These days cleaning products can be expensive and deadly. There are many products on the market that are excessively strong, bad for the environment and bad for people.
The fact of the matter is, it really is not necessary to use dangerous, strong chemicals to clean up around the house, shop and garage. Most things can be effectively cleaned with simple, natural ingredients such as baking soda (aka: sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda).
Let’s look at 7 ways you can use this versatile, safe, inexpensive ingredient in your garage, garden workshop and home.
#1 – Keep Drains Clear
Baking Soda is excellent for unclogging drains and keeping drains clear. Because of the foaming action, many people like to use it in combination with vinegar, but this really isn’t necessary for regular drain maintenance.
In fact, the acidity of the vinegar and the alkalinity of the soda cancel each other out so for weekly drain care, you’re better off using one or the other. For unclogging drains, the foaming action does come in handy.
Weekly Maintenance – As weekly maintenance and to deodorize your drains, just drop in a heaping tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and follow that up with about a gallon of very hot water. This will wash away grease and small debris that may clog your drain.
Tackling Serious Clogs – If you do have a clogged drain, begin by removing standing water and then pour a full cup of baking soda into the drain. Follow up with a full cup of very hot white vinegar. In this case, the foaming action of the vinegar and soda acts to help dislodge whatever is clogging your drain.
Allow this combination to stand for approximately 15 minutes and then pour about a gallon of very hot water down the drain. Your drain should be unclogged, but if it isn’t you can repeat the process safely.
#2 – Clean Your Hands
After working all day in the garden or shop, clean your hands by rubbing and scrubbing wet hands with baking soda. Much better than taking all that dirt inside!
#3 – Subdue Nasty Smells
Unpleasant odors throughout your home and in your shop and garage can be managed with baking soda.
You can sprinkle it in the bottom of garbage cans, add it to kitty litter or cat litter, keep an open box in a garage refrigerator (many people have a 2nd in the garage) to prevent musty smells and more. It is very good at absorbing and neutralizing bad smells.
#4 – Storing Coolers
Sprinkle baking soda in ice chest and beverage coolers when storing for the season. This will keep them smelling fresh!
#5 – Scrub Safely
For scrubbing and cleaning of all kinds, you can use baking soda just like a regular scouring powder. The difference is that it is not full of harmful and dangerous chemicals and it is a natural soft scrubbing product or paper towels.
It won’t scratch surfaces, but it will get them nice and clean. For even more scrubbing power, create a paste with baking soda, salt, lemon essential oil and warm water. Here is a recipe: formula:
- 2 heaping tbsp baking soda
- 1 heaping tsp salt
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- Sufficient warm water to form a paste
Use a fork to mix the ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl.
#6 – Oil Spills
How to clean up motor oil spill in garage? Do this baking soda recipe!
Baking soda is a natural for cleaning up crude oil spills and remove oil stains on the garage floor. Simply cover the oil leak or stain with dry baking soda and let it sit on the surface of the concrete floor for 15 minutes or so.
It will soak up the oil, and you can use a broom or shop vac to whisk it away. See how it effectively removes the grease stains in just a short span of time.
#7 – Remove Rust & Polish Chrome
Not only does baking soda scrub rust away effectively when used in powder form, it’s also great for shining chrome. You can make a simple paste and spread it over chrome, allow it to dry and then buff it off for a dazzling shine.
Also for removing rust try this aluminum foil trick. Rub the rusted area with aluminum foil.
#8 – Get Small Fires Under Control
Keep several boxes of baking soda on hand in your shop, garage, kitchen and even in your car. If a small fire breaks out, just open a box and dump the contents over the fire. This is especially effective for grease fires.
It’s easy to see that baking soda is a handy and versatile product to have around the house, shop, garage and even on your deck. You may be amazed to know that it also has many cosmetic and personal care uses, but that’s a topic for another article.
Suffice it to say for now that baking soda is an astoundingly useful, simple, all-natural product. It’s inexpensive and absolutely safe, so it’s always smart to keep a good supply on hand!