Uses for Baking Soda

This versatile white powder can do way more than make your cookies rise. Relatively inexpensive and environmentally safe, baking soda can be used all over the kitchen and well beyond.

We’ve made a chart with several uses for baking soda, some you’ve probably heard of and others probably not.

Baking Soda

Uses for Baking Soda

Chart of Uses for Baking Soda

Eliminate Refrigerator Odors You probably already have an opened box in your fridge. This powder actually absorbs and eliminates odors. Baking soda used here remains active and useful for about 6 months and then should be replaced.
Eliminate Freezer Odors Since baking powder does not freeze, a box in your freezer works just like in the fridge.
Scrub your Pots This powder has just enough abrasion to make a great scrubbing agent to clean your pans. For a pan with a burned bottom: boil two inches of water in the pan and then turn off the heat while adding half a cup of baking soda. Let the pan sit overnight. In the morning, it should be easy to clean.
Line your Gloves Keep your rubber gloves dry and smelling good by sprinkling baking soda inside. They’ll slip on easier too!
Stop Smells Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda on the bottom of your toaster oven to eliminate the burned smell from drippings and crumbs.
Eliminate Stains A paste of baking soda removes red sauce stains from plastic.
Unclog Drains Pour a cup of baking soda into a clogged drain followed by a cup of hot vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then follow with a quart of boiling water. This is good for stainless steel sinks, but don’t pour boiling water into ceramic sinks as they can crack.
Avoid Crystallization Add a pinch of baking soda to syrup that has been boiled in order to prevent crystallization.
Clean Produce Baking soda can be used to remove pesticides, dirt and wax from fresh fruits and vegetables. Simply add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to a large bowl of cool water and then wash your produce. Alternately, vinegar also does a good job at this task.
Remove Coffee Stains To remove stains from coffee and/or tea cups simply wipe them with a damp sponge dipped in a baking soda paste.
Stop Itching Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply to a burn or an insect bite for relief.
Take a Bath Add some to the water in a bathtub to help relieve sunburned or itchy skin.
Freshen your Brush Soak your toothbrush overnight in a solution of baking soda and warm water to clean and freshen the bristles.
Erase Perspiration Stains A thick paste of baking soda and water rubbed into a perspiration stain on a shirt will make it disappear if you let it sit for an hour before placing it in the wash.
Eliminate Gasoline Odor Gas and oil odors can be eliminated by putting the items in a plastic bag along with a liberal sprinkling of baking soda for a few days before washing them.
Eliminate Snails Sprinkle some on your garden and sweep up pesky snails the next morning. Environmentally safe.
Kill Bugs Sprinkle baking soda under your sinks near the pipe openings and along window openings in the basement. Ants, silverfish and roaches will eat the soda and then dehydrate and die.
Eliminate Cravings If you crave sweets and don’t want to give in, rinse your mouth with one-teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water. Do NOT swallow the mixture – spit it out! Your craving should disappear right away.

Additional Information

For more information on the shelf life of baking soda, see our baking soda shelf-life page.

Beware if you’ve run out of baking soda and are trying to substitute, read our baking powder substitute page first before you ruin your recipe.

To find more uses for cornstarch, check our other cornstarch uses page.

For the differences between baking powder and baking soda, check our powder vs soda page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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