Top 10 Uses for Baking Soda & a review

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of ARM & HAMMER™ however all statements and opinions are mine.

Recently, I was asked to review some products from ARM & HAMMER™ .  I have shared a couple of these reviews with you over the last few months and today I will be sharing with you my review of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda and ARM & HAMMER™ Ultra Power 4X Liquid Laundry Detergent.


I feel like I am always finding new uses for Baking Soda.  Baking Soda is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways.  I thought I would share MY top ten uses of Baking Soda in the home.


1. Refrigerator deodorizer

Place an open box in the back of the fridge or other area that may need freshening. It will absorb odors, keeping the area smelling nice and fresh.

2. Keeps your teeth healthy

Combine half a teaspoon of baking soda with peroxide until it forms a paste, then brush away!  Or use Arm and Hammer’s Toothpaste with Baking Soda.  I love it!

3. Removing Urine/Odors

Potty training can be difficult and you might find you need to clean up wet mattresses and/or carpet.  You can apply baking soda and white distilled vinegar for stronger smelling messes if the surface needs extra cleaning. For dog odors and urine sprinkle with baking soda and let it stand for a few hours before vacuuming up.

4. Drain cleaner

Pour one cup down the drain and let it sit for several minutes followed by three cups of boiling water.

5. Relieves skin irritations

Add baking soda to your bath water or create a paste and add to rashes and insect bites to alleviate inflammations.

6. Polishing silver

Create a paste of baking soda and water. Buff your silver with the mixture using a clean, soft rag. Rinse, then polish dry.

7. Cleaning your bathroom

Create a solution by adding about 1/2 cup of baking soda with liquid soap or detergent. This is perfect for cleaning the bathtub, countertop, or tiles. Rinse after application.

8. Floral Preservation

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase of your freshly cut flowers.  This will prolong their life and keep them fresher longer.

9. Removes strong odors from your hands

Rubbing baking soda and water on your hands can remove unpleasant smells left behind after handling or cutting stronger smelling foods such as garlic and onions.

10. Cutting board deodorizer

Sprinkle baking soda on the cutting board, scrub and rinse to remove the smell of stronger items such as garlic and onions.


Just the other day we spent some time with extended family over Christmas Vacation.  We went tubing for a couple of hours and then headed over to a crater to go swimming in the warm mineral waters.  We had so much fun, but since we didn’t head home until the next afternoon, our wet and dirty swimsuits and snow clothes didn’t get washed out immediately.


They were damp, dirty and had that mildew-y smell that comes with clothes that aren’t allowed to dry properly.  So I washed them with ARM & HAMMER™ Ultra Power 4X Liquid Laundry Detergent.  They came out smelling so fresh and clean!


Designed to give you ultimate cleaning strength in a smaller size, new ARM & HAMMER™ Ultra Power 4X Liquid Laundry Detergent is ultra concentrated and packed with two scoops of baking soda. This little bottle offers loads of power, getting your clothes 50% whiter and 50% fresher compared to the leading value detergent per load. It’s the little bottle with the big value.

Visit ARM & HAMMER’s website to explore ARM & HAMMER products and find out WHERE TO BUY IT.

And…because I know many of you have favorite uses for Baking Soda, I would love to know what they are.  Please feel free to share your favorite uses for it in the comment section below!


Establishing Back-to-School Routines


Hey guys…It’s Amy…still taking a little break and spending some time with my kids before school starts next week for us.  Becky from Clean Mama is back to share some great tips for getting back into a routine when the kids head back to school!  Thanks Becky!

Hi there Idea Room readers!  I’m Becky from the Clean Mama blog and I’m back today to share a little checklist with some ideas for a smooth transition from summer fun to back to school routines.  Even if your kids have already started back to school, the tips today are easy to implement any time.


I have five areas that I think will help organize your home, your child, and your school year.
1.  Set up a snack and lunch making center or spot in the kitchen-
*put lunch items in a container in the fridge and pantry
*make healthy snacks easily accessible to hungry kids – fruit, veggies, nuts, pretzels, cheese….
*put lunch making supplies (bags, lunch boxes, reusable containers) all in one place to alleviate searching
2.  Create an art work and school work collection spot – decide how you’ll save special artwork and schoolwork (binder with sleeves, boxes, scan to computer)
I’m using these boxes from The Container Store.
3.  Start or update a family binder or notebook-
*determine important sections: home-keeping, contacts, school info, contacts, bills, emergency info, etc.
(Shameless plug: my Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables-is full of great documents to quickly create a Home-keeping binder – I even have a School Days Kit that’ll help get your year off to a great start)
4.  Create and/or Stock a Homework Station-
*stock up on supplies (now that everything is on sale)
*designate a quiet spot for homework – this can be as simple as the kitchen table and a basket with school supplies
This is a cute little station from The Container Store.
5.  Sort Through Clothes, Shoes, Outerwear-
*place outgrown clothing in boxes/bins
*donate clothing to friends, family, your favorite charity
*make a list of what your child/children need and watch for sales and coupons
Any ideas you’d like to share that help you get ready for the next school year?  We’d love to hear them in the comments section!
You can go here to grab a little School Days Checklist to make your transition a little easier this year!



Hey, In other news, I would love for you to come and join me, Amy Anderson (Mod Podge Rocks) and Jen (Tatertots and Jell-O) for a live chat tonight over in the Blog Frog’s International Delight Coffee Talk Community. What are you favorite beauty secrets? How do you stay looking young? And what products or recipes that you love and want to share? We’re talking all about beauty and how to maintain it TONIGHT, Thursday, August 18th at 9pm EST. Come join us!!!


To join us simply follow this link!



Thanks Clean Mama!!



It is hard to believe that the Clean Mama Organization Tips Series here on The Idea Room has come to an end.  It has been so much fun for me to have Becky sharing her great ideas, cleaning and organizational tips with us.  I just love her blog and her printables.  She makes organizing fun and manageable.  And her printables are fresh and fun and easy to use.  I hope you have all enjoyed the time and effort she has put into each and every one of her posts.  Be sure to head on over to Clean Mama and leave her some love and appreciation.  And make sure you follow her on her blog so that you can continue to learn from the amazing things she has to share with us.  You can also get her fun printables in Clean Mama’s ETSY Shop to help you stay more organized in your own homes.  Clean Mama also has a lot of fun freebies that she shares with her readers as well.  So head on over and show her some love!

And in case you missed any of Becky’s posts I have compiled them all here so you can access them quickly and easily.

Organizing Addresses and Phone Numbers

Grouping Items to Declutter Photo Albums

Ending Mud Room Mayhem

Organizing Kids Stuff

Stair Baskets

Keep A List

Quick Clean Ups

Holiday Menu Plan Printable

Fridge Pocket Storage Tutorial

Using Labels to Organize


Thanks so much Becky!

Fridge Pocket for Small Storage Items

Hi Idea Room readers – it’s Becky from the Clean Mama blog and Clean Mama Printables.  Today’s Organizational Tip is to make a Fridge Pocket to hold pens, a small notepad,  and anything else you need to keep handy in the kitchen.  I needed a little something to store pens and such on the side of the fridge.  I looked through my fabric stash and found some leftover oilcloth – perfect!  
 You could easily use regular fabric that was heavily starched or with some fusible webbing with similar results. 
I simply started with two pieces of oilcloth – one cut to about 16 inches x 6 inches and one cut to 10 inches x 4 inches (these dimensions can be changed to accommodate your own pocket and how much or how little you want to store in them). 
Then I folded the smaller piece of oilcloth in half (with the wrong side out) and stitched along the bottom of each piece of oilcloth – like this.  Word to the wise – oilcloth is MUCH thicker than regular fabric, so tread slowly and carefully with your sewing machine.
Then I stitched all the way up one side and a little over half way up the other side – like a pillow.

Carefully turn it right side out and fold in the side that didn’t get stitched up – you should hand stitch this closed, but I opted for pinning and holding it together until I sewed it on the larger piece.
Position the pocket onto the larger piece of fabric and sew down the bottom and sides, leaving the the top open for your pens and such.  (This picture is before I sewed it down.)
Turn the larger piece inside out and stitch along the bottom edge like this.
I then turned the piece right-side out, folded the seams in and stitched up both sides – probably not proper stitchery, but it worked for me.
Once the sides were stitched up, I attached a 4 x 6 inch  magnet sticker to the back.
And now I have this handy little fridge friend/pocket to keep these little tools close by.

Need a step-by-step tutorial?  Go here to get this printable.  Enjoy!



Holiday Menu Plan Printable—with Clean Mama

Hi Idea Room Readers -  it’s Becky from the Clean Mama blog and Clean Mama Printables!   Today’s Organizing Tip is to create a Menu Plan for those big or little holiday meals and special occasions.  Having a menu planned will save time and energy in the kitchen while preparing for the meal and can also serve as a reminder for what you made the previous year.
Today I’ve created a printable for you to jot down your Menu Plan for any upcoming holiday meal, bridal or baby shower, or family gathering, but it’s just in time for planning that Easter dinner.
How to use this printable:
Jot down your ideas, narrow down your choices
Write down where the dish is from (internet, recipe binder, cookbook)
Write down when you’ll make it (day before, day of…)
Use the little oval to check off when the dish is completed or if it’s a “make it again” dish
Use the shopping list at the bottom to keep everything in one place
You can go here to grab your own list – organize your holiday and larger menus for a more relaxing and enjoyable event. 

"On Your Way Up Basket" + Clean Mama Printables GIVEAWAY

**This giveaway is now CLOSED**

Happy Thursday, Idea Room readers!  It’s Becky from the Clean Mama Blog and it’s time for another organizational tip and a giveaway too!
For me, organization and simplification go together.  If I spend the time to organize an area, that organization should simplify my life.  Today’s organizational tip is simple and  it can be tailored to work in your home and with your family.  Instead of having a stack of things on the steps, I set out to find a container to keep on the steps as an “on your way up basket”.
this basket is what got me thinking
I lined up a variety of baskets and containers on my steps to see what worked
finally, I decided on this magazine basket
I love to make things a little bit simpler, so I made a couple labels to go with the basket – I glued them together and laminated them so anyone that sees the basket knows to either bring it up or down

Want to make a “on your way up basket” too?  Here are three different types of labels for the container you make.  Go here to get the printable.
and now for the giveaway!
Today I’d love for you to peek at my Clean Mama Printables Etsy shop – it’s full of printables designed to MAKE LIFE EASIER.  I’ve thought out organizational processes like cleaning and bill paying and designed cute and highly functional printable tools to make cleaning and organizing fun and easy. 
Want a chance to win a $50 shop credit?  Go peek at my shop and come back here and tell me in the comments which printable or kit you could use the most.  Amy will announce the winner on Wednesday, March 9th.
Can’t wait to see if you won?  Use the code 20IDEAROOM for 20% off your entire order through Wednesday, March 9th.

Grouping Items to Declutter – Photo Album Storage Center

Hi The Idea Room readers!  It’s Becky, Clean Mama, and I’m back today with another Organizational Tip to help you organize your home. 

If you have a clutter spot or recurring clutter, think about grouping “like” items (bills and mail, photos, scrapbooking, sewing, or craft supplies) together in a designated area.  This could be a box, a basket, a bin, or a piece of furniture.  For today’s decluttering, I used a not-used-enough piece of furniture to contain my clutter and to give me a new space to work on photo albums.  I’m not talking about scrapbooking here, just putting photos in albums – and yes, I’m always behind – like by a year.
I took an antique commode (cute little cupboard) that was holding miscellaneous papers and other stuff and turned it into photo album storage.
empty all contents – I guess I was under-utilizing this stashing spot
When you are decluttering, always sort into three categories 
(keep, toss, give away)
I lined the cabinet and drawer with scrapbook cardstock. I didn’t have enough to do the whole thing the same, so I just coordinated using different “flocked” black and cream patterns. 
I used wrapping paper and made a template to line the drawer and cupboard by just pressing the paper into the drawer to get a line for the drawer – can you see it?  And then cut it out for my template.

Then I cut the paper to fit the cabinet and placed it inside – I glued the paper together, but I didn’t or tape it down to the cabinet because it has a snug fit and doesn’t get a lot of use.

I grouped the photo albums together in the cabinet

the drawer is for holding photos that need to be put in the albums – I think I’ll add a little basket here for doubles or pictures to give away.

I love this solution because all the photo albums are in one place and accessible.  But the best part?  Everyone can actually LOOK at the photos because they are in the living room and not stashed throughout the house.
Do you have a clutter spot that could benefit from some grouping of like items?
Come on over for a visit to CleanMama blog sometime, I’d love to have you - the cyber coffee is always on!