{Green Living} 10 Surprising Uses For Baking Soda

Photo: Stephenie Smith

When it comes to green alternatives and resources for our everyday life, my strongest trump is baking soda. It is eco-friendly and has such a diverse area of application apart from baking that I often wonder why it is so cheap.

Yes, baking soda is my weapon of choice. For most of my life the only additional use I had for it, apart from baking, has been cleaning silver jewelry and silverware. But about a year ago I embraced the shampoo-less philosophy and tried washing my hair with baking soda. My hair flourished, it didn’t pass through a transition period and it had never felt cleaner and healthier. I read contradictory opinions about the way hair reacts to baking soda and I realize it’s because of different hair types and the amount of chemicals it was subjected to.

Photo: Justin Miller

But while we may disagree on using baking soda as a universal shampoo, we can use it to replace traditionally toxic cleaning agents in our households. Here is a list of 10 ways you could use baking soda around your home:


1. Wash your fruits and vegetables
Dissolve a few tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of cool water. Soak the fruits or vegetables for 10 minutes and rinse.

2. Deodorize your fridge or freezer
Place an open box of soda in your fridge or freezer to let it absorb the odors. Replace after 3 months.

3. Deodorize your cutting board
Clean and remove odors from your cutting board with the help of a sponge and a paste of baking soda and water.

4. Remove coffee stains from cups
Dampen the cup and start rubbing baking soda with a cotton cloth until the stain is gone. Rinse. Baking soda works great against tea stains as well.

5. Unclog drains
Pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar. Wait 15 minutes before flushing the drain with hot water. Repeat a few times if necessary.

6. Polish silver
A fast and easy way to polish silver, stainless steel and chrome is to put a pinch of baking soda on a damp cotton cloth and polish. The results will be immediate.

7. Remove stains
To remove wine, oil or grease stains from fabrics just sprinkle baking soda and leave for a few hours then brush off. If necessary, rub again with a paste of soda and water.

8. Use as fabric softener
Baking soda can successfully replace your fabric softener. Add half a cup to the rinse cycle and you will never think of going back to store-bought softener. It is also great for sensitive skin.

9. Exfoliate
Baking soda is the perfect exfoliator, able to remove dead skin cells from your skin. Just wash your face with lukewarm water, pour a teaspoon of baking soda on your palm and massage your face gently with circular movements for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water.

10. Brush your teeth
Baking soda can be used not just for cleaning your teeth but also as a natural whitener. You should be careful though, because it is abrasive and might hurt your gums, so do not press to hard.

Baking soda can be used in all spheres of life, from treating different disease to extinguishing fires. Its universal qualities as well as the fact that it can replace dangerous environmental pollutants we use on a daily basis make it my all time favorite and I hope yours too!

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  1. Baking soda is a miracle worker, lol. I’ve used it for everything except a shampoo/conditioner.

    Great post, btw! Short and concise, but effective and actionable. =)

    • kanelstrand says:

      Thanks! You have to try the baking soda on your hair!

      I love the word “actionable” you used :)

  2. I love the BIG bag of baking soda from Costco! And I am definitely going to switch to baking soda for fabric softener.

    Fabulous post!

  3. Fabulous article with some uses I’d never heard of before. I’ve been using the baking soda wash & vinegar rinse for I think 3 months now and I LOVE IT! and don’t plan to ever go back. My hair is shiny, soft and I feel like the Breck Girl :-). Oh, and I only wash my hair 2 x’s a week. I also use the b. soda to scrub the sink – works like a dream.

    • kanelstrand says:

      Yes, I too wash my hair only twice a week and don’t see the need for more. I even go with once a week too.

      The baking soda makes a shining sink, doesn’t it!

  4. This is a great post! I will be pinning it for future reference and sharing it on the wall of my fb page! Thanks so much for this:)

  5. In my house we use bicarb (Brit for baking soda) for everything imaginable. For me it did not work as a shampoo, but we use it to unclog drains, scrub the bathtub and baking pans, and as a remedy for indigestion. We buy it by the tub!

    • kanelstrand says:

      Ah, just like what we do at home. It’s a pity though that in Norway they only sell baking soda in tiny baggies of about 0.88 oz.

  6. I read about the washing your hair with baking soda idea on Eco Etsy and made the switch from shampoo. I LOVE the result! (My hair does too.) Now I’m going to try the fabric softener idea, because I can’t stand regular fabric softener. thanks for the ideas!

    • kanelstrand says:

      Karen, do you use anything to replace conditioner too?

      • I don’t use conditioner, but I use the same leave on hair product as before: Aveeno Nourish Soft Hold Gel Creme, which I have found (after trying out a lot of products) works the best for my curly hair.