Uses for Baking Soda: Cleaning Your Kitchen

By: Christine Halvorson  | 
A jar of baking soda beside a spoon filled with baking soda.
A spotless kitchen can be yours with a little baking soda. BURCU ATALAY TANKUT / Getty Images

Baking soda can safely tackle kitchen jobs above and beyond the legendary box at the back of the refrigerator. Once you discover the versatility of baking soda for cleaning purposes, you'll do away with all those cleaners under your sink and never use oven spray again.

In this article, we'll share the range of cleaning duties baking soda can perform in the kitchen. But first, we'll share a simple homemade concoction that can replace most of the commercial cleaners you probably have on your shelf.


Create Your Own Vinegar and Baking Soda Cleaner

To make a general purpose cleaner with baking soda, you'll only need:

  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp liquid dish soap
  • 2 cups hot water

Be sure to wear rubber gloves when working with this mixture. You can mix and store your homemade concoction in a squirt or spray bottle. Now that you're ready, let's examine the numerous ways we can use baking soda for cleaning in the kitchen:


Rubber, Plastic and Wood

Follow these tips for using baking soda to clean rubber, plastic and wood:

  • A baking-soda paste removes stains from plastic and rubber utensils. Applying baking soda with a scouring pad, sponge, or wet microfiber cloth will provide the full cleaning effects.
  • You can scrub stained plastic storage containers with a paste that's equal parts baking soda and lemon juice.
  • Renew old sponges, nylon scrubbers, and scrub brushes by soaking them overnight in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart water.
  • Deodorize and remove stains from wooden bowls or utensils with a baking-soda solution.


Shiny Surfaces

To clean stainless steel sinks and other surfaces:

  • Add baking soda paste to a mixture or sprinkle baking soda directly onto a sponge or damp microfiber cloth.
  • Scrub the surface.
  • Rinse the surface.
  • Buff it dry.

To clean the exterior of your refrigerator and most other surfaces in your kitchen use a general pu­rpose baking soda cleanser.



Abrasive cleansers may scratch Formica. Instead, use a general purpose baking soda cleanser.

To remove stains on laminated countertops:


  • Apply a baking soda paste.
  • Let it dry.
  • Then rub it off.
  • Rinse the surface.

To clean a countertop made of tile and grout:

  • Mix baking soda (1/4 cup) with 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia, and 1 gallon of warm water.
  • Apply the mixture with a sponge.
  • Be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves.

Pots, Pans and Cookware

To clean greasy stains and food on roasting pans:

  • Dampen with hot water.
  • Sprinkle with baking soda.
  • Let the pot sit for an hour.
  • Sponge it clean.

To loosen baked- or dried-on food in the pans:


  • Gently boil water and baking soda in the pans.
  • When the food is loosened, cool the pan.
  • Wipe it clean.

Enamel cookware can't handle abrasive cleaners. To clean enamel cookware:

  • Apply a baking-soda paste.
  • Let sit for an hour.
  • Then clean with a synthetic scrubber.
  • Rinse.

If you want a potent stain remover for nonstick pans:

  • Boil 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 1/2 cup liquid bleach in the pan for several minutes.
  • Wash the pan as usual.
  • Use cooking oil to reseason.

To clean up burned-on stains on cookie sheets or aluminum cookware:

  • Cover with baking soda.
  • Then cover with hot water.
  • Let soak for 10 minutes.
  • Next, scour the sheet with baking soda and a scrubber.


To clean tile floors:

  • Use 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water.
  • Mop the with the solution.
  • Rinse the floor clean.

You can remove black heel marks on linoleum or vinyl floors with a damp sponge or scrubber dipped in baking soda.


Ovens and Stoves

To clean induction and glass stovetops:

  • Apply a baking-soda solution.
  • Use a toothbrush to get into tight corners.
  • Wipe the stovetop clean.

For a thorough oven cleaning:


  • Leave 1 cup of ammonia in a cold, closed oven overnight to loosen dirt.
  • In the morning, wipe away the ammonia.
  • Then wipe the surfaces with baking soda.

To fight stains and grease buildup on stoves, backsplashes, or glossy enamel surfaces, use this homemade solution:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 gallon hot water

Since this mixture can be seen as a mild abrasive, it's always smart to wear rubber gloves and use in a well-ventilated area.

Coffee and Tea Stains

To clean teapots and stovetop percolators:

  • Fill with water.
  • Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After the pot is cool, scrub and rinse it thoroughly.

To clean coffee cup and teacup stains:


  • Dip a damp sponge in baking soda.
  • Rub coffee cup and teacup stains away.
  • Stubborn stains may also require a little salt.

To remove rust stains and mineral deposits from teapots:

  • Fill the pot with water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons baking soda and the juice of half a lemon.
  • Boil the solution gently for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse the pot.

Clog Prevention and Elimination

Follow these tips for using baking soda for clog prevention and elimination:

  • Periodically pour 1/2 cup baking soda down your kitchen sink.
  • Follow it with boiling water to remove stuck on food.
  • You can use the old box of baking soda from your refrigerator when you replace it.

Baking soda and vinegar will foam your drain clean and help prevent clogs:


  • Use 1/2 cup baking soda:
  • Follow it with 1 cup vinegar.
  • When the foam subsides, rinse the drain with hot water.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Follow these tips for using baking soda in refrigerators and freezers:

  • An open box of baking soda in the refrigerator absorbs odors for up to three months. The same is true of freezers.
  • To remove any unpleasant taste in ice cubes from an automatic ice cube maker, clean removable parts of the unit with baking soda and water.
  • Rub a wooden cutting board with a baking-soda paste to remove odors.
  • Reduce garbage-can smells by sprinkling baking soda in each time you add garbage. Periodically wash out and deodorize the garbage cans with a solution of 1 cup baking soda per 1 gallon water.

Cleaning Food

Follow these steps to clean food with baking soda:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge, and scrub your fruits and vegetables to remove dirt, wax, or pesticide residue. Rinse the food well.
  • Clean the oil out of a salad dressing cruet by shaking baking soda inside, then rinsing it clean with warm water.

Putting Out Fires

Keep a box of baking soda within reach of the stove, but far enough away to be out of range of a fire. Follow these steps to put out fires with baking soda:

  • Sprinkle baking soda directly on the flames to extinguish the fire.
  • Do not use baking soda to extinguish a fire in a deep fat fryer because the fat may splatter.
  • Do not use baking soda on any fire involving combustibles, such as wood or paper. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you think the fire is out of hand.
  • When the fire is extinguished, allow pots and their contents to cool before removing and cleaning.

Baking Soda: A One-Stop Cleaning Solution

Isn't it amazing that baking soda can do so many cleaning tasks that we typically reserve for household cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, or dishwashing liquid? With the ability to absorb odors and wipe clean stubborn stains — all without any harsh chemicals — baking soda is a deep cleaning superstar.

Whether you're cleaning dirty clothes, scrubbing residue from a stainless steel sink, or removing musty smells from a trash can, these strategies can simplify your kitchen-cleaning routine.

This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.