Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is called by some a “Miracle Powder” due to its wide variety of uses. It has plenty of applications in the garden and kitchen from battling powdery mildew on roses outdoors to helping get smelly onion and garlic off your hands. Below is a collection of ways to use baking soda in the garden and kitchen!
Sweeten Tomatoes – To sweeten your tomatoes, lower their acidity, and discourage pests, sprinkle baking soda lightly on the soil they are in. Think of this as a good way to get rid of that old box sitting in the fridge.
Magnificent Blooms – If you have flowers that thrive in alkaline soil, baking soda offers a simple way to get them to bloom magnificently. Geraniums, begonias, and hydrangeas get a huge benefit from being watered with a slight, weak amount of baking soda.
Fresh Roses & Battle Powdery Mildew – To keep roses looking fresh and healthy and to stave off the fungal infection of powdery mildew, use a spray mixture of:
- 7 tablespoons of baking soda
- Small dash of insecticidal soap (no pyrethrums)
- 5 gallons of water
Spray every few days. Be sure to check often for signs of burning. If no burning occurs (some plants may be sensitive), the spray can be used once weekly.
Get Rid of Slugs – Need a way to get rid of backyard slugs? Skip the expensive and hazardous chemicals. Instead, lightly pour baking soda on them!
Safe Organic Pesticide – Make a safe and organic pesticide spray that can kill insects harmful to plants, like aphids, while not harming beneficial insects.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/3 cup of cooking oil
Measure out 2 teaspoons of the mix and add it to 1 cup of water. Add this water to your plant sprayer.
Smelly Compost – To keep the smell of compost in the garden area down, use baking soda right out of the box on the compost pile. This helps prevent acidity from building up.
Clean Bird Baths & Clay Pots – Us as an effective tool for cleaning a bird bath without toxic chemicals. After putting baking soda on it, use a damp cloth to get rid of dirt and then rinse with water. You can also use baking soda to clean clay flower pots completely and rinse clean. No harmful residue will be absorbed by the clay.
Keep Soil Fresher In Pots – When using clay pots you can keep soil fresher by first coating the pot with a thin layer of baking soda, and then adding the soil.
Extend Life of Cut Flowers – If you have cut flowers and you want to extend its life, don’t use commercial packaging solutions. Instead, just dip the flowers into a mixture of baking soda and water!
Battle Ants – Stop pesky ants at the source by adding baking soda to the ant hill when it’s damp. Then, a half hour later, add a small amount of vinegar that they will ingest and die from.
In The Kitchen
Sanitize Cutting Boards – Want to sanitize your cutting boards? Smear baking soda across the entire surface of the cutting board, then douse it with vinegar. Once the foam subsides, rinse it off with hot water.
Homemade Scouring Powder – To make homemade scouring powder mix all the the following ingredients together:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup salt
Follow the directions on any readily available scouring powder
Clean Smelly Garlic & Onion From Hands – If you’re like me, you hate the odor of garlic and onions on your hand after you peel them. If you want the odor gone, just sprinkle some baking soda onto your palm, and add JUST enough warm water to make a paste. Rub it between your hands and rinse off your hands and the smell!
Clean Mineral Deposits – Teapots and coffee pots often get mineral deposits in them. There’s an easy way to clean these off. Boil cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons of baking soda in them and then let it simmer for several minutes.
Freshen Crisper Bins – Do your refrigerator’s crisping bins smell? Drop a little baking soda into them to keep them odorless, and then put a paper towel on top of the powder. Write the date on the towel so you’ll remember to add fresh powder in three months.
Clean Up Greasy BBQ Grills – If you’re looking to get the grease off your barbecue grills and clean them up a bit, apply some baking soda used as a paste with a wire brush. Allow them set for 15 minutes, while wiping and cleaning. Any residue should be taken away by letting the grill fire burn away for a few moments, before adding food onto the grill’s surface.
Cleaning The Microwave – Cleaning your microwave oven can be quite a task, but it’s made easier and safer with a solution water (1 quart, warmed up) and baking soda (4 tbsp). It’s a safe, non-toxic way to keep the insides of your microwave looking fresh!