Thursday, August 03, 2006
The many uses of baking soda
I love these! I use baking soda, tea tree oil, and vinegar to wash clothes with now instead of detergent and softner. It works great, saves tons of money, and is good for the environment.

Laundry detergent/softner
1/2-1 cup baking soda for a full load (lesser amount for soft water - more for hard water)
10 drops to 1 capful of tea tree oil and/or lavender (this is for scent and disinfecting purposes)
1/2 vinegar in a Downy ball or the softner compartment in your washer (you can also add tea tree oil or lavender oil here too)

Your clothes come out clean and fresh smelling. You can buy the baking soda in bulk at Sams, Costco, or at a feed store (sodium bicarbonate). A 50 lb bag at the feed store costs around $10.00. Talk about saving money! Smaller boxes (4-12 lbs) can be found at Walmart. The tea tree oil can be found at Walmart too. Lavender oil can be found at places like Whole Foods, Central Market, health food stores, the internet, etc. White vinegar can be bought by the gallon at any grocery store.

You can use a little bit of regular detergent (liquid or powdered) for a boost if you have a really dirty load.

You can find the tea tree oil in the same aisle as the antiseptic. If you look for rubbing alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide and other stuff near the pharmacy, there is a small line of bottles with TEA TREE OIL written on it. They're brown bottles with cream colored labels. They should be on the absolute bottom shelf or tippy-top highest shelf. It's not really widely used, so they put it in an area that's not with the mainstream products. It's about $4 something a bottle. A little goes a long way in terms of disinfecting and using it for acne, face washes, and lovely scalp tingling dandruff/itching treatments. Very invigorating.

Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher in addition to or replacing your regular detergent.
Add vinegar to the rinse dispenser (helps prevent etching)

These were compiled off of a website. I haven't tried these yet, but am planning to!

Other Uses
Bathroom cleaning - 1 spray bottle: 1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 water, 1 capful tea tree oil.
kitchen cleaning and for cleaning most surfaces and all glass/windows/mirrors - 1 spray bottle: Full strength vinegar.
wooden furniture and leather cleaner/polish - 1 spray bottle of vinegar, olive oil, lemon/orange essential combo

Carpet stain remover
do a spot test first

Soak up liquids and pick up any solids. Sprinkle baking soda thickly on the spot. You can wait a few hours or wait a day for the baking soda to soak up extra liquid if needed. Douse with full strength white vinegar.

Do this a few times for stubborn stains, or just keep applying vinegar with spray bottle.

The vinegar alone can get rid of puppy accidents. Make a spray bottle of liquid soap, a little vinegar and water for quick cleaning of stains (surface smudges on carpet, more-dry stains, things that don't need soaking).


Tile and grout cleaner
Spray bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 white vinegar, a capful of tea tree oil. Spray bath tile and the tub with that. Sprinkle baking soda (AJAX if it needs more help - AJAX doesn't have silica like Comet does). Use a big square broom to clean the tub and tile with.

Also use the vinegar mixture as bathroom air freshener. It gets rid of any questionable bathroom odors in 3 seconds.

Plastic shower curtain/liner cleaning, cleaning shampoo bottles and wire rack that holds all tub toiletries
For hard water and red/pink mold problems, take some vinegar and spray the plastic shower curtain to get rid of soap scum. Take baking soda and wipe the curtain down and rinse.

Do the same with the wire rack that holds soap, shampoo bottles, conditioner, shower pouf, razor, etc.


Clean stainless steel, faucet water filter bottom, countertops, stovetop, with baking soda. Wipe with vinegar (full strength in spray bottle).

Pour some baking soda and ice cubes while running the garbage disposal in your sink to defunk and clean the drain.

Defunk shoe and jacket closet, etc, or any weird cooking odors with spraying full strength vinegar in the air.

Spray kitchen floor with vinegar or use bucket with vinegar and water and some liquid soap to clean vinyl flooring in kitchen, bathroom and foyer.

Use olive oil/vinegar/Citrus EO combo for cleaning wooden furniture, real leather and vinyl items (chair seats, barstool fake leather, whatever).

Fruit/Veggie wash
For regular fruits and veggies (tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, etc), spray white vinegar on them. Rub a little to clean, rinse. It gets rid of surface pesticides, dirt, and wax.

For green leafy veggies, sprinkle baking soda on it and agitate it in water and rinse it off. It gets rid of all grime, surface pesticides, and dirt.

Prevention: Squirt problem areas with vinegar

Killing: Squirt cockroaches, spiders, ants, june bugs, and whatever else with full strength white vinegar to stun or kill them.

Other websites for useful suggestions:


Blogger mamamilkers said...

This is awesome! I'm going to have put this post in my favorites so I can lnk back to it often :) I use Biokleen to do our laundry, but have often thought about switching to something like you've mentioned here.

Also, I think it's so cute we both had prenatals yesterday. If all the rest of yours are on Thursdays, we'll both be on the same track and can compare!

What a great blog, I am glad I started reading :)

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