For years, I would get baking soda and baking powder mixed up. Then I discovered how magical it really was! You can use it for so many things around the house, it’s not laden with chemicals, and it’s way cheaper than any cleaners. Now I buy a huge 13 pound bag every few months – and use it all up! It sounds like a strange purchase to make so frequently, right? But you’ll understand why I use it so much once you check out all these great uses for baking soda.

1. Baking soda instead of toothpaste. I had tried this before I knew all the benefits of baking soda – all I knew was it made my teeth squeaky clean! Lots of toothpastes these days have baking soda in them, but if you want to save some money and put fewer chemicals into your body, you can make your own toothpaste. Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, or even just dip your toothbrush in baking soda. If you still want a minty aftertaste, there are recipes online that are still simple and cost-effective.

2. Baking soda instead of mouthwash. While you’ve got the baking soda out to brush your teeth, make some mouthwash, too. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water and swish it around your mouth. Bonus: baking soda neutralizes the odors instead of just covering them up!

3. Baking soda instead of facial scrubs. Instead of buying expensive exfoliants for your face and body, mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. You can rub this all over your body in circular motions, and rinse clean in a shower. It’s gentle enough for everyday use, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your skin.

4. Baking soda instead of deodorant. Baking soda neutralizes odors, so you can pat some under your arms instead of using deodorant with harsh chemicals.

5. Baking soda instead of calamine lotion. Baking soda can stop itching caused by bug bites. Make a paste out of baking soda and water in your hand and apply it to itchy areas after you shower.

6. Baking soda instead of hand soap. Instead of buying hand soap that dries out your skin, mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub this on your hands and rinse clean to scrub away dirt and neutralize odors.

7. Baking soda instead of shampoo. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water and scrub into your scalp. I’ve been doing this for a few years, and highly recommend it. When I used shampoo, I’d have to wash every other day or my hair would look greasy. With baking soda, it looks clean for at least a week! If you’re not ready to give up your shampoo, you can still add baking soda to shampoo in the palm of your hand and work it into your scalp. It removes residue from hair products better than shampoo alone.

8. Baking soda instead of bath salts. Put a half cup of baking soda into your warm bath to make your skin soft. The baking soda also gently washes away oil and sweat, and neutralizes acids on the skin. If you don’t want to soak in a bathtub, you can dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in warm water for a relaxing foot bath!

9. Baking soda instead of cleaners. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge to wipe down tubs, tile, and sinks. Rinse it off and then dry. To clean microwaves and ovens without leaving a chemical smell, and even to remove marks from walls and painted furniture, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge to gently wipe down the surface.

10. Baking soda instead of scouring pots. Soak dishes with cooked-on foods in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda, dish detergent, and water. After soaking, the food will be loosened enough to come off easily by using a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. As an added bonus, this method won’t scratch your dishes! You can also add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the dishes in the sink that don’t need scrubbing, just to help cut the grease.

11. Baking soda added to laundry detergent. Add half a cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent to keep your clothes bright, and ensure they smell fresh. If you want to go above and beyond, you can make your own detergent! There are plenty of recipes online, but my favorite is to use 2 cups of Borax, 2 cups of washing powder, a cup of baking soda, and a grated bar of soap. If you REALLY want to go above and beyond, you can make your own washing powder by cooking baking soda in a 400 degree oven until it’s smooth. (Baking soda is clumpy.) Washing powder and baking soda are the same element that goes through a change at a certain temperature, so you can save money by simply cooking baking soda, instead of buying a separate ingredient!

12. Baking soda to clean your driveway. The oil and grease spills in your garage and driveway aren’t necessarily doing any harm, but they don’t look great, and sometimes they smell. You can sprinkle baking soda on these spots and scrub with a wet brush to eliminate them – AND any odors they might have!

13. Baking soda as a deodorizer. I’ve mentioned in a few tips how baking soda helps cut odors. This means it will not only clean anything dirty, but also eliminate the smell. However, you don’t need to scrub something to get the benefit of eliminating odors! You can keep an open box or dish of baking soda in the back of your fridge to neutralize odors. You can sprinkle it in the bottom of trashcans, and on top of items in your recycling bin to eliminate smells before pickup day. Pour baking soda down sink drains and garbage disposals while running warm water and cut the odors. Sprinkle baking powder on carpets and let it sit overnight before vacuuming – you will deodorize your carpets AND your vacuum cleaner!

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg! If you buy it in bulk, over 13 pounds of baking soda costs less than $8! It’s way cheaper than commercial cleansers, and costs so much less, you’ll see the difference in your monthly bills immediately. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be using less chemicals in your home.