4 Homemade Cleaners You Can Make With Baking Soda

Natural cleaners concept. Woman holding eco friendly home cleaning ingredients, white vinegar, lemon, baking soda, citric acid concept.
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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 15 mins - 10 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5-10

Baking soda, (sodium bicarbonate), is found in many commercial cleaning products as well as on your pantry shelf. While most of us use it to keep our refrigerator smelling fresh, it can also be used to remove stains, cut through grease, and polish metals. Learn how to create these four homemade cleaning products that use baking soda as the main ingredient.

How Often to Make Baking Soda-Based Cleaners

Your homemade cleaner production will depend on how often you clean different areas of your home. It's best to make small batches for each project to keep the cleaner from separating or clumping. Commercial cleaners contain ingredients to keep ingredients from caking, hardening, or separating.

If you make more cleaner than you can use in one session, store it in an airtight container and be sure to label it clearly. Store it in a cool, dry place.

Before You Begin

As with any cleaning product, always test these homemade solutions in an inconspicuous area to make sure they do not change the color or finish of the item you're cleaning. This is particularly important for any soft surfaces like upholstery, carpet, or fabrics.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Plastic bucket
  • 1 Soft-bristled brush
  • 1 Vacuum
  • 1 Small bowl
  • Sponge
  • 1 Spray bottle
  • 1 Microwave or stovetop
  • 1 Microwavable bowl
  • 1 Kettle or pan

Materials

  • 1 Baking soda
  • 1 Distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Borax
  • 1 Bar soap
  • 1 Table salt

Instructions

How to Make Baking Soda Scouring Powder

Many surfaces in your home can be cleaned with a simple baking soda scouring powder.

  1. Mix Baking Soda and Water

    To remove stuck-on food or grime on hard surfaces, try dipping a damp sponge in dry baking soda for a gentle abrasive. Or, make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water to spread over a stain. Let it sit for several minutes, scrub, and rinse well.

  2. Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar

    Boost the cleaning powder of dry baking soda by sprinkling a few drops of vinegar on the surface you're cleaning. There will be fizzing but the chemical reaction will help release soil. Scrub gently and rinse well.

  3. Mix Baking Soda and Borax

    Borax will boost the stain removal power of baking soda. Combine one tablespoon of borax with one-third cup of baking soda. Apply to dirty surfaces with a damp sponge, scrub, and rinse well.

  4. Add Some Soap Flakes

    To clean dirty surfaces with a sudsy scouring powder, stir together one-half cup of soap flakes and one cup of baking soda. You can use commercial soap flakes or create your own by grating a true soap like Buff City Soap. Keep the mixture in a labeled airtight container. Use a sponge or mop with the solution to clean then rinse the area well.

How to Make Baking Soda-Based Drain Cleaner

Combining baking soda and distilled white vinegar can freshen, unclog, and clean sink drains.

Tip

If there is standing water in the sink, it should be bailed out before using the baking soda and vinegar method.

  1. Heat the Drain Plumbing

    Heat and pour at least one quart of boiling water into the sink drain.

  2. Add Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar

    If you have a double sink, use the drain stopper to close one side of the sink. Add one-half cup of dry baking soda and one-half cup of distilled white vinegar to the drain. There will be bubbling so pour the vinegar in slowly.

  3. Wait and Flush

    Allow the baking soda and vinegar to work for at least 15 minutes. Flush with another quart of boiling water. If the sink is still clogged, repeat all of the steps.

How to Make Baking Soda-Based Oven Cleaner

If you don't like commercial oven cleaners, baking soda and vinegar can be used to make a cleaner for your oven.

  1. Make and Spread a Paste

    In a small bowl, combine one-half cup of baking soda with two tablespoons of water (use more or less) to create a spreadable paste. Use a sponge or paintbrush to spread the paste liberally on all of the surfaces of the oven except the heating elements. You may need to make a second batch to cover the entire oven.

  2. Let the Paste Work

    Close the door and allow the paste to work for eight to 10 hours. During that time, use baking soda and a sponge to scrub the oven racks.

  3. Wipe Away the Grime

    After eight hours, down all of the surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth. Scrub away stuck-on food with a spray of vinegar and some additional dry baking soda.

Make a Baking Soda-Based Carpet Deodorizer

Carpets take lots of abuse but with just a few supplies you can make an effective homemade carpet deodorizer.

  1. Prepare Ingredients

    In a bowl or bucket, mix equal amounts of baking soda and table salt. To clean a 5 x 7 area, you will need at least one cup of each. Fill a spray bottle with water.

  2. Apply the Deodorizer

    Evenly sprinkle the mixture over the carpet. Working in a grid so you don't miss any areas, lightly spray the dry mixture with water. Use a soft-bristled brush to work the mixture into the carpet fibers.

  3. Air-Dry and Vacuum

    Allow the damp mixture to remain on the carpet until the carpet is dry. This can take up to eight hours. Vacuum away the loose soil and odors.

Originally written by
Erin Huffstetler
Erin Huffstetler is a frugal living expert who has been writing for over 10 years about easy ways to save money at home. She's covered money-saving advice and tricks for numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Forbes, among others. She is the owner of "My Frugal Home," a money-saving, frugal living how-to guide.
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