Are you stockpiling baking soda? If not, you should be. The incredibly inexpensive little boxes of sodium bicarbonate compound boasts copious amounts of medical, household, and outdoor uses.
Baking soda contains nahcolite (a mineral) and is recovered from dissolved mineral springs. It consists primarily of organic oils and crystalline grains.
Getting rid of refrigerator odors and stirring it into baking recipes are only two of literally hundreds of uses of baking soda. While adding the sodium bicarbonate to recipes produces a leavening effect, a chemical reaction that provokes the release of carbon dioxide occurs when it is combined with an acid and a liquid.
During this process carbon dioxide bubbles get trapped and cause dough to rise, science fair volcanoes to erupt – and a whole lot of other healing, hygiene, and cleaning properties to emerge, as well.
Top 15 Baking Soda Medicinal Uses
Disclaimer: this is not medical advice. This is for information purposes only.
1. Mouth Sores – Mix together a ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of water, and just a pinch of salt and gargle to relieve pain and inflammation from oral sores and to promote healing.
2. Insect Stings and Bug Bites – Make a paste using 1 part baking soda and 1 and a half parts water to slather onto the insect sting to decrease swelling and soothe pain.
3. Chicken Pox – Combine 2 parts baking soda with 1 part slightly warm water to make a paste to dab onto chicken pox locations. The mixture should help reduce swelling, itching, and discomfort.
4. Common Cold – Use baking soda as an active ingredient in homemade shower vaporizing pods. The pods are placed on top of the drain and become activated when exposed to hot water. They should help alleviate sinus headache issues and stuffy noses. Mix together 2 cups of baking soda with up to 10 drops each of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils – and only enough water to make a thick paste that can be formed into a pod. Pour the paste into a baking tin or ice cube tray and let it air dry overnight. Turn the tray or tin over and tap or bend it to release the pod. The pods can also be placed in a hot pot of water with the sufferer leaning slightly over the pot with a towel on their head to take in the steam.
5. Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac – Combine 1 part baking soda with half as much water to make a thin but not watery paste to cover poison ivy or sumac rashes to alleviate itching, soothe pain, and to dry up the rash.
6. Sunburn – Draw a lukewarm bath and pour in a half cup of baking soda and sit until the water cools before getting out and gently tapping the burned areas of skin dry. This practice should help take the heat out of the burn and prevent peeling skin.
7. Ulcers – Dissolve up to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water and drink at the onset of ulcer pain.
8. General Aches and Pains – Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and then pour the mixture into a half a gallon of warm water. Pour the mixture onto a clean cloth or into your hand and gently massage the area of the body that is aching. You can also damper a paper bag with the mixture and wrap it around the sore area (ankle, knee, wrist, etc.) to soothe the pain without inhibiting movement if you must remain active and work through the aching.
9. Splinters – Combine about 1 part water with 2 parts baking soda to make a paste to cover the splinter area. Wrap the are with a bandage and keep it covered for up to 24 to allow the mixture to pull the foreign object closer to the surface of the skin so it can easily be removed.
10. Skin Cancer Spots – To help treat skin cancer spots naturally or when you can’t call a doctor, mix together 2 parts baking soda, 1 part coconut oil, and a pinch each of cinnamon and turmeric, and 1 drop of tea tree essential oil. Add more baking soda if necessary to create a paste that is not too runny to thoroughly coat and essentially, smother, the skin cancer spot. Baking soda’s high alkaline content may help “dry up” and heal the skin cancer spot – the application will likely need repeated daily (or twice daily) for several weeks.
11. Heartburn – Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with six ounces of water and drink to prevent or treat heartburn.
12. Dehydration – Combine the following ingredients and consume small sips about every five minutes slowly until the body begins to return to a normal state and the symptoms of dehydration begin to subside:
A half teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 quart of water, one-fourth of a teaspoon of a potassium chloride rich salt substitute (optional but highly recommended if available) and fruit juice or juice flavoring packet to improve taste – optional.
13. Sore Throat – Make a cup of green tea and add in a pinch of salt and a half teaspoon of baking soda and gargle. If you do not have green tea, make the same mixture using a pinch or two of garlic powder or fresh garlic. The sore throat wash may help kill streptococcus bacteria.
14. Calluses and Blisters – To soothe the pain associated with calluses and blisters, pour a half cup of baking soda into a tub filled with one quart of warm water and soak the affected area daily (or several times a day) until the skin soften or the blisters bursts and begins to heal.
15. Kidney Disease – Taking sodium bicarbonate supplements or drinking up a teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water daily might slow down the progression of kidney disease and related kidney problems.
Top 5 Baking Soda Hygiene Uses
1. Dentures and Retainers – Soak the oral implements in 1 cup of warm water and 3 tablespoons to clean disinfect them.
2. Toothpaste – Make a teeth cleaning rinse using 2 parts baking soda and 1 part peroxide Brush onto the teeth or gargle (do not swallow) to whiten teeth and strengthen gums.
3. Mouthwash – Combine ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ⅛ of a teaspoon of salt, 2 ounces of water, and 2 drops of peppermint oil and gargle to treat gum issues and promote prolonged overall gum health.
4. Dry Shampoo – Sprinkle a little baking soda onto your hair and the roots and then gently brush through to the ends. This can also be used on pets who might get a little smelly in between baths.
5. Facial Cleanser -Make a paste using up to 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water and apply it evenly to your ace. Allow it to remain on the face for about 10 minutes and then remove with lukewarm. The baking soda facial cleanser should soften the skin and reduce acne.
Top 5 Baking Soda Livestock Uses
1. Poultry– To reduce the time-consuming nature of plucking feathers from chickens, turkeys, and ducks, mix together 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a gallon pot of hot water. Soak the bird in the mixture for about five minutes before plucking to make the feathers come off far easier.
2. Bloat – Mix together 1 part baking soda and 1 part carrier oil (olive or coconut work best) and 3 drops of peppermint essential to create a drench to treat bloat in goats and other livestock. You should offer a bowl of baking soda as a free choice treat on a regular basis for goats to deter bloat.
3. Dehydration – Sprinkle baking soda into livestock waterers during the summer months to help prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Use about a half a teaspoon in poultry and small livestock waterers, a ½ cup in medium livestock waterers, and 1 cup of baking soda in large livestock waterers.
4. Insect Stings and Bites – Use the same paste recipe noted in the medicinal uses section to treat stings, bites, and even heat rash wounds on livestock.
5. Skunk Odor – Mix together a half cup of shampoo, 1 cup of lemon juice and an entire box of baking soda and use it to wash animals (or yourself) if they have been sprayed with a skunk to get rid of the nasty odor.
The photo above is of a 1 part water and 1 part baking soda cleaning solution. It is about the consistency of skim milk.
Top 17 Baking Soda Indoor Cleaning Uses
1. Laundry Booster – Add up to one-fourth of a cup of baking soda per large wash load to eliminate odors and stains. Baking soda is also often one of the primary ingredients in homemade laundry powder and detergent.
2. Dishwasher – Pour a teaspoon of baking soda into your dishwasher to help eliminate spots and stains on cookware and glasses.
3. Drains – Heat 1 cup of distilled white vinegar an pour it down the drain. Immediately following, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain to reduces or unplug clogs.
4. Combs and Hair Brushes – Soak hair brushes and combs in a bowl that contains 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda to clean them and easily release tangled hair.
5. Grout Cleaner – Mix together a past comprised of 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda to dip cleaning brush in to scrub greasy and dirty grout..
6. Backpack, Purse, and Suitcase Cleaner – Sprinkle baking soda into musty bags and allow them to sit overnight before dumping out the baking soda to remove odors.
7. Paint, Marker, and Crayon Cleaner – If wood surfaces are stained with any type of ink, paint, or crayons, sprinkle baking soda on them and allow it to set for about an hour before scrubbing them away with a damp cloth. For tough stains, add a dab of rubbing alcohol to the scrub water.
8. Floor Scuff Remover – To remove scuff marks on a vinyl, wood, or ceramic floor, rub them with baking soda and a damp cloth.
9. Carpet Freshener – Sprinkle 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch onto carpets to pull out odors and allow it to settle overnight if possible but at least for a few hours before sweeping.
10. Garbage Odors – Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda in the bottom of garbage cans to soak up odors before placing a trash can liner inside.
11. Toy Disinfectant – Skip using harmful chemicals when cleansing toys. Mix together 1 quart of water and one-fourth of a cup of baking soda and scrub the toys with the mixture to remove debris and germs. This solution works great to clean shower curtains, as well.
12. Mildew Remover – If damp clothing, bedding, or towels smell of mildew, musty, or just outright sour, throw them into the dryer on the medium heat setting with ⅓ of a cup of baking soda – or slightly more or large loads or thick material.
13. Litter Box Deodorizer – Toss 1 cup of baking soda in litter box and stir for extra protection from cat odor between cleanings.
14. Footwear Deodorizer – Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda in stinky shoes to reduce or eliminate odor and to dry up moisture in the soles.
15. Bathroom Cleaning – Mix together apple cider vinegar and baking soda (equal parts) or use baking soda alone to clean sink, tub, and shower surround.
16. Fresh Flowers – Pour up to one teaspoon of baking soda into water filled vase to keep fresh cut flowers alive and looking fresher for a longer period of time.
17. Stainless Steel – Use 1 part baking soda and 1 and a half part water to clean all stainless steel appliances as well as pots and pants. For baked on stains or grease, allow the cookware to soak in the mixture for at least an hour before scrubbing.
Top 7 Baking Soda Outdoor Uses
1. Weeds – Pour baking soda around the base of the plant – never on the plant or before a rain, to deter bugs of all sorts from stealing your food.
2. Bugs – Sprinkle a mixture of 1 part baking soda and 1 part diatomaceous earth around any area you want bugs to avoid and in front of door entryways. Straight baking soda will work for this purpose, but mixing it with diatomaceous earth works far better – especially on ants.
3. Grill and Smoker Cleaning – Mix up a 2 parts water and 1 part baking soda solution to clean BBQ grills and smokers both inside and out.
4. Ice Removal – Speed up the melting of ice by sprinkling baking soda on the ground either before a winter storm or after – or both.
5. Battery Cleaning – To clean car batteries and neutralize corrosion, make a past using 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda. Disconnect the battery terminals and then use a damp rag to clean around the battery terminals.
6. Vinyl and Nylon Furniture – Use the same paste mixture recipe above to clean vinyl and nylon outdoor furniture and boat seating areas. This mixture also works well when cleaning tire, chrome, floor mats, and headlight and taillight covers on vehicles.
7. Swimming Pools – To help regulate and balance the ph levels in swimming pools, pour in baking soda 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time (change this measurement to cups for large pools) and test the ph levels – using more baking soda if necessary until the desired testing results are achieved.
Top 10 Baking Soda Cooking And Kitchen Uses
1. Eggs – Mix ½ a teaspoon of baking soda per every three eggs cooked to make them incredibly fluffy.
2. Meat Tenderizer – Rub the meat or poultry being prepared all over with enough baking soda to form a light coating. Refrigerate the meat for 2 to 3 hours before cooking, smoking, or grilling. Rinse the baking soda off of the meat after removing it from the refrigerator and before preparing.
3. Grease Fires – Douse grease fires with baking soda to extinguish them.
4. Baking Powder – Create homemade baking powder by sifting together 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and a 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
5. Baby Bottles – Deodorize and disinfect baby bottles by pouring a half cup of baking soda into a sink of hot water when washing.
6. Cast Iron – Sprinkle enough baking soda to coat the base of the cast iron cookware and then scrub with chain meal or a cloth. Rinse the cast iron to remove the baking soda after scrubbing and reseason if necessary.
7. Mixer, Blender, and Food Processor Cleaner – To remove food debris and stains, pour 1 cup of hot water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the kitchen tool and then activate the tool, allowing it to run for about 30 seconds before dumping and washing as usual.
8. Produce Cleaner – Scrub fruit and vegetables lightly with baking soda and rinse to clean them before eating or using in recipes to remove residue and potentially, harmful bacteria.
9. Cooked Beans – Reduce cooking time for any type of beans by soaking the dried beans in a bowl of water (just enough water to cover) and 1 tablespoon of baking soda, overnight.
10. Silver Polish – There is no need to buy silver polish when you have plenty of baking soda on hand. Mix together 1 tablespoon of baking soda, ½ cup of distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the mixture into a tub and soak the silver cutlery or other pure silver items inside and allow them to soak for about 20 minutes before removing and polishing with a clean cloth.
Baking soda boxes opened and placed inside a refrigerator to soak up odors will lose their potency for the purpose after about 30 days. Instead of throwing the box of baking soda away, use it to cleanse your drains, clean your commode, or to clean outdoor furniture.
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, ‘Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out’, Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.