7 Clever Ways You Should Be Using Alka-Seltzer To Clean Your Kitchen

Since 1931, Alka-Seltzer has been the fizzy medicine of choice for upset stomachs, indigestion, headaches, and more. While it might be a staple in your medicine cabinet, did you know it can actually pack a serious punch in the cleaning department, too? You can use Alka-Seltzer all throughout your house, but we've rounded up seven of the best, most clever ways to put it to work in the heart of the home: the kitchen. 

While cleaning with medicine might sound unusual, just one look at the list of Alka-Seltzer's active ingredients tells us plenty about its cleaning prowess. Aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate work wonders for upset stomachs, but they're also commonly found in numerous cleaning products. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the effectiveness of each ingredient as we go along. Now, get ready to slide your other kitchen sprays, powders, and pastes aside. Read on to discover compelling, budget-friendly ways to add some fizzy fabulousness to your cleaning routine.

Clean your coffee maker

If you need a cup of Joe to get your gears going every morning, you know that the coffee maker is one of the most-used small appliances in the kitchen. However, with constant use, stains and residue can build up to the point that it begins affecting the taste of your brew. With daily use, it's advised that you perform regular cleaning once a month. Now you can streamline this chore and learn the easiest way to remove stubborn coffee stains with Alka-Seltzer! The effectiveness comes from the bubbles working into every nook and cranny for a truly deep clean.

Experts recommend making a solution with three to four Alka-Seltzer tablets. Dissolve them in 10 ounces of water, then pour the mixture into your coffee maker to brew a full pot. Next, run through a couple more cycles with just water to ensure any residue is rinsed out. Now, all that's left to do is enjoy the freshest-tasting cup your machine has produced in ages.

Unclog the sink

Is your kitchen sink bubbling up water and not draining quickly? If running the disposal doesn't clear the problem, you can grab a couple of supplies from around the house for the fastest fix to unclog the sink. An added bonus is that this trick doesn't require the use of any harsh chemicals. Before we jump into it, it's important to note that this solution likely isn't powerful enough to fight serious sink issues. However, that's why it's perfect for kitchens, as you're typically not battling clumps of hair.

To begin, drop two to three Alka-Seltzer tablets down into the drain (or as close to in it as you can). Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar. While the mixture in the sink bubbles away, boil a kettle of water on the stove. Once the fizzing action stops, pour the boiling water down the drain. You can repeat the process if it's still not draining properly. Experts love the added bonus of this hack — it eliminates smelly sink odors, too! We call that a win-win.

Add it to your mop water

Depending on the type of flooring in your home, there are numerous possibilities for enhancing your mop water for an even more effective clean. While you may often reach for standards like white vinegar or a splash of bleach, you've probably never considered adding a common medicine to your mop water. Surprisingly, Alka-Seltzer can act as a cleaning powerhouse thanks to its active ingredients: aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). Aspirin is a proven stain fighter, while citric acid cuts through dirt and grime, and sodium bicarbonate helps with stains and odors.

When you're ready to mop, make sure you have a clean mop head, then fill the bucket with warm water. Next, drop in three or four Alka-Seltzer tablets. Once the bubbling subsides, grab your mop and get to work. You'll be amazed how to solution powers through even the toughest messes. Plus, since there are no harsh chemicals involved, you can rest assured that it's giving you a safe, but thorough, clean.

Freshen up the fridge

Funky fridge smells can come from all sorts of things — leftovers past their prime, spoiled produce, forgotten spills, curdled dairy, and so much more. If you cringe every time the refrigerator door opens, we've got a quick, easy trick that will stop the smells in their tracks. All you need is a glass of Alka-Seltzer and water. Science backs up the effectiveness thanks to two of the main ingredients: citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. Citric acid is a popular ingredient in many commercial cleaning solutions because it disinfects while also providing a deep clean. As for the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), it's been a staple in fridge freshness for years. People often put a box on the back shelf and replace it every few months. Because it's a base, it can neutralize the acidic odors.

To try this in your own fridge, you'll simply need a glass of water and one Alka-Seltzer tablet. Drop the tablet in the glass, and once it starts fizzing, set the glass inside. Give it at least 30 minutes to work. If the odor still lingers, you can make a second batch, but this time dip a sponge into the solution and wipe down all of the shelves, interior walls, and any tight nooks inside the fridge.

Clean crusty cookware

Maybe you've made your favorite baked ziti one too many times lately, or you didn't rinse the pan quickly enough afterwards. If you're dealing with tough, baked-on gunk inside your glass cookware, step away from the scouring pad and reach for a box of Alka-Seltzer instead. Its powerful, crust-fighting bubbles will loosen even the most resistant residue. Citric acid and sodium bicarbonate do all the work for you, so your arms will rejoice at this scrubbing reprieve.

Before you begin, please note that this hack is only to be used with glass cookware. Place the dirty dish into the sink and fill it with warm water. Next, add five to six Alka-Seltzer tablets. Allow the fizzy formula to sit for at least an hour. After that, the residue should wipe off easily, and you can wash the dish by hand or place it into the dishwasher for a final clean. If the residue is particularly stubborn, or you just want to give the solution an extra boost, you can also add one cup of white vinegar to the mixture.

Make glasses shine

If your vases have that telltale grimy film at the bottom, or stubborn stains are ruining the elegance of your decanter, you're not alone. These types of long-necked, glass vessels are notoriously hard to clean. Our hands are too big, scrub brushes aren't long enough to reach the bottom, the dishwasher makes them look cloudy, etc. What once seemed like an impossible chore is now a cinch thanks to Alka-Seltzer. Its fizzing action can reach into even the tiniest nooks and crannies, loosening tough residue, grime, and stains. Experts recommend this as one of the most effective ways to clean glassware. Plus, since it's free of harsh chemicals, you can rest assured that your glass will come out clean without fears of etching or damage.

To make your glasses shine from the inside out, begin by filling them with hot water. Next, drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets (if it's a very small vessel, you can use one tablet), and let it work its magic. Once the fizzing action stops, rinse with fresh water and dry. If your container is especially dirty, you may need to repeat the process twice.

Clean your dishwasher

Our dishwashers are often the unsung heroes of our kitchen appliances. Compared with washing by hand, they're much more efficient, thus saving us time and money — not to mention freeing us from long stretches on our feet after a tiresome day. With all the food debris they wash away, it's important to remember they need to be cleaned regularly to keep them functioning in top-form. While there are lots of easy ways to clean the dishwasher, allow us to introduce you to a hack that doesn't involve buying any special supplies — all you need is a box of Alka-Seltzer from your medicine cabinet. How does it work? Two of its active ingredients form a fantastic, grime-fighting duo. Simply put, the citric acid breaks down residue and the sodium bicarbonate tackles odors.

To give your dishwasher a bubbly clean, begin by emptying it completely. Next, add one Alka-Seltzer tablet inside the detergent compartment. Run a hot water cycle and voilà! Your machine will be fresh and sparkling. Experts recommend cleaning dishwashers once a month, and with the help of this hack, it will become the easiest chore on your list.