baking soda odors

Eliminate Bad Odors With Baking Soda: 9 Places Baking Soda Works

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is often just used for baking purposes and then put back in the cupboard. However, baking soda has many uses beyond helping create delicious baked good. One of those uses is an odor remover. Baking soda has the ability to react with both acid and base odors, which makes it a versatile deodorizer that can curb a variety of smells. Let’s take a look at some common uses of baking soda for odors.


When using baking soda as a carpet deodorizer, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet but don’t immediately vacuum it up. Wait a few hours to allow time for the baking soda to work on the odors.

While baking soda is a good general carpet deodorizer, we found that it was not effective at eliminating cat urine odor from the carpet. At best it temporarily eliminates the odor but not completely.


The kitchen sink can provide a potpourri of awful smells that can linger for days. Create a half and half mixture of vinegar and baking soda. A 1/3 cup of each works well. Simply pour the mixture down the drain and wait 15-20 minutes as the vinegar and baking soda attack the odors. Next, boil water and pour it down the drain to help clear the odors and wash away the vinegar and baking soda.


Almost all of us have had or have been victims of stinky shoes. If you work on your feet all day, it is almost impossible to keep your shoes smelling like roses. A good way to deter shoe odor is to sprinkle a nice amount of baking soda into your shoes. Let it sit in your shoes for a day and then shake out the baking soda into the garbage.

If you want to avoid a mess and potentially drying out the shoe leather (if applicable), you can fill a pair of socks with about 2/3 cup baking soda each. Tie the socks off at the end so that the baking soda cannot escape. Place the socks into the smelly shoes and leave them there for at least a day to help combat odors.


This is probably the most common use of baking soda for odor removal because a refrigerator can hold a lot of unwanted smells from things like leftovers and long forgotten foods. Simply tear open the lid of the baking soda box and place it on a shelf. The baking soda will help neutralize nasty smells for a very minimal cost. You should replace the box at least monthly for the best results.


We don’t have to explain that the toilet can be a nasty place for foul smells and grime. Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of white vinegar to create a natural cleaning solution. Work the mixture around the bowl with a toilet brush as you would with a commercial cleaner.

Trash Can

Sprinkle baking soda inside the trash can before you put the bag on and/or on the top of the smelly trash. The baking soda will help absorb odors. Reapply the baking soda as needed.

Litter Box

One of the toughest things about having a cat is controlling the litter box smells. This is especially true if you don’t have the space to keep the litter away from the most used areas of the house. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the litter box then add the litter. The baking soda will help mask some of the litter box smells.


It is easy to forget food in the cooler and have a nice surprise the next time you go to use it. You can clean the inside of your cooler with dish soap and water.  Then shake baking soda on all areas of the cooler interior. Let the cooler sit for a day with the baking soda and rinse it out with the hose. Allow the inside of the cooler to dry completely in the sun with the lid open.

Clothing In Storage

Clothing often becomes musty as it sits in storage for lengthy periods. You can combat storage smells by adding a sock full of baking soda to the bin. Be sure to tie off the sock so it doesn’t accidentally spill all over your clothing.

Final Thoughts

Baking soda stays fresh for years if it is kept in a dry place and is sealed from odors. You can check to see if baking soda is still good by doing a baking soda and vinegar test. The mixture should rapidly fizz if the baking soda is still fresh. Since baking soda has a long shelf life, it is handy to have it around when needed.