Unexpected Baking Soda Uses for the Do It Yourselfer

August 3, 2011 View all articles in General

You probably thought our other articles, Household Baking Soda Tips – 19 Amazing Uses and 23 Uses for Baking Soda in the Kitchen, covered all the extraordinary ways in which this powdery potion can be used. But there are actually a few more unexpected uses for baking soda, and we think the do-it-yourselfer, or whoever sees to the honey-do list at your house, will really appreciate them. Not only because it will enable them to get the job done with fewer tools, but also because they won't have to use harsh chemicals or specialized, store-bought products.


Clean battery terminals: Scrub your car's corroded battery terminals with an old toothbrush and a mixture of 3 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon warm water. Wipe them off with a wet towel and dry with another.

Use as deicer in winter: To melt ice from your steps and walkways during winter months, try sprinkling them with generous amounts of baking soda, with some sand on top for traction. Unlike salt and commercial ice-melt formulas, baking soda won't eat away or stain the concrete around your house.

Remove tar from your car: Make a soft paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply it to the tar spots with a damp cloth. Let it dry for at least 5 minutes, then rinse clean.

Clean air-conditioner filters: Washable air-conditioner filters should be cleaned each month they're in use. Vacuum as much dust and dirt as possible, then wash in a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 quart water. Let the filters dry thoroughly before replacing.

Keep your humidifier odor-free: Rid musty smells from a humidifier by adding 2 tablespoons baking soda to the water each time you change it. [Check your owner's manual before trying this.]

Keep weeds out of cement cracks: Keep weeds and grasses from growing in the cracks of your paved patios, driveways, and walkways by sprinkling handfuls of baking soda onto the concrete and sweeping it into the cracks.

Clean resin lawn furniture: Clean your resin furniture with a wet sponge dipped in baking soda. Wipe using circular motions, and rinse well. The baking soda is less abrasive than most commercial cleaners and won't scratch or dull the surfaces.

Use as plant food: Alkiline-loving plants like clematis, delphiniums, and dianthus will grow fuller, healthier blooms after the occasional shower of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 2 quarts water.

Scour barbecue grills: Make a soft paste of ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup water, and apply it to your barbecue grill with a wire brush. After letting it dry for 15 minutes, wipe it down with a dry cloth and place the grill over the hot coals for at least 15 minutes in order to burn off any residue.

Make a deodorizing dog shampoo: Just rub a few handfuls of baking soda into your dog's coat and give it a thorough brushing. Not only will it remove the smell of whatever he's rolled around in, it will leave his coat shiny and clean.

Keep bugs away from your pet dishes: Place a border of baking soda around your pet's food bowls to keep away six-legged creatures. Though your dog or cat isn't likely to enjoy the taste of the baking soda, should they accidently lap some up, it won't harm them.

Deodorize the litter box: Put a thin layer of baking soda under the regular kitty litter to absorb odor. You can also mix baking soda with the litter as you're changing it.


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