backing soda - home
Credit: Getty

Jill Nystul is the cleaning mastermind behind the popular blog, One Good Thing by Jillee. Check back on PEOPLE Home for her quick tips and expert advice for keeping your spaces in tip-top shape.

Not a fan of scrubbing, scouring, or really anything that involves Big Bird-hued rubber gloves? Meet the two words that will change your life (or at least your cleaning habits): sodium bicarbonate.

It’s baking soda! And it will make almost every grimy thing in your house look and smell brand new. We all know the trick about keeping an open box in your fridge, and may have even attempted some at home teeth whitening tricks with the stuff, but this simple kitchen ingredient has far more magical powers.

“I keep discovering more and more ingenious, useful, simple, brilliant, creative ways to use baking soda that I just keep adding to my long list,” explains cleaning guru Jill Nystul. Here she shares some favorite baking soda-based tricks:

Use it to Clean and Freshen Carpets. “To absorb carpet spills, blot up the area with a towel, spray with water and shake on baking soda. It will help lift the stain, and once it dries, you simply vacuum it up. You can also sprinkle it on carpets and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming to eliminate smells.”

Fix Stinky Shoes. “Make sachets of baking soda and stick them in stinky gym shoes.”

Eliminate Trash Can Odor. “Keep kitchen and bathroom trashcans smelling fresh by adding a sprinkle of baking soda to the bottom every time you change the bag.”

Get Great Looking Grout. “Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste and scrub the grout with the paste and a toothbrush.”

Refresh Your Mattress. “Every few months sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and a tablespoon of your favorite fabric softener over your mattress, let it sit for an hour and then vacuum it up. This gets rid of dust mites and freshens the mattress. In your linen or clothes closets, keep that same mixture in a small mason jar with holes poked in the top to keep it smelling fresh!”

Remove Burned on Food. “My mom recently asked me how to remove burned-on food from CorningWare. Let the dish soak in sudsy water with a bit of baking soda. Then scrub with a non-abrasive rag and rinse.”

Get Rid of Coffee Stains. “Use baking soda to clean the inside of porcelain cups. Just wet the inside, pour some in the bottom, and scrub. It gets coffee and tea stains right out!”

Combat Litter Box Odors. “Sprinkle baking soda generously across the bottom of the box before you add new litter. As the cat uses the box and kicks up the litter, the baking soda will help mix in and destroy some of the odor. Baking soda is non-toxic and won’t harm or bother your cat.”

De-Grime Your Grill. “Clean tough, greasy stains from your outdoor grill by scrubbing with a wire brush and a paste that’s three parts baking soda to one part warm water, then rinse.”

Clean Smelly Jacuzzi Jets. “Fill bath to a few inches above the jets, pour in 1-2 cups of baking soda and let it run for about 10 minutes. Drain the cruddy water, refill tub with warm water and run jets for another 10 minutes.”

For more, check out Jill’s full list of baking soda how-tos (including beauty hacks).