Chances are, you have baking soda in your kitchen cabinet. Most of us do. It’s great for baking, of course, but did you know it’s also a sort of miracle ingredient? It can do so much more than just make your baked goods rise. Baking soda can help you tackle all sorts of projects around the house, and save you money while doing it. Here are some baking soda uses that might surprise you!

1. Natural cleaning agent

Baking soda is a powerful and affordable alternative to lots of commercial cleaning products. Its gentle abrasive properties make it effective for scrubbing surfaces like sinks, countertops, and stovetops. You can create a paste by mixing baking soda with water, and watch as grime and stains disappear. You can also sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming to help eliminate odors, or use it as a deodorizer in your fridge or trash can. For more ways to save on household cleaning, check out our article on DIY cleaning products.

2. Laundry booster

Ditch the expensive fabric softeners and try adding a half cup of baking soda to your laundry to help soften clothes, remove odors, and boost the cleaning power of your detergent. Baking soda can also be a lifesaver if you forget to separate colors, because  it even helps prevent colors from bleeding—how cool is that? Plus, it’s a great addition to your laundry routine if you have sensitive skin or are looking for a more natural alternative.

3. Freshen up your home

Baking soda’s odor-absorbing properties make it an excellent tool for keeping your home smelling fresh. Leave an open box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb food odors, or sprinkle some in your shoes overnight to combat any unpleasant smells. You can also mix a few drops of essential oil with baking soda and use it as a natural air freshener.

4. Personal care brilliance

Baking soda is a fantastic multitasker when it comes to personal care. Use it as a gentle exfoliator for your skin by mixing a small amount with water to make a paste. It can also be used as a natural toothpaste or a teeth-whitening agent if you mix it with hydrogen peroxide. As a bonus, it can even be used as a deodorant substitute in a pinch!

5. Clogged drain solution

Avoid expensive emergency plumber visits by using baking soda to help clear clogged drains. Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. The mixture will create a fizzy reaction that can help break down debris and clear minor clogs. After the reaction subsides, flush the drain with hot water to help rinse away any remaining residue. For other ways to save money around the house, check out our article on DIY projects.

The bottom line: Saving with baking soda

Baking soda is a wallet-friendly superstar that can save you money in various aspects of your life. From being a versatile cleaner to boosting laundry performance, freshening up your home, serving as a personal care savior, and even helping with clogged drains, this humble ingredient has many money-saving applications. The many baking soda uses you can apply to your household routine can help keep your home clean, fresh, and frugal, all while enjoying the benefits of a natural and effective solution. So, the next time you reach for the baking soda, remember that you’re not just creating delicious baked goods; you’re also making a wise financial choice.