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We Tested It: Cleaning With Baking Soda

Published on NewsOK Published: December 26, 2012

It worked out reasonably well. I don’t know if there’s anything about the chemical makeup of baking soda that made it effective. It seemed to work about as well as any abrasive powder would. Sand I’m pretty sure would have just as efficiently scrubbed away the scum. But, I live in a tilted apartment that causes shower water to pool right in front of the drain and leave a stain. The baking soda did not at all help remove that stain.

I had to resort to Comet to fix that.

For the final test of baking soda’s cleaning powers, I attempted to use it to make toothpaste. This was a particularly scary undertaking considering this disclaimer was written under one of the recipes I looked at: "The basis of homemade toothpaste is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Either one in huge does can be dangerous, so DO NOT INGEST!" Cool! Sounds fun!

I mixed six parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide.

I then put some on my toothbrush and went for it.

It was horrifying. It was truly terrible. It tasted like I poured a salty poison over a 9-volt battery and then licked it. Actually, that’s not quite vivid enough. Let’s try again. It tasted like the melting face of a troll. I immediately spit it out and brushed my teeth with real toothpaste.

So, to review, baking soda worked really well as a deodorizer, kind of well as a bathtub cleanser, and really unpleasantly as a tooth cleaner. It’s certainly worth having around, but it’s not something I plan on using regularly in place of “real” cleaning products or toothpaste.

Noah Garfinkel writes for

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