Uses for Baking Soda: Cleaning Your House

By: Christine Halvorson

Baking soda will help even the most meticulous housekeeper with unwanted scuffs, smudges, and smells around every corner in every room of the house. Whether it's cleaning windows or stained piano keys, removing water marks from a wood floor, or shining up the family silver and china, baking soda can be used in dozens of everyday household chores. In this article, you will see how well baking soda performs in a number of household tasks. Let's start with walls and other surfaces.

Remove crayon marks on walls with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda.


Wax from dripped candles can be removed from most hard surfaces with a baking-soda paste. Scrub the surface with a nylon scrubber.

A baking-soda paste is best for cleaning chrome surfaces. Apply, then buff dry.

Sprinkle baking soda directly onto stainless-steel surfaces, and clean with a damp sponge.

Scour soot and ash from fireplace bricks with a baking-soda solution. Rub the baking soda into the bricks with a stiff brush.

Tabletops and wood: Remove alcohol stains from a wood table with a paste of baking soda and mineral, linseed, or lemon oil. Rub the paste in the direction of the grain, then wipe with the linseed oil.

Rub out the white rings on wood tables with a paste made of equal amounts toothpaste and baking soda.

Carpets and floors: Remove water spots on wood floors with a sponge dampened in a baking-soda solution.

Clean up pet accidents or vomit with baking soda. Scrub gently into the rug with warm water, and brush. Vacuum the carpet when it is dry.

Control the odor from pet accidents by leaving a thin layer of baking soda after cleaning. Vacuum the carpet when it is dry.

Add baking soda to a vacuum bag to fight the smells that can accumulate there.

Once a month, sprinkle carpets with baking soda, let it sit overnight, then vacuum.

To make a sweet-smelling caret freshner with baking soda, follow this recipe:

  • 1 cup crushed, dried herbs (rosemary, southernwood, lavender, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Variations: Mix 1 small box baking soda with your favorite potpourri oil, using just a few drops, and sprinkle on as a carpet freshener. Leave the mixture on the carpet for 10 to 20 minutes, then vacuum.Use 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch, and 15 drops of essential oil fragrance. Leave on the carpet for 10 to 20 minutes, then vacuum. Store the mixture in a glass jar or airtight container.We've only begun to tap the potential of the many ways baking soda can improve your home. Keep reading for more unexpected uses for baking soda around your house.


More Uses for Baking Soda in the House

Think you've seen all the cleaning uses baking soda has to offer? Think again.  Here are some more wonderful applications for baking soda in your home. 

Upholstery: A fresh stain of oily or greasy food on a cloth chair can be absorbed with equal parts baking soda and salt. Sprinkle the mixture, rub lightly, leave on for a few hours, then vacuum the fabric.


Clean vinyl upholstery, such as a recliner or kitchen chair, with a baking-soda paste rubbed on, dried, then wiped off.

Control household odors: Freshen blankets that have been in storage by sprinkling with baking soda and rolling them up for a couple of hours. Then fluff the blankets in the dryer without heat.

Before storing luggage or travel trunks, place an open box of baking soda inside, and close the luggage overnight. Repeat this when removing luggage from long-term storage.

If your waterbed mattress develops a musty odor, rinse it inside and out with a baking-soda solution, then refill it as usual. Use a sponge to gently scrub the outside of the mattress with the solution.

Eliminate residue and smells from mops or rags by soaking them in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 gallon water.

Fill the toes of old pantyhose with baking soda, cut off the feet, and tie to secure. Hang the sachet in a room to absorb musty odors.

Cleaning and Dusting

Dust and dirt are everywhere throughout the house. Using baking soda makes it easier to get rid of them.

Jewelry: Clean gold and silver jewelry with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub the mixture on gently, then rinse it off. Buff the jewelry with a soft cloth.

Shine platinum jewelry with dry baking soda buffed on with a soft cloth.

Glassware and knickknacks: Clean stained china with a paste of baking soda and water.

To clean glass vases or other containers, fill the container three-quarters full with hot water, add a teaspoon of baking soda, and shake. Let the container sit, and then rinse.

Stubborn spots on porcelain surfaces such as lamps, vases, and candlesticks can be cleaned by dipping a damp cloth in the baking soda and rubbing.

Windows and blinds: Wash windows with a sponge dipped in baking soda. To avoid dry haze on the windows, rinse them with a clean sponge and plenty of water, and dry.

Put dirty venetian blinds in a tub of warm water and 1/2 cup baking soda, soak them for half an hour, then scrub and rinse.

Tips and tricks: Stained piano keys can be cleaned with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda. Wipe the key, and then buff it.

Use baking soda to simulate snow on your Christmas tree.

A permanent filler for nail holes on white walls is a mixture of baking soda and white glue formed into paste.

To make a simple silver tarnish remover, boil water and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Place tarnished silverware in a pan with the boiled mixture and piece of aluminum foil. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse the silverware well, then use a soft cloth to buff dry.

As you've seen, baking soda can be a handy friend to have all through the house. So take it out of the kitchen.

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