The Great Debate – Is Baking Soda a Disinfectant or Not?

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Have you heard the buzz about baking soda being used as a disinfectant? You’re not alone if so – nowadays, it seems like everyone is talking about its magical powers.

But do you know what they are and whether they’re true? Don’t worry – I’ve got all the information to help set the record straight! 

In this post, I’ll answer that burning question: Is baking soda an effective disinfectant? If baking soda isn’t suitable for disinfecting surfaces, how else can you utilize the power of these natural ingredients?

What other practical applications and methods for using baking soda in your everyday lives? Ready to dig in and get informed? Then let’s get started!

Ready to dig in and get informed? Then let’s get started!

The Truth – Is Baking Soda A Disinfectant?

No, baking soda is not a disinfectant. It may surprise some, but baking soda does not necessarily provide an efficient means of killing germs.

Unfortunately, it is ineffective when battling most bacteria; salmonella and E. coli are no exception.

While it is true that baking soda has antifungal properties and can help keep bacteria at bay, its ability to disinfect surfaces is limited.

As an alkaline powder with a pH level between 8-9, baking soda kills certain types of bacteria and fungi on contact. However, this method will not affect other forms of germ, such as viruses.

When using baking soda as a cleaning product or disinfectant around your home, it might be best to think twice before reaching for the box.

If you decide to use it in your cleaning routine, combine the powder with something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice to create an effective cleaning solution that will kill germs.

Key Takeaways

  • Despite its cleaning properties, baking soda is not efficient at killing germs, including common bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
  • While baking soda has antifungal properties and can deter some bacteria, its disinfecting power is restricted.
  • Baking soda’s alkaline nature (pH 8-9) can kill certain bacteria and fungi on contact, but it won’t work against all types of germs.
  • If you choose to use baking soda for cleaning, combine it with acidic substances to create a more effective cleaning solution that can help kill germs.
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Limitations And Considerations of Baking Soda

Here are the limitations and considerations when using baking soda as a cleaning tool:


  1. Limited Disinfecting Power: Baking soda is not a strong disinfectant and may not effectively kill all types of harmful bacteria and viruses. It’s better suited for cleaning and deodorizing than for sanitizing or disinfecting high-risk areas.
  2. Abrasive Nature: Baking soda can be abrasive and may scratch or damage delicate surfaces, such as polished metals or glass. Avoid using it on items that are prone to scratching.
  3. Not Effective Against Grease: Baking soda is less effective in cutting through heavy grease and oil residues. In kitchens, for example, it might not be the best choice for cleaning greasy stovetops or ovens.
  4. Limited Stain Removal: While baking soda can help with some stains, it may not be effective against tough, set-in stains like red wine or ink. Specialized stain removers may be needed.


  1. Surface Compatibility: Before using baking soda, consider the surface you’re cleaning. It’s generally safe for most surfaces, but it’s a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won’t cause damage.
  2. Mixing with Other Cleaners: Be cautious when mixing baking soda with other cleaning agents, especially acids like vinegar. This combination can release carbon dioxide gas, causing bubbling or splattering. Follow recommended guidelines for safe cleaning practices.
  3. Odor Control: Baking soda is excellent for absorbing and neutralizing odors in refrigerators, carpets, and shoes. Consider its odor-control properties when dealing with smelly areas.
  4. Eco-Friendly Option: Baking soda is environmentally friendly and non-toxic, making it a preferred choice for those who want to avoid harsh chemicals in their cleaning routines.
  5. Maintenance Cleaning: Baking soda is well-suited for regular maintenance cleaning tasks like wiping down countertops, sinks, and bathroom surfaces to keep them fresh and clean between deeper cleans.

How to Disinfect Your House?

Baking soda is not the best choice when thoroughly disinfecting your home. However, effective methods can get the job done with proper technique!

Are you ready to eradicate germs and bacteria from your home? Follow these simple steps for a thorough disinfection to ensure it’s safe and clean.

Step 1: Clean the surfaces

First, clean the surfaces with soap and water to remove dirt, grime or debris. You can also use an Mr. Meyer’s All-purpose Cleaner Spray or a disinfectant for this step.

Step 2: Disinfect

Use a disinfectant spray or wipes that contain at least 70% alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to kill germs on surfaces.

Ensure to follow the instructions on the product label for the proper use and safety precautions.

You should select a disinfectant that is effective against the germs you want to kill. Look for products with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number on the label.

Step 3: Focus on high-touch areas

Pay special attention to high-touch areas such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, faucet handles, and countertops.

This area consists of high bacteria and germs that can quickly spread, so keeping them clean is imperative.

Step 4: Let it sit

Allow the disinfectant to sit on the surface for a few minutes before wiping it off. This will give it time to effectively kill any germs.

Step 5: Wash your hands

After cleaning and disinfecting your home, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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What Are The Benefits of Baking Soda?

Even baking soda cannot be used as a disinfectant, but plenty of baking soda can help around the house.

Mix baking soda with other ingredients for the most effective results to create your desired outcome.

Here are just a few of the benefits that you can enjoy from using it as part of your household cleaning routine:

1. Use For Cleaning

Baking soda is a great natural cleaner and can be used for many cleaning purposes. Here are some examples:

  • Scrubbing surfaces: Baking soda can scrub surfaces like sinks, tubs, and toilets. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the surface, add water, and clean with a sponge or brush.
  • Removing stains: This powder also can help remove stains from carpets, upholstery, and clothing. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste, apply it to the stain, and let it sit for a few hours before rinsing.
  • Cleaning appliances: It’s also can be used to clean appliances like ovens and microwaves. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface, spray with water until damp, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with a sponge or cloth.

2. Use For Deodorizing

If you’re looking for a natural way to eliminate unwanted and unpleasant odours around your home, baking soda is an effective solution. Here are some creative ways to put it into use:

  • Refrigerator: Eliminate unpleasant odours from your refrigerator with the help of a box of baking soda – simply place it in the fridge and let it work its magic!
  • Trash bins: Eliminate unpleasant odours in your bin with a simple sprinkle of baking soda! This cost-effective, natural solution will help keep your trash can smelling fresh and clean.
  • Carpets and upholstery: For fresh and clean-smelling carpets, upholstery, and furniture – sprinkle baking soda on the surface. Let it sit for a few hours to absorb any lingering odours before vacuuming away!
  • Shoes: Combat unpleasant foot odours by sprinkling baking soda inside your shoes, allowing them to absorb them.
  • Pet areas: Make your pet’s lounging and litter box experiences more pleasant by sprinkling baking soda – absorbing unpleasant odours.

3. Use For Cooking

Baking soda has been a staple in kitchens for ages, but there’s much more to this versatile ingredient than meets the eye.

To help make your life easier and baking endeavours tastier, here are four clever baking soda hacks you can try out today!

  • Baking: Baking soda is a powerful leavening agent, helping your cakes, cookies, muffins and bread to rise beautifully. It’s become an essential ingredient in many sweet treats!
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand for a recipe, you can substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. Adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture will give it the acidity needed to react with the baking powder or other leavening agents in your recipe.
  • Meat Tenderizer: Baking soda can help tenderize meat by breaking down its proteins. Simply rub a little baking soda on the surface of the meat before cooking.
  • Cleaning Purpose: Baking soda can be used to clean fruits and vegetables by making a solution with water and gently scrubbing them with a soft brush or cloth. This helps remove dirt, residue, and pesticides from the surface.

4. Use For Personal Hygiene

Baking soda is a multipurpose tool; it can also be integrated into your hygiene routine! Here are three ways to use baking soda for improved health and wellness:

  • Teeth Whitening: Baking soda can be used as a natural teeth whitener by mixing it with water to make a paste and brushing your teeth with it.
  • Deodorant: It can help absorb odours and moisture, making it a great ingredient in homemade deodorants or a standalone powder to apply under your arms.
  • Foot Soak: Adding baking soda to warm water can create a relaxing foot soak that helps soothe tired feet and eliminate foot odour.

5. Use For Laundry

Baking soda is an incredibly versatile cleaning agent which can also be used in the laundry! Baking soda can help make your home laundering more effective in many ways.

Here are a few examples of how:

  • Stain Removal: Baking soda can help remove stains from clothing by creating a paste with water and applying it to the affected area before washing.
  • Odour Elimination: Adding baking soda to your laundry detergent can help eliminate odours from clothes, especially those caused by sweat or mildew.
  • Fabric Softener: Baking soda can also be used as a natural fabric softener by adding half a cup to your wash cycle and regular detergent. This helps soften clothes and reduce static cling.
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Our Verdict

In conclusion, baking soda is much better than nothing when it comes to ensuring your home is clean and safe from germs.

However, although it can kill certain germs on contact, it doesn’t have the lasting power of stronger disinfectants.

If you need a germ-busting powerhouse, the best option is to invest in a commercial household cleaning product designed to fight off germs and other tough stains.

However, even though baking soda proved ineffective as a disinfectant, it has many other valuable uses that you can try.

You can easily and efficiently disinfect your house with the simple steps above. Take action today to ensure a safe, healthy environment for all!

If you’re interested in additional advice for living sustainably and having an earth-friendly cleaning routine, take a look at these articles:


Is baking soda for cleaning or sanitizing?

Baking soda is primarily used for cleaning and deodorizing rather than sanitizing or disinfecting. While it has some cleaning properties and can help with odor control, it is not a strong disinfectant.

How much baking soda to disinfect?

If you want to enhance its cleaning abilities, you can combine baking soda with acidic substances like vinegar or lemon juice to create a cleaning solution. However, for true disinfection, it’s advisable to use dedicated disinfectant products according to their recommended usage instructions.

Does baking soda remove smells?

Yes, baking soda is known for its ability to absorb and neutralize odors effectively. It can be used to remove various odors in different settings.

Can baking soda help with skin conditions as a disinfectant?

Yes, baking soda may help alleviate certain skin conditions. It can be added to a warm water bath to soothe itchiness or used as a paste to provide relief for irritated skin.

How do I make a baking soda paste for disinfection?

To make a baking soda paste, mix baking soda with a small amount of water until you achieve a thick, spreadable consistency. This paste can be applied to surfaces or used for spot cleaning.

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Hanif Roslen is an eco-conscious enthusiast on a mission to help make the world a better, cleaner place. Through day-to-day experience cleaning his own home with those non-toxic cleaners, he has developed innovative and effective green solutions that reduce waste and promote sustainability.

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