The Goods

4 ways to harness the power of baking soda at home

Make your cooktop, hairbrushes and teeth sparkle with one all-star ingredient.

Make your cooktop, hairbrushes and teeth sparkle with one all-star ingredient.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Here on The Goods, we love finding new ways to use ordinary household ingredients, (particularly the no-fuss, all-natural ones) and the star of many of these wonderful cleaning concoctions is often baking soda. Fun fact: baking soda is so powerful that it was used to clean the Statue of Liberty for the 1976 bicentennial celebration – so it's definitely powerful enough to tackle messes in your home. It can be used to clean just about anything and the best part is that most of us already have this laying around. Here's how you can use this powerful ingredient in four unique and effective ways.  

Glass cooktop cleaner

You've probably woken up the morning after a dinner party to a cooktop looking like a crusty mess. But the chemical reaction of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will lift off those tough water and grease stains.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrub brush
  • Bowl of hot water
  • Microfibre cloth

Here's how to do it:

1. Sprinkle dish soap over the cooktop.

2. Sprinkle baking soda over the soap.

3. Add a few sprinkles of hydrogen peroxide.

4. Put on your gloves and scrub the mixture into the surface using your fingers.

5. Wait for a few minutes before washing it off and see the amazing results!

6. Dry your stove with microfibre cloth so it doesn't leave any fibres behind that paper towels can leave.

Plastic comb and brush cleaner

Baking soda acts a cleaning agent because it is mildly alkaline, causing dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. When it is not fully dissolved, such as when it's sprinkled on a damp sponge, baking soda is mildly abrasive and can lift dirt for easy removal as a gentle scouring powder, perfect for cleaning things like your brushes and combs. You will be amazed at how much oil, grease and hair product residue will be removed from your comb.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Tall glass with warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Small bowl
  • Plastic comb
  • Bowl with hot water
  • Cloth to wipe combs

Here's how to do it:

1. Fill a tall glass with warm water.

2. Add a pump of dish soap and a sprinkle of baking soda.

3. Put your plastic comb or plastic brush into the glass and swirl it around to agitate the liquid cleaner.

4. Let things soak for a minute and then rinse your comb or brush with hot water.

Baking soda teeth whitener

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is composed of a chemical compound that makes it mildly abrasive. It is this same abrasiveness that effectively removes surface stains from your teeth and makes them appear whiter. But be careful: This holistic approach should not not be used more than about once a month because the baking soda can become too abrasive. Check with your dentist if you're unsure or have sensitive teeth.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Small bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Toothpaste
  • Water
  • Spoon

Here's how to do it:

1. Add 1 tsp of baking soda to the bowl.

2. Then add 1 tsp of hydrogen peroxide.

3. Put a little water in and mix.

4. Add a little dab of toothpaste in and give a good mix.

5. Brush teeth for 2 minutes with the mixture, no more than once a month.

Shoe and boot deodorizer

Baking soda's deodorization power is a result of its ability to neutralize odours, rather than just covering up smells with perfumes. Most unpleasant odours come from either strong acids like sour milk, or strong bases like spoiled fish. Baking soda deodorizes by bringing both acidic and basic odour molecules into a neutral, more odourless state that works great on shoes and bottles in need of a refresh.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Pair of thin socks
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon
  • Citrus peels
  • Coffee grinds
  • Pair of white sneakers
  • Pillow case

Here's how to do it:

1. Fill a pair of thin socks with ½ cup of baking soda.

2. Squeeze some fresh lemon into the sock and/or add citrus peels.

3. Put some leftover coffee grinds in, too.

4. Tie the top of the sock in a loose knot and then place one filled sock into each shoe.

5. Let the shoes sit with the socks overnight and they will smell fresher in the morning or put the stuffed shoes into a pillowcase and let them tumble in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.