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boxes of baking soda, cleaning
I have a confession to make. I hate spending money on things that make me physically ill. Take for example, household cleaning products. I hate them. They make me sick and give me terrible migraines. So, do I buy them? Yes, that is my confession. I am getting better though. I only buy them once a month now, and more often than not, they sit in my cabinet, lonely and unused. They are unused because I clean with lemon, vinegar and baking soda. Baking soda is used for everything in my house these days, and I would like to share with you some of my favorite things to clean.

I use baking soda to clean almost everything in my bathroom. For cleaning rust stains out of my toilet, I pour 1 cup vinegar in and then about 2/3 cup of baking soda. I let it sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub and flush, and like magic, the toilet is now clean.

For my bathtub, which gets rusty extremely fast, I mix 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap and 4 tablespoons of baking soda until it becomes a paste. I wet down my bathtub and apply the paste, let it sit for 20 minutes, and scrub off with a sponge. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but it works just as well as store bought shower cleaners, and it is non toxic. I do the same thing with my sink, as it gets pretty rusty too.

For the sink countertop, I wet it down, and lightly sprinkle some baking soda on it, let sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse. Comes clean and sparkles every time. All the chrome fixtures shine after using baking soda on them.

Facial scrubs are not cheap, so I make my own. I take ground oatmeal and mix it with baking soda and water to make a paste. I put this on my face for 5 minutes, avoiding my eyes. To remove it, I take a soft washcloth and cool water and rinse until all the scrub is off my face. It works great, makes my face soft and smooth, and costs a lot less than store bought scrubs.

You can use baking soda for brushing and whitening your teeth. I have a container of baking soda on my bathroom counter, and I find it is more effective than toothpaste in that it whitens better. It also freshens my breath just as well as mouthwash. If you do this, just be sure to rinse very thoroughly.

Once a month, I take all the combs and brushes and soak them in a solution of warm water and baking soda. if they are really grungy, I scrub them with a toothbrush to remove all the oil, hairspray, and shampoo build up. I rinse with clean water, and then let them air dry.

Besides baking, I use baking soda in the kitchen for everything. To clean and deodorize my sink, I make a paste of baking soda and water, and let it sit for 10 minutes. I scrub with a sponge and when I am done rinsing, my sink is free of that pesky rust, and the chrome shines like new.

My countertops and stove top always get something spilled on them. I sprinkle baking soda on the messes, let it sit for 5 minutes, and rinse with water. For really tough stains, I make a paste with water, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

If I have burnt some food in my pans, I soak them in baking soda and very hot water. The stuck on food lifts off better than just tackling it right away with a scrub brush.

To clean and deodorize my bathroom and kitchen drains, and open them when they have clogged, I pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by one cup of vinegar down the drain. I let it sit for 10 minutes, and then run hot water down the drain.

To clean my fruits and veggies, I fill the sink with water and pour in 1/4 cup of baking soda. I wash the fruit and veggies, drain the sink and then rinse the produce very well. This removes all the dirt and pesticides that were happily riding on my produce.

I refuse to buy oven cleaner when all I need to do is make a paste out of water and baking soda. I spread it around the oven with a sponge, being extremely careful not to touch the heating element on my electric oven, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I just scrub it clean.

I keep a box in my fridge to help eliminate food odors. After I am done using the box, I use it for cleaning around the house.

For every load of laundry I do, I pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda. My clothes come out cleaner, fresher and smell great.

Every week, I sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and furniture. I let it sit for 45 minutes, then when my toddler gets up from her nap, I get out the vacuum cleaner. After I am done, every piece of carpet and furniture is odor free of the cats, hot weather body sweat, my 2 year old toddler, Savana, missing the toilet, (of course, I clean up every time she misses), and last nights supper.

I have 2 cats and will be the first to admit that I am terrible at remembering to clean their litterbox. Angel Boy reminds me quite loudly about this fact by screaming in my ear at 6 am until I drag my butt out of bed to do his bidding and give him a clean litterbox. I mollify them, and my nose, by pouring in 2/3 of a box of baking soda, followed by clean litter. Miss Kitty is much nicer about reminding me when I need to put more baking soda in the litter box, she just quietly sticks her claws in my leg and stares at me.

I have become a much more efficient housekeeper by not using store bought products that give me migraines and make me want to run and hide under the covers every time I know that I need to clean. Vinegar, lemons, and baking soda are 3 of my favorite cleaners. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you use baking soda for.

  • diane.rixon

    This is such a great post! Okay, we are switching to eco-friendly cleaners, so I will definitely be trying the baking soda suggestions here, especially for cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen countertop. Oh, and I will try it for the oven, too. So thanks for the tips. Basically, the more I read about cleaning products, the more horrified I became when I realized what we are using around the house: toxic chemicals! So we have quit using all that stuff and are switching to eco-friendly products. It saves a lot of money if you can use home-made concoctions as you suggest here! For laundry, housecleaning, and body washes and shampoos as well. For laundry I have switched to Charlie's, which you can buy online. It's basically high grade washing soda and a couple other things, and it also works out very economical. But I'm getting off topic...

  • Anna S.

    Thanks, Diane. Using baking soda to clean does take a bit more elbow grease, BUT, you won't suffer from the noxious fumes, because baking soda doesn't have any. It works just as well as any cleaner you can buy at the store and is fairly cheap. It takes a bit more water to get the gritty residue up, but it is so worth it. I don't remember the last time I had a migraine, thanks to using baking soda, lemons, dawn dish soap, and vinegar to clean.

  • farah

    i use baking soda for drinking it in the water. it is very alkaline for your body and lowering blood sugar level(diabetes).

  • Laura

    Hello Anna,
    I couldn't agree with you more about the wonderful uses of good old Arm and Hammer Baking Soda. I love the stuff and I'm addicted to using it for some many things. My ultimate uses for baking soda are as my under arm deodorant and body powder. Not the deodorant stick but just the plain powder baking soda in the shaker bottle. It is wonderful and I stay odor free all day! I have never had a deodorant or antiperspirant work as well as baking soda. I even wear it when I exercise and no joke, I stay odor free. It is truly amazing! Plus, the baking soda does not have harmful ingredients like aluminum or talc. Thanks for sharing your helpful tips.
    Laura of
    DIH Books, Suited for an Independent Woman

  • Suzanne

    I, too, use baking soda as a facial scrub. I bought a couple child's "sippy" cups to keep baking soda in, in the bathroom. They are perfect because they are plastic and have that small opening in the lid.

    I keep one in the shower to scrub my face (Bo Derek uses it as a facial scrub too) and sometimes on my underarms to scrub that smelly sweat and deodorant off my body. Caution: do not use on the bikini area.

    At the sink I have the other "sippy" cup. I sprinkle some baking soda on my tooth brush, pour a little peroxide and I have an added boost to my regular routine.

  • Francesca Clarke

    Thanks for sharing this. My son has decided that he wants to help clean, particularly the bathroom (it's okay, I don't understand it either). I let him do some basic stuff but ask him to stand outside the door when I'm working with the cleaners. I feel ill when I'm doing it so I hate to think what it would do to a little 4 year old body. Thanks for the tip. I hope this jumpstarts the use of some more natural cleaners in my house.

  • Anna S.

    Thank you Francesca. My kids and my feeling ill at commercial cleaners is exactly why I started cleaning with baking soda, lemons and vinegar. My kids also like to be right there when I am cleaning, and the vinegar, baking soda, and the lemons cannot hurt them like the commercial cleaners can. Check out some of the other cleaner tips on DIY Life. I guarantee your nose and body will thank you!

  • pm

    hey thanks for sharing such grt really helped me as i was sick of buying those oven cleaners.They release toxic fumes and odor which drives me crazy and leaves me with a headache all day. I never knew that something so cheap as baking soda can do wonders and make cleaning so hassle free....thanks again :-))

  • 8 Comments / 1 Pages

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