If you open up your pantry right now, will you find a box of baking soda sitting on the shelf? I always have a couple of boxes on hand — one for baking, one for eating up unpleasant odors, and one for the dogs. Yup, you read that right. I have a box for the dogs! Read on for 7 ways baking soda may help in your canine-filled home. Some of these may surprise you!
1. Accidents Happen: Clean Up Dog Urine
If you’re a dog mom, at some point you are going to have to deal with a little pee on the floor. The important thing is finding the urine spot and knowing how to properly clean it up. If you aren’t properly cleaning up the urine, your dog will be able to smell it and may continue to have accidents in that same spot. Another issue — urine odor will begin to fill the room. No one wants to take a big whiff of urine!
- Soak it up – Place a paper towel, or another absorbent material, on top of the urine and blot up as much as possible. I used to even put a shoe on and step on the spot. The extra weight will draw more liquid into the paper towel.
- Dilute it – Pour plain water over the area and then grab your paper towels again. Soak up the moisture until you don’t see any more yellow liquid left on the towels.
- Use an enzyme-based cleaner – If you aren’t into buying a store-bought enzyme cleaner designed specifically for pet messes then you can use this recipe from Dr. Joseph Mercola: Combine one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water. Let the mixture sit on the spot for five to ten minutes before blotting up the moisture. Next, soak the area completely with undiluted white vinegar. Let it sit for several minutes before blotting dry.
- Sprinkle baking soda – To get rid of any lingering odor, cover the cleaned area with baking soda. Baking soda is an odor eater. Let it sit on the soiled area for a few hours. Then, vacuum as normal.
2. Freshen Up Carpets, Couches, and Even Car Seats
Over time, dogs who lay on furniture may leave a little stale odor behind. It’s natural. If you want to freshen up an area, though, simply sprinkle a little baking soda, leave for about 20 minutes, and then vacuum it up!
3. Clean Plush Dog Toys
Dog toys are slobbered on and dragged across the floor (for way more than 5 seconds). With everything those toys are exposed to, they’re filled with bacteria. That’s why they need to be cleaned from time-to-time. Good news: This is going to be way easier than you may have suspected!
- Toss the dirty toys in your washing machine.
- Ditch the detergent and sprinkle with a little baking soda and a few capfuls of white vinegar.
- Once the cycle is done, pop those babies into the dryer. Make sure your dryer is set on low or air-only. You can also let the toys air dry.
In case you’re wondering: Yes, the squeakers still work after!
4. De-Skunk Your Stinky Pooch
If your pooch has ever been skunked, you know what I’m talking about when I say it’s one of the most unpleasant experiences you and Fido can have. To get rid of the awful stench, you’ll need to neutralize the chemical compounds that cause it. Thanks to Chemist Paul Krebaum, who invented the recipe below, the stink from a skunk can be eliminated with a simple bath.
- 32-ounce bottle of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (which you can get at any supermarket or your neighborhood pharmacy)
- 1/4 Cup of Baking Soda
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (Original blue Dawn is best because Dawn easily cuts through oil and skunk spray is oil)
Warning: Never make this solution ahead of time and store it because it can explode in a sealed bottle. Also, never get this mixture into your pooch’s eyes.
- Use latex or rubber gloves when using this solution.
- Stir/Mix the ingredients together in an open container or bucket and use it right away – (do not cover it and do not store it).
- Shampoo and dry after treatment with the mixture.
5. Quick Dry Bath
Yup – you can use the versatile white powder to give your pooch a quick dry bath if he comes inside after playtime or a potty break smelling less than desirable. Sure, when your dog’s aroma makes your nose tickle, it’s best to pop them in the tub for a real bath. But, if you’re in a pinch for time, a dry bath with baking soda is useful.
Here’s what you do:
- First, make sure your dog’s fur or hair is completely dry.
- Then, lightly sprinkle baking soda over his coat.
- Gently rub it in and use a brush to work it through the hairs. The baking soda will start fighting off the unpleasant odor, helping to tide things over until you can get him in the tub.
6. Keep A Box Handy During Nail-Clipping Time
In this post, I talk about the anatomy of a dog nail. Inside is something called a quick, which provides blood supply to the nail. During nail trims, it’s essential to leave the quick intact. You do not want to cut the quick. If you do, blood will gush out of the nail and your dog will experience pain. But, here’s the thing: Accidents happen. If you do accidentally draw blood, you can either use styptic powder, cornstarch, or baking soda to help stop the bleeding. Simply dip the nail in the powder and apply pressure.
7. Relieve Bee Sting Pain
Dogs are curious creatures who love to explore the world with their face and paws. So if they stumble across a flying bee or wasp, they’re likely going to want to check it out. Since bees view our dogs as threats, they go into attack mode and sting. This actually happened to my little Chihuahua, Diego (I share our experience — and the 6 essential steps to treat bee stings — here).
One step in that article is locating and properly removing the bee’s stinger. Once the stinger is out, some people swear by rubbing a paste-like mixture of baking soda and water onto the area. It’s said to help relieve the stinging sensation.
How do you use baking soda in your home? Tell us your tips in the comment section below!