Baking Soda

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Does Putting Baking Soda in Your Fridge Really Kill Odors?

Editor
And if so, how does it work?
Baking Soda

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Baking soda has plenty of uses that don't involve cooking. 

It’s something we’ve been told for ages: If you want to prevent your refrigerator from getting too smelly, stick an open box or bowl of baking soda on a shelf and all the odors will be neutralized. But does it actually work, or it just an old folk remedy? And if it does work, what’s the reason?

There are countless websites extolling the veracity of this “life hack,” but not many actually explain the rationale; thankfully, The Straight Dope does. When it comes down to it, baking soda is a powerful deodorizer, and yes, it actually does work (somewhat) when it comes to keeping fridge odors at bay. The reason baking soda works so well at getting rid of odors is because of the fact that it neutralizes both acids as well as bases. In the refrigerator, most odor buildups are because of acids (like lactic acid in milk) and bases (spoiling meat). Obviously, if your refrigerator is full of rotting meat a box of baking soda is going to accomplish next to nothing, but for mild odors it can be counted on to dampen them, at least slightly.

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Baking soda doesn’t just work in the fridge, either; it can also be used to deodorize shoes, trash cans, and other things that can take on an unpleasant funk.