5 Genius Baking Soda Cleaning Hacks You Never Knew About

When I was growing up, baking soda
was simply the enigmatic orange box that my parents kept in the
refrigerator to prevent things from getting smelly. As a (pretty much?)
adult, however, I’ve slowly learned that the white stuff is useful for
all sorts of things—from removing self-tanner streaks to working
fabulously in face masks. There’s hardly a hack it’s not involved in at
the moment.

Besides
little-known beauty uses and, of course, baking, the multi-purpose
powder can also do wonderful things to your home—AKA keep things nice
and clean. And I’m not just talking about your laundry; baking soda can
do all sorts of magical things around the house, from replacing Drain-O
to making sure not-so-great-smelling locales, well, smell better.


Keep reading for 5 (simple) ways you can use baking soda to clean your home.

1. Absorb toilet odors

Chances
are that your toilet’s your least fave thing to clean (I mean, it’s
probably the dirtiest). While it may be a location that tends to get
some pretty unideal odors, there are things you can do with baking soda
to prevent others from smelling any stenches. “First, flush the toilet,”
says Marilee Nelson, co-founder of non-toxic cleaning brand Branch
Basics.  “Sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the inside of the toilet
and leave it for an hour before flushing. It’ll clean the toilet and
absorb the odor.”


2. Garbage disposal deodorizer

When
meal prepping, it’s likely that all sorts of food debris winds up in
your garbage disposal (guilty). And that doesn’t lead to the
best-smelling kitchen. “To help eliminate odors, slowly pour baking soda
down your disposal while simultaneously running warm water while the
disposal’s on,” says Kelly Love, the other co-founder of Branch Basics.


3. Make a liquid, multi-surface cleaner

So
many different kinds of soap exist for different things—which is why
I’m all for a do-everything, multifunctional cleaner instead to make
life easier. This is where baking soda can come in: “Use one cup of
baking soda, vegetable glycerin, a half cup of castile soap, and, if you
prefer a scent, a few drops of an essential oil of your choice,” says
Nelson.”This soap is great for toilet bowls, sinks, bathtubs, and other
surfaces.” Jackpot.


4. Unclog drains

When you
think of unclogging drains, chances are that one product comes to mind:
Drain-O. But it doesn’t have to be the only option. “To use baking soda,
just make sure to remove any drain stops or plugs first,” says Allison
Evans, third co-founder of Branch Basics. “Then pour a half to one cup
of baking soda down the drain—use a funnel if necessary. Then pour in a
cup or two of vinegar and quickly cover the drain to keep that fizz
going. Once that stops, repeat the vinegar step and then keep it
covered, letting the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes.” The last step
just involves a gallon of boiling water being poured directly into the
drain, and voila: unclogged.


5. DIY fabric softener

Oftentimes
fabric softeners can be laden with not-so-good-for-you chemicals.
Unsurprisingly, baking soda can take the place of this, too. “Just add
one cup of baking soda or a fourth cup of vinegar to the wash cycle to
soften the clothes,” says Love.  She notes that vinegar not only softens
but reduces the static cling, too—bonus.

So
many different kinds of soap exist for different things—which is why
I’m all for a do-everything, multifunctional cleaner instead to make
life easier. This is where baking soda can come in: “Use one cup of
baking soda, vegetable glycerin, a half cup of castile soap, and, if you
prefer a scent, a few drops of an essential oil of your choice,” says
Nelson.”This soap is great for toilet bowls, sinks, bathtubs, and other
surfaces.” Jackpot.


4. Unclog drains

When you
think of unclogging drains, chances are that one product comes to mind:
Drain-O. But it doesn’t have to be the only option. “To use baking soda,
just make sure to remove any drain stops or plugs first,” says Allison
Evans, third co-founder of Branch Basics. “Then pour a half to one cup
of baking soda down the drain—use a funnel if necessary. Then pour in a
cup or two of vinegar and quickly cover the drain to keep that fizz
going. Once that stops, repeat the vinegar step and then keep it
covered, letting the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes.” The last step
just involves a gallon of boiling water being poured directly into the
drain, and voila: unclogged.


5. DIY fabric softener

Oftentimes
fabric softeners can be laden with not-so-good-for-you chemicals.
Unsurprisingly, baking soda can take the place of this, too. “Just add
one cup of baking soda or a fourth cup of vinegar to the wash cycle to
soften the clothes,” says Love.  She notes that vinegar not only softens
but reduces the static cling, too—bonus.

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