9 Ways To Use Baking Soda For Cleaning

Everyone knows the feeling – your home or desk is quickly collecting grime and dirt, but the pricey selection of cleaning products that are required for even a basic refresh of your premises makes for an unappealing thought. The range of cleaning products, each with their own pros, cons, and safety concerns, can make cleaning your property a surprisingly complicated task. Fortunately, household cleaning products such as baking soda can serve as a cheap, easy, and versatile replacement.

While many of us confine baking soda to the back of our cupboards, being brought out for the odd baking session before being stowed once again, the substance can actually be used for a wide range of cleaning activities. It has a natural abrasive texture which can help loosen and scrub away dirt, while its alkaline chemical properties can assist in deodorising bad odours and dislodging stains. As a result, baking soda can act as a highly effective cleaning agent.

In Vanguard Cleaning’s latest blog, we’ll examine the benefits and drawbacks when it comes to using baking soda as a cleaning product, and explore several ways that it can be used to across common home and workplace fixtures. Finally, we’ll examine how Vanguard source sustainable and effective cleaning products to result in an enhanced and environmentally friendly clean.


5 Important Facts About Baking Soda

  • Full Name: Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Chemical Composition: NaHCO3
  • Properties: Salty & Alkaline, pH Of 8
  • 15-30 Minutes Needed To Deodorize A Surface
  • Market Size Of $1.4 Billion In 2021, Projected $2.10 Billion By 2030


What Is Baking Soda, & How Should It Be Used?

As the name suggests, baking soda is most commonly used for cooking, in which it works as a leavening agent to raise breads and cakes. This ‘rise’ is caused by the alkaline nature of the compound, which reacts chemically with acid to produce carbon dioxide bubbles and make the dough expand. This process is used extensively in the UK, from large-scale industrial food manufacturing to simple home baking, with the market for baking soda projected to reach as high as $2.10 Billion by 2030.

For similar reasons, the chemical properties of baking soda can be used for cleaning purposes, with its foaming carbon dioxide bubbles perfect for dislodging dirt and grime, while its abrasive texture is great at scrubbing away marks. Important to note is that baking soda is not suitable for all surfaces – glass or materials that are easily scratchable can be damaged by this abrasive texture. However, on all other materials, baking soda will act as a highly economical and environmentally friendly cleaning product.

For the vast majority of cases, baking soda will only need to be mixed with water or vinegar to see results, but whether it’s sprinkled on, applied in a paste, or mixed into a solution, it needs to rest on a surface for a full 15-30 minutes to have the opportunity to complete its work and sink into the grime. After this time elapses, you should be able to wipe away the loosened dirt with ease.

Finally, when using baking soda, be careful not to mix it with chemicals that could cause a harmful reaction. Substances like hydrogen peroxide, bleach, ammonia, or alcohol can all react poorly with baking soda, with effects ranging from weakening its effectiveness to creating toxic chemicals that could create any number of serious health concerns, so it’s important to maintain caution when cleaning with baking soda.


9 Ways To Use Baking Soda For Cleaning

The following 9 techniques illustrate baking soda’s versatility and effectiveness when it comes to cleaning.


1. Freshen Up Your Rooms

Any number of reasons can cause unpleasant odours to linger in your property, but when it starts to infect your furniture and carpets, then it becomes a bigger problem.

With surveys revealing that only 9% of the public regularly clean their carpets, many UK residents actively avoid the task, despite it being easily completed with baking soda. To refresh your carpets, simply sprinkle the powder on your carpets and leave for a few minutes before vacuuming it back up. To improve the room’s fragrance, add a few drops of essential oil to the powder before spreading it out.

The same technique can be applied to other furniture – sprinkle baking soda on mattresses and inside closets, drawers, and even refrigerators to neutralize odours and refresh closed compartments. Just remember to vacuum up any lingering powder after a few minutes of contact.

Rubbish bins are one of the worst culprits for odours, so leaving some baking soda at the bottom of the bag can help improve the smell. If needed, sprinkle extra powder between layers to eliminate worsening odours. Or, mix the powder with some water in a spray bottle and spray inside the bin or around the room to reduce lingering smells.


2. Lift Stains From Your Surfaces

According to research, UK residents accidentally spill food or drink as often as 100 times every year, much of which ends up on floors or countertops. Whether it’s spilled wine on a cream carpet, or coffee marks on a freshly cleaned mattress, food and drink stains can be tough to get rid of. Fortunately, baking soda is extremely handy for getting rid of those pesky blotches.

When needed, sprinkle the powder over the area in question and gently rub the stain away, taking care not to scrub too vigorously. This will not only remove the mark but also help brighten the area underneath. For mattresses, spray the stain with a little vinegar first, then let the mixture sit for a few hours before vacuuming the stain away.

This also works well for painted walls and furniture, which are particularly vulnerable to damage. To clean them, dampen a sponge and sprinkle it with baking soda before carefully rubbing the surface to remove dirt and stains without scarring the paint underneath.

As for stained tupperware – many of us have a couple of plastic containers with an orange tint to them, but there’s no need for them to stay that way. Fill up any stained containers with baking soda and water and leave overnight to return to its natural colour by the morning.


3. Elevate Your Laundry Cycle

Baking soda’s stain-removing properties also work wonders on clothing. To make the most of this, soak any stained clothes (or even dirty dishrags or tea towels), in a bucket of warm water with baking soda. Leave for a few hours, which should remove most if not all of the stains, before running your washing cycle as usual.

If you’d like to take the extra step, you could add a ½ cup of baking soda to your regular cycle to brighten and clean clothes whilst removing any unpleasant odours at the same time. Or, if your machine itself is in need of cleaning, run an empty cycle with a ½ cup to deodorize the drum.


4. Brighten Up Your Bathroom

Naturally, bathrooms are vulnerable to dirt, and with many containing white ceramic and stainless steel, grime doesn’t exactly blend in with the surroundings. Helpfully, baking soda can work to dispel this dirt and brighten up your bathroom surfaces.

For a grimy toilet bowl, sprinkle the powder onto the area, wait for a few minutes, and use a brush to wipe away any lingering nastiness or dirt. As for limescale and mineral deposits on shower doors and walls, wipe the affected area with vinegar first, before using baking soda to loosen any deposits. Make sure to wipe gently when it comes to glass, as baking soda can scratch the surface if you’re not careful. For scratchable surfaces, it may be useful to place a few drops of dishwashing liquid on a microfibre cloth and use this to scrub instead.

As for stainless steel like sinks and faucets, sprinkle baking soda on the area and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Finish by buffing to brighten the surface up.


5. Unclog Your Drains

Research from Unblocktober has found that almost two-thirds of the UK have experienced a serious drain blockage, with unpleasant smells and pooling water being the key symptoms.

However, the chemical reaction caused by mixing baking soda and vinegar can play an important role in breaking down these clogs. Start by pouring boiling water down the drain, then follow it up with a ½ cup of baking soda and a ½ cup of vinegar. Most types of vinegar can be used for this, but we recommend using apple cider vinegar for its bacteria-inhibiting properties (for more ways to use ACV as a cleaning product, see our article here).

Wait for 15-30 minutes for the chemical reaction to run its course and the foam to dislodge any blockages, before flushing with hot water once again. If the drain remains clogged afterwards, try repeating the process several times before turning to an external plumber.


6. Spruce Up Your Kitchen

While baking soda may be kept at the back of your ingredient cupboard, it has a myriad of uses in the kitchen beyond it.

Firstly, baking soda can be used to make a cleaning paste with water. This is perfect for scouring stovetops, grills, or dirty sinks and scrubbing away any lingering grime. For tougher surfaces, however, spray the paste with vinegar and let it foam to displace more dirt and make scrubbing much easier.

Additionally, oven racks are among the toughest items to clean in your kitchen, often stacked with oil, grime, and grease. To effectively clean these problem items, remove the racks and soak them in a bathtub with baking soda and warm water for several hours. Then scrub clean with a brush.

Cutting boards can harbour any number of germs, from E. coli to salmonella, so it’s crucial they are kept clean. The acidity of a lemon will help with this – cut one in half and sprinkle baking soda on the one side. Use this half lemon to scrub the baking soda into the board, ensuring a deep clean without damaging the board. If more convenient, use a cleaning paste made from pure lemon juice and baking soda instead.


7. Degrease Your Cookware

In a similar vein, lots of pots and pans will collect grease and grime that will be tough to remove. In this case, utilise a paste of baking soda and water, applying it to the dirtiest parts of your cookware. Leave the paste to sink in for 15 to 30 minutes and grime will be far easier to scrub off. For more ingrained grime, sprinkle some baking soda over the affected area, then boil some vinegar in the microwave and pour it over. Wait for 30 minutes and rinse out to get rid of any lingering dirt.

Then there’s silverware – and while it doesn’t collect grease easily, the sparkling shine can quickly be lost. Restore silverware to its natural shine by polishing it using a paste of baking soda and water.


8. Scrub Your Flooring

Baking soda, due to its natural abrasive properties, can act as a powerful cleaner for some flooring types like tiles. Mix half a cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water and take a standard mop to your flooring. Grout in between tiles is particularly problematic, but can be dealt with by making a paste of baking soda and water, applying it to the affected area, and scrubbing with a toothbrush.

Important to note is that not all flooring types benefit from this type of cleaning. Don’t use baking soda on floors with wax, such as hardwood flooring, as it may damage or scrape off the finish.


9. Deal With Pests & Bugs

Finally, the alkaline nature of baking soda can also tackle or deter any unwanted pests. Should you face issues with ants or cockroaches, sprinkling a line of baking soda across their entry point, such as a door, which will prevent them from emerging and causing havoc. The same goes for weeds – put baking soda down cracks in pavements or across your driveway to prevent unwanted plants from growing.

As for cat litters or a dog’s bedding, baking soda can help clean and freshen up these household fixtures. Sprinkle baking soda liberally across the area to deodorize it, and hoover up any leftover powder from your pet’s bedding.


How Vanguard Can Provide An Enhanced, Eco-Friendly Clean

Using baking soda for your household or office cleaning may be convenient, but it doesn’t offer the most advanced and high quality clean. For this, you may have to enlist the help of a commercial cleaning company such as Vanguard Cleaning.

While Vanguard may not utilize baking soda for our cleaning practices, we are committed to sourcing safe and sustainable cleaning products that provide a comprehensive clean without losing any of the bonuses. Arrow County Supplies, our supplier, offers a sustainable ‘Greenleaf’ range that includes an array of environmentally friendly and reduced-impact products. Vanguard aims to use products from this selection wherever possible, but in some cases, we may use industrial-strength alternatives if the situation demands it.

The safety of our staff and clients is of critical importance. As such, we are dedicated to conducting a safe and efficient clean on every occasion, and have a full list of all hazardous substances found here, which are COSHH-compliant with all relevant safety data sheets and risk assessments completed. In addition, our cleaning team are trained with procedures accredited by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), giving them the skills and knowledge to clean your premises with the greatest attention to detail.

To learn more information, and receive a quick, no obligation quote, reach out to Vanguard today.