Baking and Washing Soda
Baking soda (a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate) and its close cousin, washing soda (sodium carbonate), both absorb odors. But unlike baking soda, slightly stronger washing soda can’t be ingested; wear rubber gloves when handling it.
Price: About $1.08 for a pound of baking soda; $7 for 4 pounds of washing soda; both available at supermarkets.
Use Them to Clean Your…
Can opener: Dip a toothbrush in a paste of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon water and use it to dislodge gunk.
Garage floors (and other concrete surfaces): Pour washing soda generously on oil and grease spots and sprinkle with water until a paste forms. Let stand overnight. The next day, scrub with a damp brush, hose down, and wipe clean.
Garden tools: Dip a moist stiff-bristled brush in washing soda to scrub trimmers, clippers, and more. Rinse, then place in a sunny area to dry. (Don’t use washing soda on aluminum tools.)
Grills and barbecue utensils: To combat tough grease stains, dip a moist stiff- bristled brush in washing soda and scrub away.
Stove burner grates: In a dishpan, soak them in 1 gallon warm water and ½ cup washing soda for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry.
Stained teacups and coffee mugs: Fill with 1 part baking soda and 2 parts water and soak overnight; rub with a sponge and rinse.
Upholstered furniture: To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on the fabric, then vacuum.
Scuffed walls: Erase crayon marks by applying a baking- soda paste (equal parts baking soda and water) to white painted walls (baking soda may dull colored walls). Let dry before brushing it off with a clean cloth.