11 Surprising Everyday Uses for Baking Soda

Finding indispensable everyday items—whether for your home, beauty routine, or wardrobe—that cost you less than a dollar can be a challenge. There is, however, one notable exception. Enter baking soda, a substance that’s not only inexpensive but also the weapon of choice for a variety of household hacks. With applications from cleaning to skin health and beyond, here are 11 must-know uses for baking soda to try right now.

Remove Crayon Graffiti

If you happen to have crayon on your walls (hey, it happens), dab a little baking soda onto a lightly dampened cloth and gently wipe the crayon marks. Remove residue by wiping the area with a clean, dry cloth.

Freshen the Air

For a purifying, eco-friendly air freshener you can make at home, simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda with five to six drops of your favorite essential oil, then shake it into a full spray bottle of water.

Clean Your Oven

While baking soda appears in a number of eco-friendly cleaning hacks, one of the best (and lesser known) uses for baking soda is as an effective grease-cutting agent. Mix baking soda with dish soap and allow it to soak over grease spots for about half an hour before cleaning.

Soothe Skin

If you suffer from dry or itchy skin, adding a cup of baking soda to a warm bath can help to relieve skin irritation and improve skin’s overall smoothness.

Minimize Diaper Rash

Just like with a grown-up bath, you can soothe baby’s skin irritation by adding a sprinkle of baking soda to a warm bath—about two tablespoons of baking soda per bath should do the trick.

Whiten Teeth Naturally

Baking soda–based toothpaste is an effective way to not only clean teeth, but restore them to their natural brightness, making this one of our favorite uses for baking soda.

Clear the Drain

Use a funnel to pour about a half cup of baking soda into your drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will help to effectively resolve clogs while offering a gentler solution than chemical drain cleaners.

Polish Silverware

One of the most convenient uses for baking soda is as an all-natural silver polish. Add a touch of water to baking soda to form a paste-like consistency, then buff the surface of the silver, rinse thoroughly, and blot dry with a clean paper towel or soft cloth. This is also effective on silver jewelry.

Keep Your Closet Fresh

To keep your wardrobe fresh, open a box of baking soda and place it on your closet shelf to keep the air odor-free. This useful hack also works inside refrigerators.

Ward Off Ants

If you’re starting to notice an ant invasion, sprinkle a bit of baking soda near the point of entry to turn them away. Of course, if you continue to see pests, it may be best to call a professional for assistance.

Remove Scuff Marks From Shoes

One of the best uses for baking soda starts from the ground up. Mix one to two tablespoons of baking soda with a bit of warm water to form a paste, then use a clean cloth to buff out the scuff marks on your favorite sneakers.

Looking for more everyday cleaning hacks? Read on to see eightlittle-knownn uses for vinegar.