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How to Make a Baking Soda Paste for Cleaning

This baking soda paste is one of my favorite cleaning tools! It’s better and less toxic than regular household cleaners. With a little baking soda and water, you’ve got a product that can lift stains, deodorize, and cut through years of grime!

Baking soda is one of the most versatile pantry staples in your home. Not only is it used for baking, but it’s also a real gem when it comes to cleaning!

Baking soda is one of the most versatile pantry staples in your home and one of the most effective DIY cleaners. I really leaned into using less toxic products, especially when my kids were little.

Plus, you can grab a box of baking soda for pennies on the dollar at your local grocery store. It’s easy to find, super affordable, and just as effective as other more expensive chemical cleaners.

What is Baking Soda?

spilled baking soda on a jar with text overlays that read

Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has a naturally abrasive texture that makes it ideal for cleaning. Mix with a little water, and you’ve got a cleaning paste that will get in all the little grooves and crevices and loosen up the gunk that accumulates over time.

Its mildly alkaline nature reacts with acids and grease, making it an effective stain remover and deodorizer. Unlike harsh chemicals found in many commercial cleaners, baking soda is gentle on most surfaces and safe to use around children and pets.

Sprinkle baking soda on carpets to neutralize odors, on mattresses to absorb bacteria and sweat particles, and inside well-loved sneakers, or garbage cans to neutralize odors. 

BUT, if you really want to cut through the grime, making baking soda and water paste is a game-changer for deep cleaning.

baking soda, white bowl, and glass of water

How to Make a Baking Soda Cleaning Paste

All you need is a little water, baking soda, and some elbow grease. It’s seriously my favorite oven cleaner.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Add more water if needed until the consistency is easy to work with. Stir well until it becomes a paste-like consistency.
  2. Apply this paste and let it eat away at the grime for 20 minutes or so before scrubbing the area clean.
making a baking soda cleaning paste with water and baking soda

You can also use an old toothbrush to get into any small spaces, like around your bathroom faucets or around the kitchen sink drain. The grittiness of the baking soda breaks up years of caked-on gunk. If you’re really in the mood, wipe the area down with a little white vinegar afterward to see everything shine!

For extra stubborn grime, make a slightly stronger and harder-working paste from 5 tablespoons baking soda, 3 drops liquid dish soap, and 4 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide (this works excellent on cleaning grout!). Make sure to rinse your area clean with water and a soft cloth when you are finished.

Why You Shouldn’t Mix Vinegar and Baking Soda

Photo of a vinegar and baking soda with text overlays saying

Contrary to popular belief, mixing together vinegar and baking soda doesn’t actually clean! Baking soda and vinegar are both household items that can be used as eco-friendly cleaning agents, but they work in different ways. 

Mixing baking soda and vinegar can create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas, causing a bubbling action. While this reaction may seem like it is doing the work of cleaning for you, the only thing that is happening is the vinegar dissolving the baking soda. Even though it’s satisfying to watch, the fizzing does not necessarily mean that the mixture is an effective cleaner on its own.

As mentioned above, baking soda is a mild abrasive substance that can help to scrub away dirt and grime. It also has natural deodorizing properties that can help to eliminate unpleasant odors.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is acidic and can be used to dissolve mineral buildup and grease. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help to kill bacteria and other germs.

You can use the two as a pair but don’t combine them to make a solution.

Where to Clean with Baking Soda

A person is using baking soda to clean the sink.

For starters, your oven will thank you a million times over! Baking soda combined with water is hands down my favorite cleaning solution for this project.

I don’t have to worry about “baking” chemicals along with my dinner in case I miss wiping some of the cleaners away…and that’s something I can get behind!

Other places to use baking soda to clean:

  • Kitchens – Whisk away baked-on food and gunk from the bottom of the oven and oven racks. Shine your stainless steel sink, too! You can easily make your garbage disposal smell better! It’s also a great option for cleaning your coffee maker. 
  • Bathrooms – Clean the gunk from the grout between stone tiles, freshen the toilet bowl and clean your bathroom sinks.
  • Bedrooms – Sprinkle it on your mattress and let it sit for several hours and vacuum clean to freshen!
  • Laundry rooms – Massage a small amount of baking soda into clothing to remove stubborn stains, or sprinkle a little baking soda inside your washing machine for a fresher load of laundry. See how I clean my front-loading washer here!
  • Floors – Deodorize carpets in high-traffic living areas. Sprinkle, rest, then vacuum away!

Where Not to Use Baking Soda to Clean

Because baking soda is abrasive, you should avoid using it on anything that is easily scratched.

Some examples include:

  • Glass 
  • Ceramic cooktops
  • Precious jewelry
  • Marble
A person is using a baking soda paste to clean the toilet bowl.

Other Uses for Baking Soda Besides Cleaning

Of course, you’ve used baking soda for baking, but it can do so much more!

  • It absorbs stinky odors. Odors are acidic and so is baking soda. When odors and baking soda meet, the acids react together to neutralize the odors. Keep an open box of baking soda in your fridge to prevent and neutralize smelly food odors. Don’t forget to replace it regularly as it will become less reactive over time.
  • It makes a natural fire extinguisher. When baking soda is heated above 300F, it releases carbon dioxide gas. The influx of the gas cuts off the oxygen that had been fueling the fire, making it an excellent fire extinguisher. It’s also the only way to put out a grease fire!
  • It’s a great non-toxic form of pest control. Just like in the example above, this same reaction makes baking soda a great pest control. When ingested by cockroaches or ants, the gas builds up inside their bodies and causes organ failure.
  • It relieves the itch from bug bites and bee stings. Mix a little water and baking soda and apply to the affected area to relieve the pain.
A person is cleaning the sink using baking soda paste

In a world where chemical cleaning products dominate the market, sometimes the simplest solutions are the most powerful. Combining baking soda and water is one of the most effective ways to clean so many spaces inside your home.

Plus, it’s a safe, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly solution. With a little baking soda and water, you’ve got a powerful cleaning solution that can lift stains, deodorize, and cut through years of grime!

A photo of a glass and baking soda then toothbrush with text overlays saying

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