The effervescent and slightly alkaline nature of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) allows it to neutralize and absorb strong odors. Since baking soda is non-toxic, it is completely safe to use on and around anything that touches food including cutting boards, sponges, baby bottles, and plastic food containers.
Baking soda deodorizes drains and keeps them from clogging
Most people are aware that keeping an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer can help to keep food smelling fresh, but many throw away the old box each month. Instead of discarding it, you can use the baking soda to deodorize drains in the sink or tub. Simply pour half a cup down the drain and lightly run warm tap water for a moment to soak it. Let it sit for a few minutes and then finish rinsing with warm tap water.
To deodorize a garbage disposal or to remove mineral deposits from the drains, run a few cups of distilled white vinegar over the baking soda instead of water. Flushing the old baking soda down the toilet also helps keep toilet pipes clean.
Regularly deodorizing drains with baking soda also helps to maintain a proper pH level in septic tanks.
Baking soda deodorizes sponges and plastic
To prevent food and drink smells from accumulating in plastic food containers and baby bottles, sprinkle baking soda onto a clean sponge to wash them between uses. For odors that have already accumulated, fill the container with warm water and mix 1 to 4 tablespoon of baking soda, depending on the container’s size. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, then rinse in the morning.
To remove stale odors from the dishwasher, sprinkle about half a cup of baking soda on the bottom and let it sit until a full load is ready for washing. Musty smelling sponges can be soaked overnight in a mixture of one quart warm water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda, and can be disinfected in the dishwasher.
To remove garlic, fish, or other strong odors from cutting boards, dampen the board, sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing.
Other ways to use baking soda as a deodorizer
Sprinkle a little baking soda over foods or diapers when throwing them away to keep garbage pails, kitchen compost bins, and diaper bins from accumulating strong odors. Periodically wash them out with vinegar and sprinkle some baking soda into the bottom of the bin or the fresh bin liner.
Baking soda is effective in deodorizing clothing, sneakers and hampers. And baking soda and vinegar together are effective at disinfecting and deodorizing nurseries or children’s rooms, where it is particularly important to minimize chemicals and fumes .
It is worth noting that while baking soda is highly effective at neutralizing odors, it does not kill germs, mold or mildew. Instead, vinegar can be used as a safe, natural, and effective disinfectant.