Even if you still don’t understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder when used for baking, there are many non-cooking uses for baking soda. Here are some of the handiest:
Acid Reducer. If tomato sauce and other acidic foods give you heartburn, add a teaspoon to the sauce as it cooks. Alternatively, add ½ teaspoon baking soda to ½ cup of water for immediate acid relief.
Bite and (Minor) Burn Relief. Create a soothing paste of baking soda and water and rub on itchy bug bites or minor burns. To relieve burns, you can also soak in a baking soda bath. Most importantly, use your common sense and check with a medical professional before self-treating any serious wounds.
Dirty Sponge Cleaner. Soak sponges in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart water to deodorize and clean.
Grease Eliminator. Soak greasy dishes with 2 tablespoons baking soda, then wash as you normally would.
Natural Drain Unclogger. If you're looking for a chemical-free way to unclog a slow-draining sink, mix ½ cup baking soda with ½ cup vinegar and pour down the drain. Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes and flush with some boiling water.