Baking soda makes cleanup easy as pie


And you thought the only thing you could do with it was bake.

With a box of baking soda, you can occupy yourself in a frenzy of buffing, scrubbing and cleansing. Here are a few ideas for using the handy powder:

1. Wipe shower curtains with baking soda on a damp sponge to remove mildew.

2. Clean copper pots with a paste of baking soda and lemon juice; rinse and dry.

3. Flush 1 cup of baking soda down the toilet once a week to keep the septic tank clear.

4. To remove burned or stuck food from pots (anything but aluminum), cover the burned food with baking soda, cover with hot water and soak 10 minutes.

5. To absorb oil and grease from a garage floor, cover the spot with baking soda alone or baking soda mixed with cornmeal or mason's sand. Let it sit overnight. Sweep up. Any traces of stain can be cleaned by wetting and scouring with baking soda and a brush.

6. Sprinkle a little baking soda inside rubber gloves to make them easier to put on.

7. To check whether baking soda is still active before baking, mix 1/4 teaspoon with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. If it bubbles, it's still good.

8. To unclog a drain, mix 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of baking soda. Pour it into the drain, then follow with a pot of boiling water.

9. To remove cigarette burns or coffee stains, rub with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.

10. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to cranberries while cooking, and you will need less sugar.

11. Use a paste of baking soda to remove black heel marks from a vinyl floor.

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