Most people are familiar with the general uses for Alka-Seltzer. This healing combo of citric acid, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and fizzing effervescence has been relieving indigestion, heartburn, and the occasional hangover for nearly 90 years. But Alka-Seltzer may also be the answer to several common household problems. Read on to learn more about some little-known household uses for Alka-Seltzer.
Alka-Seltzer for Common Household Problems
Did you know that Alka-Seltzer can be used to clean toilets? It’s true. Just drop two tablets into the toilet bowl, wait 20 minutes, do a quick scrub, and flush. The grime will be eradicated and your toilet will be cleaned and deodorized.
Another common household problem that can be solved with Alka-Seltzer is clogged drains. Place four tablets of Alka-Seltzer in the affected drain, add a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes. While the fizzing action is working to de-gunk the drain, boil a pot of water. After the 10 minutes is up, pour the boiling water down the drain. Voila! The clog should disappear. If not, repeat the process a second time.
Coffee lovers should enjoy reading that Alka-Seltzer can be used to descale coffee makers. Simply fill the water chamber, drop three tablets inside, and run it through a brew cycle. This will clean out all the internal components and leave your coffee pot squeaky clean. Remember to run another brew cycle with plain water once you are finished to remove any residue.
Yet another common household problem most people encounter from time to time is a stinky fridge. Fortunately, deodorizing refrigerators is another great use for Alka-Seltzer. One tablet dissolved in a cup of water and placed in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes should do the trick.
Dishes marred by grimy, baked-on, burnt food residue? Alka-Seltzer can help clean burned-on foods off dishes. If you have only one dish to clean, fill it with water, drop a tablet or two into the dish, place it in the sink, and let it fizz away. If you have a sink-full of dishes that need attention, put the stopper in the sink, fill it up, and add five or six tablets. Let the dishes soak for 30 minutes or so and then give them a light scrub. The food should come right off.
Additional Alka-Seltzer Uses
Need an easy and effective way to clean dentures? Soaking them in a warm glass of water with a tablet or two of Alka-Seltzer for about 10 minutes can dissolve grime, remove stains, and leave them looking new. It’s extremely cost effective as well—top-of-the-line denture cleaners can cost more than $50 a pop!
Speaking of money-saving measures, if you’re looking for a good jewelry cleaner, drop a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets in a cup of water and place jewelry in the fizzing mixture. Wait two minutes and promptly remove pieces. NOTE: Do not use Alka-Seltzer on pearls, opals, or other delicate gemstones as they may be damaged.
Fun Uses for Alka-Seltzer
Now on to the exciting stuff for your kids and grandkids—or the kid in you. One of the uses for Alka-Seltzer that can be fun for the whole family is making film canister rockets. The effervescent tablets make great mini-rocket fuel! Learn how to make your own here. Another one of the surprising yet entertaining uses for Alka-Seltzer is that it can help you catch fish. Break a tablet in half and toss it in the water close to where your line is cast. The fish can’t resist the bubbles, and they are drawn to your line and bait.
The last in the list of fun Alka-Seltzer uses is building your own lava lamp. Find a clear plastic bottle with a cap. Fill a quarter of the bottle with water and then add vegetable oil until you hit the halfway mark. Wait for the oil and water to separate and add 10–12 drops of your favorite shade of food coloring. Break an Alka-Seltzer tablet into about 6 pieces and drop it into the mixture. The colorful bubbles will look just like a lava lamp! For added effect, go into a dark room and shine a flashlight through the bottom of the bottle.
So there you have it. The uses for Alka-Seltzer extend far beyond curing queasy stomachs, indigestion, and headaches. That “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” tablet can also solve several common household problems and help you have a little wholesome family fun.