This baking essential can leave you with a sparkling kitchen.

By Lauren David
November 25, 2020
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Baking soda is well-known as a classic leavening agent added to your favorite baked goods. But sodium bicarbonate has many more uses than sprinkling it into recipes, it also functions as a cleaner and deodorizer in the kitchen.

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Baking soda serves as a multi-purpose cleaner that is affordable, eco-friendly, and non-toxic, making it a great alternative if you want to reduce the amount of chemical cleaners in your home. As a bonus, it doesn't leave a strong odor, like many leading cleaning products. Once you see how well it cleans, you may consider buying it in bulk. It's no wonder they sell the big sized yellow boxes of the iconic brand in the cleaning aisle. Sometimes sodium bicarbonate is all you need to help clean in the kitchen but depending on the surface and the tough stains, some require mixing with a natural acid, such as white vinegar or lemons.

Here are 10 ways to use sodium bicarbonate to clean your kitchen:

Clean the Microwave

The microwave gets messy fast but scrubbing down with baking soda will have it sparkling in no time. Sprinkle baking soda onto a sponge and wipe down all areas within the microwave. Pass over the sponge again to remove any baking soda residue.

Deodorize Your Cutting Boards

Every now and again, apart from cleaning the cutting boards after each use, it's important practice to deodorize your boards. Sprinkle a little white powder onto the cutting surface, scrub with a sponge, and then rinse to have it smelling like new.

Mix Into the Dishwasher

Sometimes the dishwasher needs an extra umph for difficult stains. Baking soda is the star ingredient. Sprinkle a small amount of sodium bicarbonate to the bottom of the dishwasher and then run on the normal cycle.

Unclog Drains

Having a clogged drain can cause horrible odors, not to mention stop you from using the sink. Don't fret. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and pour hot to boiling vinegar (you can heat it in the microwave or on the stove), over the baking soda. This will cause a sizzle and foam reaction and hopefully break up the blockage. Afterwards, run hot water down the drain to rinse and everything should be running smoothly again.

Remove Grease and Tough Stains From Pots and Pans

Getting rid of grease and tough stains can be time-consuming and difficult but this easy trick will simplify the cleaning process. Sprinkle baking soda directly on greasy pots and pans. Then, add boiling vinegar. Allow around 30 minutes for the mixture to work on loosening hardened food particles and stains. After, use a sponge to clean the pots and pans. Stains should lift easily and quickly. Repeat the process as needed.

Clean the Oven

Cleaning the oven can feel like a big undertaking but combining baking soda and white vinegar will make it easy. To start, create a paste by mixing sodium bicarbonate and water and then spread on the bottom and all sides of the oven. Spray vinegar over the paste and it will begin to foam. Let sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a sponge or dishcloth. Difficult stains and hardened food particles should come off easily. If not, spray more vinegar until it's easy to remove the gunk or repeat the process.

Reduce Smells in the Fridge and Freezer

This one is simple and helpful in keeping the fridge and freezer odorless. Place sodium bicarbonate into a small, wide-mouth small glass jar or container and keep in the fridge and freezer for up to 3 months to eliminate odors in the fridge. If desired, set multiple containers throughout the fridge where there tend to be smellier foods. The baking soda will absorb strong and foul odors from lingering in the fridge and maintain a neutral smell.

Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner

Most of us may not consider scrubbing the stainless steel sink, even though this is where we wash dishes, but every now and then it deserves a good cleaning, too. Grab a lemon, cut it in half, and pour a small amount of sodium bicarbonate on one lemon half. Use the lemon as if it were a sponge, scrubbing down and cleaning the stainless steel sink. Another option is to make a paste of baking soda with lemon juice and add the mixture to a sponge or cloth to clean the sink.

Stove Top Cleaner

If you frequently cook, the stove is one of those surfaces that quickly gets dirty and grimy. Shake bicarbonate onto the stove top and then spray white vinegar and watch it fizz and foam. Allow it to sit for five minutes and then gently scrub with a damp sponge. Wipe down with a cloth or pass over again with the sponge and you'll notice a sparkling difference.

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This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com