Friday, September 22, 2023


29 ways to use baking soda while RVing

You know you have some. Your baking soda might be in the RV’s kitchen cupboard, or perhaps you have a box inside your RV’s refrigerator. I used to think that it was most useful for, well, baking. Or perhaps as a refrigerator deodorizer. You might be surprised to learn that there are many, many other ways you can use baking soda while RVing. Read on and you’ll see.

Ways to use baking soda outside the RV

  • Block ants. Ants won’t cross baking soda. Armed with that fact and a box of baking soda, sprinkle a thick line of baking soda around any potential RV “ant-entry points.” Think: hose connections, tires, landing jacks, and more.
  • Treat insect stings or bites. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda and a drop or two of water. Apply the resulting paste to the bite or bee sting. Cover the area with a bandage. The baking soda should neutralize the venom to reduce swelling, pain, and itch.
  • Clean bugs off vehicles. Completely dissolve baking soda in water (so it’s no longer abrasive.) Dip a soft sponge into the mixture and scrub the dead bugs off your vehicle. Then wash and wax as usual.
  • Scrub gunk off batteries. Combine one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of very hot water. Using an old toothbrush, use the mixture to remove the built-up corrosion off battery terminals.
  • Clean oil spills. Use a damp rag (not wet) to blot up the spilled oil. Try not to rub. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire spill and let it sit for one hour. Use a broom or vacuum to remove the baking soda. Repeat, if necessary.
  • Chemical-free weed killer. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over weeds around your RV. Use caution to prevent the soda from getting on the landscape’s flowers or other desired vegetation.
  • Remove campfire odors. This trick will also eliminate cigarette smoke smells from clothing. Fill a bucket with water. Add ½ cup of baking soda and stir to dissolve. Place the smoky-smelling clothing into the bucket to soak. Stir occasionally until the smell dissipates. Launder the clothing as usual afterward.

Ways to use baking soda inside the RV


  • Deodorize the fridge. (This is the tip mentioned earlier.) Keep an open box of baking soda inside your RV’s refrigerator and another open box in the freezer. The baking soda will absorb funky smells and keep your fridge fresh.
  • Clean fresh produce. Use baking soda to wash fresh fruits and vegetables. In a large bowl, add one teaspoon baking soda to two cups water. Submerge produce in the mixture for a minimum of two minutes. (A study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that soaking produce for 12 to 15 minutes in the water/baking soda solution will remove all pesticides.) Be sure to rinse foods thoroughly before eating.
  • Clean the oven. Add enough baking soda to 1/2 cup water to form a paste (approximately 1/4 cup). Then add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the paste. Spread the paste all over the oven’s interior and let it sit for 15-35 minutes. Use a clean, damp scrubbing sponge or barely damp rag to scrub and then wipe the oven down with warm water. When it’s completely clean, dry the interior with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Remove stains and odor from plastic food storage containers. Rinse the container with water. Then add baking soda to coat the surfaces of the container. Add enough vinegar to fill 1/4 of the container. Securely fasten on the container’s lid. Shake vigorously. Thoroughly rinse.
  • Kill ants. If ants somehow get past the baking soda barrier on the exterior of your RV, use this remedy inside. Blend together equal parts of powdered sugar and baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture in corners, along windows, and other places where you’ve seen ants. Check the treated areas frequently and replace the baking soda mixture as needed. Store in a tightly sealed container.
  • Clean stained coffee mugs. Sprinkle baking soda inside a wet coffee mug and scrub away stains. (Hint: A nylon mesh sponge like this works well.)
  • Remove burnt food from cookware. Do you have burned food stains in your frying pan or cook pot? Fill the pan or pot half full of water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water and let it simmer for a minute or two. This should soften the food residue and make it easy to scrub clean. For stubborn foods, sprinkle baking soda directly on the spot and scrub.
  • Clean and deodorize sink drains. Pour ½ cup baking soda down your kitchen sink drain. (If you have a double sink, repeat for the other drain.) Add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the drain and cover the opening with a damp rag. Let the mixture sit and work its magic for 30 minutes to an hour. (Some folks leave it overnight.) Afterwards, rinse completely with hot water.
  • Keep garbage cans fresh. Put a handful of baking soda into the bottom of your garbage can before you place the plastic bag inside. You can also sprinkle baking soda directly into the smelly contents in the garbage bag. This will keep odors down until it’s time to take the trash to the dumpster.

Living area

  • Clean and freshen carpets. Many newer RVs no longer feature carpeted areas. If your RV does have carpet (like ours) you’ll love this tip. To remove fresh spills from carpet, blot with a clean rag. Soak up as much of the spill as you can. Then lightly spray the area with water. Follow up by sprinkling baking soda over the affected area. When the baking soda dries, simply vacuum it up.
  • You can also freshen your smelly carpet quite easily. Simply sprinkle baking soda on top of the carpeted area before you go to bed. In the morning, use your vacuum to remove the baking soda. Then enjoy your fresher-smelling floor!
  • Remove marks. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto a damp sponge. Use it to remove crayon or other marks on the RV walls, cupboards or floors. (Hint: Always test in an unobtrusive area first.)
  • Keep cut flowers fresh. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the vase or other flower container. Your flowers will look nicer longer.
  • Make kitty’s box fresher. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the bottom of your litter box before adding the usual litter. The baking soda will help absorb moisture and keep odors to a minimum.


  • Clean shower stains. Make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply the mixture to the shower stain and scrub with an old toothbrush. (Be sure to test this in a non-visible area before attacking the stain. The abrasive nature of baking soda may dull the surface shine.)
  • Freshen towels. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your regular laundry load. (You can simply sprinkle the soda over the clothes before you start the machine.) Add your regular detergent and launder as usual. This works with both front- and top-load washers. Bonus: Put your shower curtain into the washing machine along with the towels. The curtain will come out clean and smelling fresher, too.
  • Neutralize bad breath. Place one teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water. Swish a mouthful and spit it out. Repeat to neutralize mouth odors.
  • Clean that comb. Baking soda can remove the grime from a dirty brush or comb. Begin by removing any hair. Then soak the comb and/or brush in a cup of water to which one teaspoon of baking soda has been added. Rinse afterwards.


  • Keep shoes smelling fresh. Place baking soda into a coffee filter. (Add a drop of essential oil, if desired.) Twist the filter closed. Use a rubber band to securely enclose the “sachet” mixture. Place one “sachet” into each shoe overnight. In the morning, you should have better-smelling footwear.
  • Freshen the RV mattress. So easy! Sprinkle baking soda evenly over your RV’s mattress. Let it sit for an hour. Then vacuum it up.
  • Clean the “cuddly.” Kids love their stuffed animals. Here’s a good way to safely clean and deodorize them. Place the animal inside a zipper-type plastic bag. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to the bag and zip it closed. Shake the bag vigorously and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Take the bag outside and remove the stuffed animal. Shake it to remove most of the baking soda. Then use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to remove any remaining baking soda.
  • Keep the closet smelling fresh. Just as it does inside your RV refrigerator, an open box of baking soda will keep your RV closet fresh, too. Just close the box before you move to the next RV park!

Do you have additional ways RVers can use baking soda? Let us know in the comments below.

Enjoy this article?

Then check this one out: Make RV life easier with these 396 tips using everyday items


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


  1. Skunk mishaps: mix baking soda, dawn dish soap and baking soda into a “shampoo” and wash, rinse and repeat if necessary. No more skunk smell.

  2. I remember my uncle Andy going to the ICE box & getting a hunk of bologna & eating it & then later he was mixing a teaspoon of baking soda for his upset stomach, or as rob mentioned for heartburn! Seemed to work for him, I’ve tried it but it seemed to be too powerful for me, most likely used too much!

  3. When doing the stuffed animal trick why not vacuum all of the baking soda up this will keep the vacuum bag fresher and since that air is recycled through the RV or house it seems like a win-win


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