Uses for Baking Soda: Cleaning Your Kitchen

A spotless kitchen can be yours, with a little baking soda.
A spotless kitchen can be yours, with a little baking soda.
Publications International, Ltd.

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, you'll do away with all those cleaners under your sink, and you'll never use oven spray again.

Baking soda does so many things in the kitchen that you might be surprised about the kinds of duties it can perform. In fact, a simple homemade concoction can replace most of the commercial cleaners you probably have on your shelf.

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. Mix and store in a squirt or spray bottle.

Now, we'll examine the numerous ways baking soda can be used in the kitchen, besides cooking:

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. Apply the paste with­ a scouring pad or sponge.
  • You can scrub stained plastic storage containers with a paste of lemon juice and baking soda.
  • 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:

  • Apply a baking-soda paste or sprinkle baking soda directly onto a sponge or clean 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:

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

Pots, Pans and Cookware

To clean encrusted grease 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.

To remove stains from a nonstick pan:

  • 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:

  • 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 make cut 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

Always 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 hot water.
  • 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:

  • Pour 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.