Baking Soda: 23 Odor Removers @SavvyCleaner

Baking soda vs. Coffee Grounds to remove odors

Baking soda and coffee grounds are both used to neutralize odors. But of the two, I hands down recommend baking soda.

Raw Non-Brewed Coffee Grounds

coffee grounds around new plantsCoffee grounds emit a strong odor and can over power or neutralize other strong odors like garlic, onions, puke, animal urine and dead animals. Baking Soda 13.5 lb bag, Savvy CleanerSome people swear by using coffee to remove smells. Although coffee grounds are an expensive option compared to it’s more popular odor removing competitor baking soda.

Because of the strong smell of coffee, you can use raw grounds sprinkled around plants to ward off rabbits and deer. And it works really well for a few weeks until the smell from the grounds fade. And then the forest critters return to eat your plants. Coffee grounds are a great option for the plants because they act as a fertilizer in flower beds. The acidity in the grounds breaks down the compost and manure and helps plants grow.

Baking soda on the other hand has no smell. You are not using one smell to mask another smell. Because it’s affordable, and it has no odor, Arm & Hammer has been the “go-to” odor remover for one hundred and forty-nine years. The Arm & Hammer brand is one of the longest-running and most recognized U.S. trademarks, introduced in 1867.

For controlling every day household odors, baking soda is still king in my book. It’s colorless, odorless, pure, versatile, effective and safe. I’ve used Arm & Hammer as my go-to odor removal for 25 years as a professional house cleaner. You can pick some up at any discount store, corner pharmacy and it costs much less than coffee grounds.

I use so much in my day to day activities I actually buy the big 13.5lb bag at Costco. (Usually $7- $8 range)

Use baking soda to remove these 23 types of odors

Baking Soda in door of fridge Savvy Cleaner, Savvy Cleaner1. Fridge

The most common use of Baking soda is having a small open box in your refrigerator. This will keep all food odors at bay. This should be effective for about 30 days and then should be changed out with a fresh box. 

2. Shoes, Sneakers and Sandals

You can use baking soda inside tennis shoes to eliminate foot odor. In the heat of the summer when your feet tend to sweat more, using baking soda   as sandal talk is also a great idea. It will keep your feet fresh while eliminating odors.

3. Foot Odor Soak

And you can soak your nasty smelling feet in a big pan of water with a couple of tablespoons of Arm & Hammer. Your skin will absorb the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and remove the odors from your feet.

baking soda for mouthwash Savvy Cleaner4. Mouthwash

Keep a small air tight container of baking soda in your bathroom. Every morning when you wake, take a ½ tsp  in a swallow of water and swish in your mouth for 60 seconds. After you spit it out, grab your toothbrush and brush your teeth. This will help whiten your teeth while removing mouth odor.

5. Mouth Gear & Dentures

Got dentures or retainers? Soak them in a cup of warm water with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. This adds whitening power while removing odors.

6. Swimming Pools

Baking soda can regulate the PH in your swimming pool and is much more cost effective than buying a PH balance.

7. Carpet

Remove the smell of pet urine. Vacuum your carpet first so the carpet is clean. Sprinkle a thin layer of Arm & Hammer on your carpet and leave it for several hours (24 hours is best) and vacuum.

NOTE: You can clog the filters in a canister vacuum by vacuuming powder of any kind. This includes baking soda. If you’ve got a vacuum with bags – no problem. If you have a bagless vacuum, check with the manufacturer before using baking soda in your carpet.

8. Litter Boxes

Sprinkle Arm & Hammer inside the bottom of an empty litter box. Fill with kitty litter and sprinkle the top with Baking soda. You can stir it up if you like – the odor removing properties will make the litter last much longer.


9. Garbage Cans

Sprinkle Baking soda on the floor of your garbage can after you’ve cleaned it out. Add your garbage can liner and trash. Your can should stay fresh.

10. Wooden Cutting Boards

Cutting meat and cheese, onions, and garlic can leave cutting boards with smells and bacteria. After scrubbing your cutting board with soap and water, sprinkle baking soda on it. Leave it for a few minutes to let the soda soak in the wood. Rinse and drip dry.

11. Lunch Boxes

Keep a spill proof (open) box of baking soda in your lunch boxes and lunch bags each night. When you go to pack the lunches the next day, there will be no lingering smells.

12. Garbage Disposals

Deodorize your garbage disposal, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing. You’ve dumped food waste in the sink, but before you turn on the garbage disposal, sprinkle the food waste with baking soda. Turn the water on and the motor. The acid in the baking soda will neutralize the food odors and clean your disposal as you grind up the garbage.

13. Sink Drains

You’re replacing a box of used baking soda from the fridge – instead of tossing it, you can pour it down the drain. Follow it with a cup of white vinegar and then cap the drain with the cup you used for the vinegar. This will create a mini explosion of bubbling activation and clean out the drain of hair and gunk. Leave the drain capped while you clean the rest of the bathroom (15 min or so). Then run HOT water down the drain to rinse out the solution and flush the drain.

This is a non-toxic way to flush your drains and cut smells. Woohoo!

baking soda for hampers14. Laundry Baskets & Hampers

You know that musty dirty laundry smell that comes from socks and athletic clothes? You can control that by adding some baking soda to the bottom of your hamper. It’s harmless if it gets on your clothes, and washes right out in the wash.


15. Laundry

For those smelly gym clothes and working out in the yard clothes, toss in a ½ a cup of Arm & Hammer in your rinse cycle. It washes right out taking the embedded smells with it.

16. Stuffed Animals

Take all the kids stuffed animals and put them in a dry bathtub. Sprinkle baking soda all over them, especially the ones used most. Leave them there for several hours so the baking soda can absorb the smell. Take a hair dryer and turn on cool. Blow the baking soda off the toys and put the toys away. Wash the excess baking soda down the drain.

17. Freshen Luggage with Baking soda  

Baking soda to freshen luggage Savvy Cleaner, Savvy CleanerDid you pick up a funny smell on your camping trip? Or maybe you packed a week of dirty clothes in your luggage coming back from that trip to France. Well don’t worry. Leave a no-spill container of opened baking soda in your closed luggage for a day or two. I do this after all my trips and it makes my luggage like new.


18. Winter Clothes Storage

Need room in your closet for summer clothes? You may be one of those families who pack away winter clothes in boxes. Then you retrieve them in the fall only to find they smell musty?

Here’s a tip, take an old panty hose and tie a knot in one end. Fill with Baking soda and tie a knot in the other end. Now you have a little hot pocket of baking soda that can breathe. Tuck it in the top of your clothing before you seal the box or bag. Now when you open your clothes, they won’t smell at all.

Baking soda in closet, Savvy Cleaner19. Closets

Keep a (spill proof) box of baking soda in your closet to absorb musty smells from clothes, and leather goods such as purses, belts, shoes and jackets.


20. Fresh Cut Flowers

The stems of fresh cut flowers will start to smell after a couple of days. When you first put the flowers in a vase, add a ½ teaspoon of Baking soda. It will end the odors as the flowers age and keep them fresh longer.

Baking soda for sponges, Savvy Cleaner21. House Cleaning Sponges

Cleaning sponges collect lots of germs, grime and gunk. And if not cared for can smell. If they still have life in them, you can soak your sponges in a bowl of water with a half a teaspoon of Arm & Hammer. To kill extra bacteria, you can microwave the sponges on high for 2 minutes.

  • A house cleaner tip is to use baking soda in place of cleanser which acts as a cleanser because of its slightly abrasive and no scratch properties. And while you’re cleaning, it deodorizes your sponge. Woohoo!

22. Freshen Vehicles Baking soda in car door, Savvy Cleaner

Keep an open, spill proof box of baking soda in the door pouch of your car. It will help neutralize food and smoking odors. Change it out every 30 days.


23. Hamster & Guinea Pig Cages

Line the bottom of your animal cages with baking soda, under the shavings. The baking soda won’t harm your animal, and will end odors common with hamster and guinea pig cages.

You can’t treat so many of these smelly solutions with colored coffee grounds. It’s best if you have odors to stick with the tried and true methods. Choose baking soda instead.

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More about Angela

Angel Brown, Founder of The Savvy Cleaner Network Trains independent house cleaners and maid services how to get started in business, and run successful residential cleaning companies.

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