5 Ways You Should Use Baking Soda and Vinegar Around the House

A mix of baking soda and vinegar makes a super effective natural cleaner. Here's how to use the mixture to clean your home and wash your clothes.

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baking soda and vinegar
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What happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar?

Baking soda and vinegar are two strong products people love to use for cleaning. Each have their own individual sanitizing perks, according to Brian Sansoni of the American Cleaning Institute, an expert on all things cleaning. “Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and a fine abrasive; that’s good for odour absorption and scrubbing,” Sansoni says. Vinegar is especially great at lifting hard water stains. When you combine baking soda and vinegar, you mix an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) which creates salty water and carbon dioxide gas, according to Sansoni. “The reaction has an immediate ‘clean’ look, but when you look deeper you realize that you’re left with saltwater,” Sansoni says. “The agitation of the fizzy reaction itself can be useful to physically break up and carry away dirt.

Below are five ways to clean using baking soda and vinegar.

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baking soda and vinegar

Clean a stainless steel kitchen sink

Although Sansoni says mixing baking soda and vinegar shouldn’t be your first line of cleaning defense, other cleaning experts say the duo could come in handy in some situations. The bubbly and pasty mixture breaks up and removes scum or grease, like that in your kitchen sink drain, according to Sarah Brunette, the Brand Director of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.

Here’s how to clean your kitchen sink: 

Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and scrub, then rinse. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the same paste on the rim and caulk. Line the sink with paper towels that you’ve soaked in white vinegar; leave them there for 20 minutes.

How to clean your drain: 

Brunette says to sprinkle 4 tablespoons of baking soda followed by two cups of vinegar. Once the bubbling stops, flush the drain with boiling water. You can use soapy water and vinegar-soaked paper towels to clean the faucet, too. (Psst: Baking soda is also a great ingredient to use when cleaning your oven.)

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baking soda and vinegar
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Make a bathroom cleaner

This cleanser works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew, as well as any commercial bathroom product.

How to make the cleaner: 

Mix 1-2/3 cups baking soda and 1/2 cup liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with 1/2 cup water and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until lumps dissolve. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle, making sure to shake well before every use. Next: Squirt on the area to be cleaned, scrub with a nylon-backed sponge, and then rinse off with water. Keep covered between uses.

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baking soda and vinegar

Remove stains on the carpet

Of course, baking soda and vinegar are great cleaners, independently. And in most cases, vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner, but there are things you should never clean with vinegar. One thing you can clean with vinegar is your carpet.

How to lift carpet stains with vinegar: 

Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum. For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.

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baking soda and vinegar

Boost laundry detergent

It may sound like a cliché, but adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent really will give you brighter colours. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent. Plus, adding 1/2 cup baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front-loaders) also increases the potency of bleach, so you need only half the usual amount of bleach.

Even though baking soda is a classic laundry staple, keep these tips in mind when washing your bed sheets.

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baking soda and vinegar

Refresh the fridge

Did you know that vinegar might be an even more effective safe cleanser for your refrigerator than baking soda? Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge, including the door gasket and the front of the vegetable and fruit bins. To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Undiluted vinegar is also great for wiping off accumulated dust and grime on top of your refrigerator.

Of course, you’ll still want to put that box of baking soda inside your refrigerator to keep it smelling clean when you finish.

Next, read up on how often you should clean your fridge.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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