Beauty, Cleaning and Even Heartburn: This One Kitchen Staple Can Do it All

Baking soda with measuring spoon on a metal baking tray.
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If you’ve ever baked a cake, chances are your pantry houses baking soda.

You might use it occasionally, but for the most part it stays hidden and waits for the next time you break out the cake pan.

Rather than saving it for special baking occasions, consider some of these uses for baking soda around your house. It’s one of those versatile ingredients that can replace numerous other products, so you can save your hard-earned cash for what really matters.

Clean and Deodorize With Baking Soda

One of the best-known uses for baking soda around the house is cleaning.

Whether used alone or mixed with other ingredients, baking soda is a cheap alternative to many of the more expensive (and chemical-laden) products on the market.

First and foremost, baking soda is a powerful stain remover. Good Housekeeping recommends removing stubborn stains from plastic food storage containers by soaking with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water.

You can also use it to erase your kids’ crayon “artwork” from walls. Sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth and wipe down the walls to remove the masterpiece.

Baking soda is also great at ousting unwanted smells. You’ve probably heard that storing a box of baking soda in your fridge keeps it smelling fresh, but its use as an odor-killer extends way beyond that.

I use it around my house to remove dog stink from blankets and carpet by sprinkling a little on the offending surface, waiting about 10 minutes and then vacuuming.

For foul-smelling kitchen sponges that aren’t quite trash-worthy yet, Good Housekeeping advises soaking them in a mixture of baking soda and water to freshen them up.

Unclog a Drain with Baking Soda

A clogged drain can also benefit from baking soda (and you’ll actually have fun with this chore). I’ve tried this numerous times after my coconut oil hair mask clogged my shower drain. Crunchy Betty explains the best way to perform this trick.

First, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen the clog. Next, throw a 1/2 cup of baking soda down there and leave it for a few minutes. Finally, pour 1 cup of vinegar mixed with 1 cup of very warm water down the drain and cover with a cloth or drain plug. You’ll notice a lot of satisfying fizzing when the vinegar meets the baking soda.

Let this mixture do its job for five to 10 minutes before flushing one final time with boiling water. Your drain will run clear in no time!

Baking Soda for Personal Use

Wouldn’t it be great if you could replace multiple expensive beauty items in your bathroom with something cheap and easily available? Baking soda has your back.

Wellness Mama explains that baking soda can even help replace your store-bought deodorant. If you look at the ingredients of most natural deodorants, you’ll notice baking soda listed along with other easy-to-find ingredients. Rather than buying natural deodorant, try making your own using this recipe.

Just remember that some people are sensitive to baking soda, so you might experience irritation from using a natural deodorant made from it. (I personally can’t use it for this reason, which is a shame because I found it works very well).

Baking soda can also replace your store-bought face scrub. Wellness Mama recommends making a paste from baking soda and water and gently massaging it into your face for 10-20 seconds.

She notes it’s best to use this mixture as an occasional exfoliator rather than a daily because its alkaline properties can have an adverse affect on your skin if used too frequently.

Health Benefits of Baking Soda

Like many ingredients you can find around the house, baking soda has numerous health benefits. Ryan Raman, MS, RD, lists out a number in an article for Healthline.

If you suffer from heartburn, baking soda could provide you with much-needed relief. Raman recommends drinking 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of cold water. While this might not replace your preferred medication for extremely bad cases of heartburn, it’s a good remedy to remember if your ailment unexpectedly strikes.

Baking soda can also help freshen your breath and improve your dental health thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Raman suggests replacing your usual mouthwash with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda mixed with a glass of warm water. Swish it around your mouth, as you would mouthwash, before spitting it out.

If you suffer from itchy skin or a sunburn, try a baking soda bath. Raman advises soaking in a warm bath that contains 1-2 cups of baking soda to relieve skin ailments. You can also make a paste using baking soda and water and apply directly to particularly itchy or damaged areas.

Many sources, such as, explain that you can use baking soda to absorb the lactic acid in your muscles after exercising.

This allows you to recover more quickly so you can get back to your routine with minimal soreness. The site recommends drinking a mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water to maximize the benefits.

Baking soda is an extremely versatile ingredient you probably already have in your kitchen. Rather than saving it for baking cakes and muffins, use it to benefit your home and your health.

Catherine Hiles spends a good amount of time cleaning up after her toddler and her dog. Baking soda helps make her life a little simpler (and cheaper)!