14 Alka-Seltzer Cleaning Hacks To Try Around The House

Regarded as something of a fizzy miracle by anyone who has ever suffered from a raging hangover or churning stomach, Alka-Seltzer can also be used in a wide range of household cleaning hacks. The effervescent tablets that nearly everyone calls upon in their hour of need have the capacity to make both you and your home feel brand new. From cleaning floors to giving your whites a new lease on life, and even deodorizing fridges, Alka-Seltzer is a versatile little weapon in your cleaning armory.

As one of the nation's favorite painkillers, Alka-Seltzer annually shifts about 2.5 billion tablets in the U.S. That's a lot of households that have a box buried in a cupboard or hiding in a drawer somewhere. Its dynamic combination of aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate makes it the go-to fix for anyone suffering from headaches and heartburn. Yet you don't have to wait until you feel under the weather to reach for the Alka-Seltzer. Next time you need your floors scrubbed, your drain unblocked, or your toilet cleaned, you'll be surprised what a friend you have in this everyday drug.

It's a great floor cleaner

If there's one thing floors know how to do and do well, it's getting dirty! As something that gets walked all over daily and is subject to the numerous spills, stains, wear and tear of everyday life, floors need a lot of TLC and cleaning to keep them looking and feeling great. Here's where a little Alka-Seltzer can help! Most floor cleaners contain a complicated cocktail of chemicals. Alka-Seltzer doesn't! The potent blend of sodium bicarbonate and citrus acid ensures it's tough on the dirt, grime, and stains that floors attract. After all, sodium bicarbonate is just a fancy word for "baking soda," which is a great all-natural cleaning product.

To prepare a little Alka-Seltzer floor cleaning mix, fill 1/2 a gallon container with warm water and add four or five tablets to the equation. Take a minute to bask in the satisfying plop, plop, and fizz, fizz sound before grabbing your mop and taking direct action. Your floors will be gleaming in no time.

It can brighten your whites

Who among us hasn't experienced the dismay of pulling on what was once a dazzling white shirt or blouse only to find that it has now faded in parts to a grubby shade of yellow? In strictly sartorial terms, it is a horror without equal and can lead a sharp dresser to the brink of despair. Yet fear not! Alka-Seltzer can help bring you back from the edge and restore your whites to their former glory. The culprit responsible for your yellowed whites could be sunscreen, deodorant, or simply the hands of old Father Time. However, Alka-Seltzer's citric acid and sodium bicarbonate can help restore their integrity.

Take the offending item of clothing and soak it overnight in a bowl containing 4 quarts of water and two tablets of you know what. When you rise in the morning, hang the clothes on the line or somewhere they'll dry easily. Come the morning, the odious yellow stains should have vanished like phantoms in the night. A word to the wise: Although Alka-Seltzer is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on your clothing, it's always best to road-test this hack on an item you have no real investment in. If the results are to your liking, it's time to go for gold.

Use it for blocked drains

A blocked drain may not be classed as a sin against nature, but it should be. When what should flow effortlessly becomes clogged, sluggish, and, in the worst-case scenario, creates a pool of foul-smelling standing water, you've got problems. Yet fear not, concerned and agitated homeowner! The physical and practical headache caused by a minor blockage can be nipped in the bud with a simple dose of Alka-Seltzer and a little vinegar. Forget the tiresome indignity of using a plunger or the expense of using costly clog-busting products. Our little tablet friends and their acidic sidekick can cut through common blockages like a hot knife through butter.

This Batman and Robin of the blocked drain-busting world work so well together because the bubbles and fizz of the sodium bicarbonate help break up the blockage, and the acid in the vinegar helps penetrate any debris and neutralize any unpleasant odors. They're ineffective against industrial-scale clogs but offer a simple and productive solution for minor blockages. For best results, remove any standing water and put a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets directly down the sink. Pour a cup of vinegar hot on their heels, sit back, and wait for the tell-tale fizz. The chemical reaction that sparks carbon dioxide has begun. Simply wait 10 minutes before pouring boiling water until the blockage is cleared. Job done!

It's excellent for cleaning coffee makers

Without the caffeine kick that a little cup of coffee first thing in the morning provides, it would be hard for many of us to start the day, let alone function. That's why keeping your coffee maker in pristine condition is essential, and Alka-Seltzer can help. No one wants a cup of Joe brewed in a dirty vessel coated with limescale, mineral deposits, mold, and other accumulated dirt and grime. An uncared-for coffee maker is in danger of failing to function properly. When the machine breaks down, you break down. So do yourself a favor and keep your percolator clean with a few tablets.

Simply fill the coffee maker with water and drop in three Alka-Seltzer tablets. Leave them to fizz and work their magic for 15 minutes or more before running the pot on a full cycle. Once complete, rinse the pot thoroughly and run on a further two cleaning cycles, and the process should be complete. Now it's time to reward yourself with a cup of something special. Enjoy!

It can remove tough caffeine stains

There's nothing like a hot cup of coffee or a steaming cup of tea to get the juices flowing and steady the vision. Yet although all that caffeine may be good for the soul, it can play havoc with your crockery. A caffeine stain can make the most exquisite porcelain cup look like the sort of used and abused mug you'd find in some greasy spoon cafe. However, sometimes, no matter how hard you scrub or how many times you cycle the dishwasher, those stubborn caffeine stains just won't shift. That's where a little Alka-Seltzer can come in handy.

To finally eradicate those tough caffeine stains, pour a little warm water into each vessel, pop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in, and wait for a quarter of an hour. With a little gentle scrubbing, the stains should disappear thanks to the fizzing citric acid and baking soda. 

It can remove tough stains dishwashers can't

Dishwashers are a miraculous invention. They've saved millions from the soul-crushing chore of scrubbing dishes all day. Instead of wearing oversized rubber gloves and being chained to the kitchen sink every evening, we can now master the violin or learn Latin while blessed technology takes care of the dirty dishes. However, because they lack the elbow grease of the human body and the rugged determination of the human spirit, dishwashers fail at attacking certain stains. The good news is that Alka-Seltzer can reach the parts dishwashers cannot.

Glass oven dishes you've cooked the Sunday roast in can be particularly hard for a dishwasher to tackle. However, all that stubborn residue and burnt debris is a walk in the park for a little Alka-Seltzer. Simply place six tablets in a sink of warm water together with your soiled cookware and leave for 60 minutes. Once it's had a thorough soaking, give it a gentle scrubbing, and any burnt residue should slide off. If you want to go nuclear on your cookware, try adding a little vinegar to the water.

It can give your glass vases a dynamic shine

Grubby and grimy glass, particularly in flower vases, can have an unsettling effect on a person's demeanor and general well-being. When what should be sparkling is soiled by grease, fingerprints, and plant gunk, the universe is out of whack, and a little Alka-Seltzer is called for. Not to soothe the resulting headache but to give your glassware the sort of sparkle and shine you expect.

All you need to do is rinse the vase, drop in three Alka-Seltzer tablets, and add hot water. Let the chemicals do their fizzy thing, and once all is calm, allow the water to stand for a further 20 minutes or more. If the glass still looks slightly grimy, clean it with a little dish soap and a toothbrush. Rinse through, dry the vase thoroughly, and presto! You should have the sort of glass vase that'll sweetly complement the bloom of any flower.

It can keep your refrigerator smelling nice

In an era of convenience, we take refrigerators for granted because they are the domestic hack that keeps on giving. Without these cool little helpers, your milk wouldn't stay unspoiled, your meat would rot, your salad would wilt, and a cold beer would be the stuff of fairytales. The only downside to refrigerators is that sometimes they can smell a little less than savory. To stop this stench from ruining your appetite, using Alka-Seltzer is a handy hack to keep your fridge smelling nice.

Dissolve a tablet in a glass of water, place it in your refrigerator, close the door, and let it stand for about half an hour. Open that bad boy up, and if anything still smells funky, drop another tablet into another glass of water, dip in a cloth, and use it to wipe down any remaining odors. In next to no time, those odors should be safely neutralized.

It's an effective way to clean drink bottles

We all want to minimize our carbon footprint. That's why reusable drink bottles are all the rage and plastic bottles have been given the boot. The only snag is that using the same old bottle day in and day out to get our daily fill of H2O can lead to problems. Dr. Donald Grant told The Independent, "A common misconception when it comes to reusable water bottle hygiene is that as you're typically filling it with pure water and it's only coming into contact with your own mouth, there's little need to clean it often. However, every time you drink from the bottle, you're transferring bacteria from your mouth, which can then multiply in the container."

There are many ways to effectively clean your drink bottle, and one of them is to use Alka-Seltzer. Fill the bottle halfway with clean water so Alka-Seltzer's fizzing properties will not cause it to froth over. Drop a couple of tablets in and leave overnight. By morning, the tablets should have effectively removed any residue or stains. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove any remnants of the Alka-Seltzer, place it upside down on a dish drainer or towel to dry, and your work is done.

It can give your plastic containers a new lease on life

In these more environmentally aware times, disposable plastic has a bad reputation, and rightly so. However, reusable plastic is seen as its friendly and far more innocent cousin. Particularly if you eat a lot of packed lunches. However, they tend to get stained if used continually, and sometimes soap isn't strong enough to lift the discoloration. Alongside white vinegar, bleach, and rubbing alcohol, Alka-Seltzer can stop plastic from becoming stained and discolored and give it a new lease on life.

To unleash the cleaning properties of the citric acid found in the tablets, pour a cup of warm water into your plastic container and drop in a couple of Alka-Seltzers. For light stains, leave for a couple of hours, but for the meaner types, let those bad boys soak overnight to reflect on their behavior. When finished, wash through with warm water and soap, rinse, dry, and it's a case of plastic fantastic!

It can put the bling back into your jewelry

Alka-Seltzer and jewelry may sound like an unholy union, but if you want to put the bling back into your rings, then this is the hack for you. The wear and tear of everyday life can take the shine off of any necklace or pair of earrings. Although Alka-Seltzer can work a treat on white gold and diamonds, do not use it on any silver jewelry, pearls, or opals. It can damage them. And always use standard Alka-Seltzer as opposed to the flavored or fancy kind.

Drop two tablets in a cup filled 3/4 with water. As soon as those tablets begin to fizz, put your jewelry in the cup and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes until all traces of Alka-Seltzer have disappeared. Retrieve your jewelry, wipe it with a cotton cloth, and admire your clean collection.

It can work wonders on bathroom tiles

Cleaning tiles is both a bore and a chore, but a clean bathroom is essential if it's to serve its function of keeping us smelling fresh and hygienic. So next time you roll up your sleeves and face the mundane dredge of scrubbing the tiles, make your job a little easier with some Alka-Seltzer. When dissolved in a little water, the tablets make for an effective tile cleaner that gets results.

For best results, drop five tablets in roughly 1 cup of warm water. Allow them to dissolve fully, and then pour the contents into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the tiles, wipe with enthusiasm, and you'll soon notice the difference between a grimy tile and one attacked with Alka-Seltzer. The baking soda and citric acid will lift soap scum and grease, giving you a green alternative to chemical-laden bathroom cleaners.

It can provide light relief for bug bites

Bug bites are a simple fact of life! Yet it doesn't make them any more palatable. Any product containing antihistamines is usually your best bet, but if you haven't got any on hand, try some Alka-Seltzer. Admittedly, it's a treatment not many people are familiar with, but if you aren't allergic to aspirin, it's a safe option. That's because the product contains aspirin, which is an anesthetic that can dull the pain and itch of the bite.

Drop a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and wait for them to dissolve. The next step is to soak a little cotton ball in the mixture and gently hold it on the affected area. It should help minimize the swelling and redness, and lessen the itch. Although it's not the most effective remedy in the medicine cabinet, Alka-Seltzer is a good makeshift substitute when you're in a jam.

It'll leave your toilet fresh and sparkling

There are plenty of things that end up in your toilet and flushed down the drain, but you wouldn't think Alka-Seltzer was a likely candidate. Its bubbling formula can not only help clean your porcelain throne, but keep it clear of bacteria as well. Take three tablets and drop them into the toilet bowl. Allow those beauties to fizz and bubble for nearly half an hour as the citric acid goes about its business of busting stains and descaling all that unpleasantness.

Once it has played its part, it's time for you to grab a scrub brush and get in on the action. Ensure you get beneath the rim and the top portion of the bowl to scrub away or unclog anything nasty. Once your work is complete, yank that chain, and while it's flushing, take advantage of the empty bowl to work the brush into the bottom and drain. End the process with a final victory flush to wash away any lingering debris, and your toilet will look box-fresh.