If you ever peeked inside the pantry of your neighbor’s home, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’d find a box of baking soda. It’s such a useful tool—and a staple in the majority of dessert and bread recipes—that any kitchen cupboard would seem incomplete without it.

But did you know that, despite its name, baking soda isn’t only used for baking? In fact, it’s handy for a variety of other purposes around the home that have absolutely nothing to do with baking. Here are just 30 other ways to utilize baking soda that’ll change your life!

1. Polish silver: If your silver is covered in grit, simply line your sink with aluminum foil, sprinkle baking soda on it, and pour hot water on top. Then, drop in your silver. In seconds, that tarnish will vanish.

2. DIY deodorant: Some folks can’t stand the sticky feel of store-bought deodorant—to them, they might as well be applying lard to their underarms! Instead, try dusting armpits with baking soda; it’s a natural deodorizer.

3. Freshen litter boxes: Now that you know baking soda is a deodorizer, you can use it for anything with a less-than-appealing odor—like your cat’s litter box. As the cat uses the box, she will activate the baking soda.

4. Clean burned pans: If you accidentally left your mac ‘n cheese in the pot for too long, don’t panic. Simply coat the bottom with a sprinkle of baking soda. Then add water and let it simmer on the stovetop for a few minutes.

5. Stop grease fires: If you ever have an uncontrollable fire in your home, you should escape to a safe place and call the fire department. If the fire is manageable, turn off the power source, cover the flames with a metal (never glass) pan or lid, and pour lots of baking soda on top. (Salt works, too; never, ever use water.)

6. Clean walls: If you have dings, marks, or crayon scribbles on your walls, pour a little baking soda on a damp sponge and get to scrubbing. You won’t need to use nearly as much elbow grease to banish those stains! (Even better? The kids can help clean up their mess.)

7. Manage septic system: If your home has a septic tank, then flushing a cup of baking soda down the toilet once a week is the way to go. Believe it or not, doing this weekly can help managed the tank’s pH levels.

8. Whiten teeth: You’ve probably seen toothpaste that’s designed to whiten teeth, but you can make your own at home naturally—and save plenty of cheddar. Just sprinkle a bit of baking soda on top of your toothpaste and go to town!

9. Freshen the fridge: This is one of the most popular non-baking-related purposes for baking soda. Open a box of the stuff and keep it in the back of your refrigerator to help banish any unwanted fridge funk.

10. Clean pool jets: If you have a jacuzzi tub, you know that the jets can get a weird smell after a while. Fill your tub with water and baking soda and let the jets do their thing. Then, drain the tub, fill with water, and repeat to rinse. The smell will vanish.

11. Clean coffee pots: Coffee is great, but it’s also got a lot of natural oil in it that can build up in carafes. Let a mixture of warm water and baking soda sit inside the container the next time you wash it for a clean pot.

12. Manage mattresses: Dust mites aren’t something you want crawling into bed with you every night. If you want to keep them at bay, try sprinkling baking soda on your mattress the next time you change your sheets. Let it sit for half an hour and vacuum it up to keep mites away.

13. Clean grout: No matter how clean you keep your home, mildew can grow in your grout, especially in the bathroom. To nix it, combine three parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide. Apply it to the grout and scrub it with an old toothbrush to lighten it again.

14. Whiten your whites: White clothes get dark and dingy over time—it’s just a part of life. But you don’t need to waste money on expensive detergent! Just add a cup of baking soda to your normal wash and your shirts will gleam once more.

15. Clean vegetables: If you want to make sure your fruits and veggies are really clean and free of pesticides or wax before you eat them, add a bit of baking soda to a sponge before scrubbing them.

16. Keep veggies green: Here’s some fun science to try the next time you’re having friends over for dinner. When you make your veggies, add a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water. This will keep your veggies from turning brown!

17. Whiten nails: It’s easy for nails to turn yellow or dull, especially if you’re a smoker. Coat your claws with a mixture of baking soda and water and let sit for five minutes. Then, simply rinse it away to reveal smooth, clean, and clear-looking nails.

18. Kill weeds: Weeds in a garden—or worse, in the cracks in your driveway—can be impossible to get rid of… but not if you turn to baking soda! Just pour some of the stuff directly onto the weeds and watch them wither away and die.

19. Treat canker sores: If you suffer from painful canker sores, there’s an easy way to get rid of them: homemade mouthwash! Just pour a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and gargle nightly. That canker will be gone in no time flat.

20. Clean plastic food containers: Plastic food containers are a handy way to save leftovers, but let’s face it: no matter how often you clean them, they can take on an aroma. Next time you rinse them, try doing it with baking soda. It makes a huge difference!

21. Soothe itches: If you suffer from hives or you have a ton of bug bites and you can’t stand the itch, try combining water and baking soda and applying it to the affected skin. You’ll be pleased to find yourself soothed beyond measure!

22. Freshen gym bags: Gym bags get stinky—there’s no way around it! If you want to fight odor inside of them but you don’t want an overly chemical smell, pour a little bit of baking soda into a homemade sachet. Your gym bag will be fresh for days to come.

23. Clean hair: Once a month you can deep-clean your hair using a clarifying baking soda mask. Combine baking soda and water and apply directly to your hair. Let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse clean. It will rid your strands of any build-up left behind from products.

24. Face scrub: If you combine three parts of baking soda with one part water, you’ll find that you’ve got a great facial scrub. It exfoliates just as well as the stuff you buy in stores—and it costs a heck of a lot less.

25. Carpet cleaner: Spill some wine on that carpet and think all is lost? Fret not! Just pour baking soda on the spill and let it sit until it’s dry. Then, vacuum it back up and presto—no more stubborn wine stain!

26. Make tea: Believe it or not, if you add a pinch of baking soda to a cup of tea or a pitcher of sweet tea it will counteract any of the tea’s natural bitterness. This makes for a much smoother tasting cup of tea. Try it and see!

27. Clean grease stains: Everyone loves pizza. Know what everyone does not love? Greasy, oily pizza stains on their favorite shirts. No worries: just sprinkle baking soda over the stain, let it absorb the oil, and then simply toss it in the washing machine.

28. Drain cleaner: Have you noticed that your kitchen sink is draining slower than it should? Sprinkle baking soda in it and follow that up with a pour of vinegar. The two will work together to help remove clogged drains and stuck-on food.

29. Freshen carpets: By now, you know just how great baking soda is when it comes to getting rid of bad odors. It works for carpets, too! Pour it on your carpet, let it sit for five minutes, and vacuum it back up to make your carpet smell fresh.

30. Freshen garbage cans: While you’re busying deodorizing your home, don’t forget to toss a little baking soda into the bottom of your trash can or even in the trash bag itself. This will make the trips you take to the curb few and far between!

Baking soda has so many different uses! Some of them are pretty obvious, but did you have any idea that there was just so much that this stuff could do?

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