog has a run-in with a skunk, scrub its fur with a half vinegar, half water solution and then rinse with water.
Tips Cleaning Home with Baking Soda
Baking Soda can do more than keep your fridge smelling fresh and aid with baking. Its odor absorbing properties are useful throughout the home and it is capable of removing tough stains because of its abrasiveness. Additionally, baking soda is completely non-toxic and unlike vinegar, it doesn’t have a strong smell. Try out baking soda for some of these household cleaning tasks:
Hair Brush Cleaner
Hair brush is like carpet because it attracts debris, lots of it. With every stroke dandruff, dead skin cells and oil sticks to it. If you don’t clean it regularly all that nasty stuff goes back to your hair every time you use it. Experts recommend washing the hair brush once a week but if you don’t have time, try to do it at least once a month.
To properly clean, you’ll need a pen, scissors, a clean toothbrush, a teaspoon of shampoo, a teaspoon of baking soda and water.
I saw my brother-in-law’s toothpaste during the family vacation and the brand looked familiar. When I looked closer the label says it uses baking soda as its main ingredient.
What’s the brand am I talking about? It turns out that sodium bicarbonate (the other name for baking soda) is a mild abrasive that when mixed with equal parts water removes surface stains from teeth that will make it appear whiter.
Some folks have taken it to the next level and claim that mixing it with strawberry or lemon can thoroughly clean teeth.
Scientists have warned against using these recipes. A great example would be Dr. Oz’s mixture of strawberry and baking soda. This may not be safe because strawberry contains citric acid that could potentially erode teeth.
Combining it with lemon isn’t a good idea as well because lemon also has high citric acid content which (let me repeat this warning) could potentially erode the enamel – the protective coating of our teeth.Here’s the bottom line, baking soda does not deep clean, it only removes surface stains.
Shampoo and Conditioner Replacement
A lot of people have found success using baking soda in place of shampoo or conditioner. To use it as a shampoo, add one to two tablespoons of baking soda in a jar that contains one to two cups of warm water. Make sure to mix it well before pouring it on your scalp. Massage it well on your scalp to evenly distribute baking soda then rinse.
To use it as a conditioner, mix in half a cup of baking soda into a cup of conditioner. If you’re not prepared ditching shampoo altogether, an option would be using baking soda as a rinse, dilute half a cup baking soda into a cup of warm water. Use this mixture after washing with shampoo.
Take note that baking soda has a high pH rating of 9.0 so it potentially dry-out your hair – not the product you want to use when your hair is dry and frizzy. One option to counteract this effect is using coconut oil after bathing to hydrate your hair. The high pH rating does have a positive effect as it helps people who have oily hair and in removing hair spray build up.
Cleans Oral Appliances
Oral appliances like mouthpieces, braces, retainers and dentures needs to be cleaned in order to remove odor and food particles that get trapped. The last thing you want is spraying these things with chemical cleaners.
Dissolving 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a cup of water and soaking oral appliances in it. This will help loosen any food particles plus it removes odor.
Not only can baking soda clean your teeth and dentures, adding 2 teaspoons of it with a teaspoon of water makes a chemical free facial wash. Adding in 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of warm water and 2 teaspoons of oat flour makes an exfoliate cream.
Say Goodbye To Smelly Feet
The deodorizing properties of baking soda apparently will also work on smelly feet as this poster in Reddit explains.
If you don’t want to buy that another option would be soaking your feet in a tub filled with 8 cups of warm water, 1/4 cup of baking soda and some lemon juice for 15 to 20 minutes.
A Produce Wash
If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables washing is a very important step. This is a necessity because it removes dirt, contaminants and pesticides from the surface of produce.One option would be buying a veggie wash but that costs extra $$$.
A cheaper option would be using a mixture of water, baking soda and vinegar. For leafy greens you can soak them into this mixture and for smooth skinned produce like apple, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it around six times, leave it for a minute then rinse .
Tip: Avoid using soap or detergent to wash produce because the skin of fruits and veggies are porous and it will absorb any soap you wash it with. This not only affect flavor but you’ll also consume the chemicals from the soap.
One of the toughest things to clean at home is the grill. Yes the mainstay of every weekend barbeque can be a source of frustration but with the right ingredients and a little elbow grease you can kiss that burnt-on gunk good bye.
There are two ways to do it.
One is soaking the grates in mixture of vinegar, baking soda and water overnight then rinse it the next day .
You can also hose down the grill, sprinkle baking soda over the grates and parts that need cleaning, leaving it on for a few minutes then scrub it down with scotch-brite.
Remove Burned Residue Off Kitchen Utensils
One of the toughest items to clean in the kitchen is burned residue on stainless steel pans. Save some elbow grease with vinegar, baking soda, water and a scourer.
The steps include filing up the pan with water and adding a cup of vinegar then bringing it to a boil. Then add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes then empty the pan. The burned residue should be soft enough to remove with the scourer.If there are stubborn marks left, make a paste with equal parts baking soda and water then apply it on the marks. You can use this paste on the outer part of the utensil if there are burn marks that need cleaning .
Remove Stains From Coffee Mugs Or Carafes
Coffee drinkers can relate with this, over time coffee stains will build up on mugs and carafes and no matter how much you scrub with dishwashing detergent it won’t come off. If you’re frustrated, why not try to sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the mug or carafe then add a bit of hot water then scrub.
Cleans Cast Iron Cookware
Caring for cast iron cookware is very different from the traditional non-stick pan.First, avoid using dish washing liquid to clean it. An option would be using boiling water and half a cup of baking soda to deep clean .
Second, always hand wash – avoid cleaning it using the dishwasher. Third, always dry it before storing it or rust will form. If there is rust don’t worry, sprinkle baking soda over the cast iron pan then rub it using raw potato . Don’t forget to re-season it after.
Removes Stains From Pans And Cookware
Anyone of does a lot of cooking knows how much abuse cooking utensils take and overtime stains and grime build up. Cleaning it with detergent and a lot of elbow grease won’t cut it, you’ll need something that will dissolve the grime and do the work for you.
Well good news, there’s a miracle cleaner out there that will bring back your kitchen utensil’s former glory (well almost). No I’m not talking about a new product but it’s something widely available – baking soda and peroxide – to be more specific 1/4 cup of baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste .
For the microwave the process is a little different but the ingredients are still the same – baking soda and water.
Add two tablespoons of baking soda in a microwave safe bowl then add a cup of water. Put the bowl inside the microwave oven then let it run for about 2 to 3 minutes (don’t cover the bowl). The steam from the water/baking soda mixture will both deodorize and loosen up caked on stains inside the microwave (17). Wipe off the residue with a clean microfiber towel.
Remove Grease Spills
Cooking fried food will leave a lot of grease residue on the oven, countertop and the kitchen floor. Wiping them off with water and a damp rug won’t cut it. Try sprinkling some baking soda on a sponge then wipe down any greasy surface, follow it up with a clean damp cloth. If you’re cleaning an oily floor sprinkle baking soda on the messy areas then mop with a damp microfiber mop. Make sure to leave the baking soda on a few minutes to allow it to do its magic.
Baking soda can be mixed with liquid laundry detergent as a booster that will result in “whiter whites” and bring out the natural color in colored fabric. Adding this also increases the potency of bleach. On top-loading washing machines add half a cup of baking soda and a quarter of a cup on front-loaders. Adding baking soda to your laundry also has another positive…
Clean a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and scrub, then rinse.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the same paste on the rim and caulk.
Line the sink with paper towels that you’ve soaked in white vinegar. Leave them there for 20 minutes.
For garbage disposals: Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of white vinegar. Boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water down the drain. Add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain. Turn on the disposal until it goes down. Take a lime or lemon, cut it in half, and send each half down the disposal.
Use soapy water and vinegar-soaked paper towels to clean the faucet, too.
Make a Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner
Here’s a terrific deep-cleaning cleanser that works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew as well as any commercial bathroom product and costs just pennies.
- 1 2/3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup liquid soap
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
1. Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using.
2. Squirt on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water. Keep cap on between uses.
Remove Stains on Carpet
You can lift out many stains from your carpet with carpet stain remover or vinegar:
Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum. For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
Boost Laundry Detergent
It may sound like a cliche, but adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent really will give you “whiter whites” and brighter colors. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent. Adding 1/2 cup baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front-loaders) also increases the potency of bleach, so you need only half the usual amount of bleach.
Black Head remover: Rinse face with warm/hot water, then apply a thick paste of baking soda and water to the entire face or afflicted areas. (I suggest doing a test spot for safety!) Leave the baking soda on for 3-4 minutes, don’t leave it on for any longer because it doesn’t need it and you don’t want to damage your skin. Rinse with warm water, then for an extra toner, mix apple cider vinegar and water, then wipe your face with a cloth dipped in that. Finally rinse your face with cool water.
Grout & Mold Cleaner: Apply a tick paste of baking soda and water to your grout and afflicted mold areas (sink, grout, toilet, shower, etc) and let sit for 2-3 hours. Come back and rinse off. I’ve found this to be more effective than bleach.
Stove-top & Oven cleaner: Apply a thick paste of baking soda to the caked on food and burnt stuffs on your stove. Let sit for 2-3 hours, and come back and wipe away, boom, like new.
Homemade furniture polish: Mix Vinegar, Oil and Fresh lemon in a dish, and apply to wooden furniture. Is just as effective as expensive polish and doesn’t cost anywhere near as much
Homemade all-purpose cleaner: White Vinegar, Water, and Fresh Lemon. Wash everything and this will clean it. Also good on glass, and you can use newspaper to dry glass as it leaves a streak-free dry.
You can mix baking soda into your toothpaste to help with teeth whitening, but be careful as this isn’t the best for your gums, especially for prolonged use.
Put a touch of baking soda into your bath water to help relieve skin irritations. Sprinkle baking soda into cat litter to soak up odor.
How do you clean with natural things, like baking soda and vinegar? I want to start cleaning my house without using chemicals. I would appreciate any advise for making my own cleaning products at home.
What my mom does is mix them with water. To clean soap scum off the shower, or to just clean the shower she mixes the vinegar and the water. DO NOT mix baking soda and vinegar together. You’ll have a bigger mess then you want to clean up. We mop the floors with Vinegar and water. Exspecially in the bathroom b/c it gets the hairspray that sticks to the floor off. She normally cleans the stove with Baking soda, it helps get the burnt stuff off. Another thing is vinegar and water clean windows and mirrors, better then any window cleaner that I have used.