Since you never know when you may need an antacid, if you’re like me, you keep a box or two of Alka-Seltzer on hand. But it turns out that those little fizzing tablets are good for much more than just relieving a troubled tummy. In fact, the active ingredients in Alka-Seltzer, which include aspirin, citric acid and baking soda, make these effervescent pills perfect for everything from cleaning toilets to soothing insect bites! Here are seven unusual ways that Alka-Seltzer can come in handy:
1. Clean a toilet
We’ve all done it. We say we are going to clean the bathroom but then we put it off for a day, which then turns into a week, and before you know it a month has gone by, and now you have those stuck-on stains that just won’t budge. To help loosen that gross grime, drop two tablets in the toilet and let it sit for about 20 minutes. That gross toilet ring will now scrub away with ease!
2. Unclog a drain
I hate when I get a clogged drain, which seems to happen fairly often in my house. Instead of running out to buy an expensive bottle of drain cleaner, try this tip. Simply drop 3–4 Alka-Seltzer tabs down the drain and chase it with a cup of vinegar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then run some hot water to flush it out. Not only will this unclog the drain, but it will help deodorize it, too!
3. Deodorize the fridge
Not only can you deodorize a drain with Alka-Seltzer, but you can use it in your refrigerator, as well. I once left an onion in my vegetable drawer, and it slid to the back where I couldn’t see it. You can guess what happened next! I was left with a terrible onion odor that just wouldn’t budge. To eradicate that stench, I just dropped an Alka-Seltzer tab into a bowl of water and placed it in the fridge. Within about 30 minutes, the smell had already dissipated.
4. Clean stuck-on grime from glass baking dishes
This is one of my favorite Alka-Seltzer tips, because I am a huge culprit of leaving baking dishes in the sink overnight, only to awaken to a stuck-on mess. Instead of spending all evening trying to scrub away those burnt-on food stains, fill a sink with hot water and drop in a tablet or two. Throw in your dishes for about an hour, and let the bubbles do the work! The citric acid works wonders to loosen the stains so you can wipe the mess off easily.
5. Polish jewelry
Alka-Seltzer is a great cleaning tool, but it can go further than just the kitchen or the bathroom. In fact, it is actually a great jewelry cleaner. To brighten those baubles, just place 1–2 tablets into a warm bowl of water and let the tablets fizz. Once they are done fizzing, drop in your dingy jewels and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Remove them and polish them with a soft cloth. Just be cautious about what you clean with this method—for instance, this is not safe for pearls and opals.
6. Soothe insect bites
Bug bites are one of the most annoying aspects of summertime. It seems as though I’m always running to the store to purchase some sort of anti-itch lotion, and those are definitely not cheap. Instead of purchasing those costly creams, give this home remedy a go. Drop two tablets into a bowl of warm water and soak a cotton ball or cloth in the solution. Next, place the cotton ball on the bite and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. It should help relieve the itch substantially!
7. Brighten laundry
If some of your whites are starting to look yellow, try returning them to their natural shade with Alka-Seltzer. Soak the whites in a solution of one gallon warm water and two tablets. Let them sit in the mixture for about five minutes and then wash and dry them as you would normally. It may take a few treatments to eradicate all of the yellowing, but this trick can really brighten those dingy duds!