Known as a remedy for everything from aches and pains to hangovers, Alka-Seltzer has been around since 1931. It contains sodium bicarbonate, aspirin, and anhydrous citric acid — all of which contribute to its trademark effervescence. But did you know that Alka-Seltzer has a host of other smart uses? It’s true! We’ll go over 15 of them here.
1. Clear Your Drains
If you want to clear your typical household clog without those crazy chemicals, give Alka-Seltzer a try first. Simply drop 4 tablets down the drain and and pour in a cup of white vinegar. Watch the foaming action and let it work to loosen the gunk for about 10 minutes. Then, pour in a pot of boiling water. If your drain isn’t quite clear, repeat the process. You can use this technique to prevent serious clogs in drains that are prone to them. It will also help get rid of odors!
2. Clean the Head
Cleaning the toilet isn’t anyone’s favorite thing, but it’s easier with Alka-Seltzer. If you hate the scrubbing, you can let the foaming action alleviate much of that for you. Plop 2 tablets into the bowl and walk away for a while (unless you want to watch the fun). When you come back, give it a quick brushing and flush. The throne will be shiny and fresh again.
3. Make Vases Sparkle
Glass vases tend to get dingy with hard water stains or other nasties. Don’t risk getting your hand stuck — just drop in a couple of Alka-Seltzer tabs with some water and let if fizz away. Don’t fill the vase too full or you may make a mess (try dong this over the sink). After about 10 minutes, the grime should be loose enough to come with a good rinse. You can use the same technique for a thermos or water bottle.
4. Remove Burnt Food
Can’t seem to get last night’s dinner “oops” out of your pans? Try an Alka-Seltzer soak. Add some water and drop a couple of tablets in. Let the effervescent power do the scrubbing for you. If you have several dishes to clean, use 5-6 tablets in a sink full of water. Let them soak for a while and they’ll be much easier to clean.
5. De-Stink the Fridge
You’ve heard of baking soda for absorbing refrigerator odors, but Alka-Seltzer works too! Just dissolve a tablet or two in a cup of water and leave it in the fridge for about half an hour. You might be surprised at the results! If you’ve got a spill that’s creating the odor, you can use dissolved tablets to clean it up and eliminate the smell.
6. Remove Stains from Food Containers
If your leftovers are leaving leftover stains in your plastic containers, give this trick a try. Soak them in Alka-Seltzer like you would do for pots and pans above. Stains you thought were there forever will be gone or much easier to wipe away.
7. Shine Up Jewelry
Never mind expensive jewelry cleaning solutions or tools. Soak yours (except pearls and opals, which could be damaged) in a glass of water with Alka-Seltzer and watch the dirt and oxidation disappear.
8. Catch Your Dinner
Like seafood? Did you know you can use Alka-Seltzer to improve your luck when fishing? It’s for real! Just cast your line, then break a tablet in half and toss it as close to your line as possible. Fish will notice the bubbles and they love it. Even better, you can also use a hollow plastic tube jig and push a piece of the tablet inside. As it sinks, it’ll fizz and send up lots of bubbles.
9. Take the Bite Out of Bug Bites
Got a mosquito or other bug bite? Dissolve a couple of tablets in water, then grab a cotton ball and dab the solution on the bite. Leave it on for half an hour and see how much better it feels.
10. Remove Stains from Whites
Got a white cotton shirt with yellow stains and / or odors in the underarm area? Yuck. Prepare an Alka-Setlzer solution for your washing machine with 1 gallon warm water and two tablets. Pour it in and let your clothes soak.
11. Build a Rocket
Try a fun science experiment with your kids. It’s easy with Alka-Seltzer.
12. Make a “Lava Lamp”
This is another fun one for the family. You don’t need a lot of materials, either. Here’s how to do it.
13. Soothe a UTI
If you suffer from urinary tract infections, try Alka-Seltzer to give you some relief. While we aren’t into giving medical advice, a lot of people swear that if they catch it early, Alka-Setlzer will take care of the problem or at least alleviate the symptoms. Take 2 tablets in water on the first sign for the best chance of relief.
14. Clean Dentures
Alka-Seltzer can help keep dentures fresh and clean. Just dissolve a tablet into a glass of warm water and drop them in. You’ll save money over many traditional denture cleaners.
15. Revive Your Coffeemaker
This is a problem in many households, but we can help you solve it. Simply run your coffeemaker through a brewing cycle with 3-tablet Alka-Seltzer solution — fill the water reservoir and drop them in. It’ll help reach all those nooks and crannies you can’t get to yourself. Just rinse it by running another brew with plain water after you’re done. There you go! A cheaper, easier alternative to many common household problems. Plop-plop and you’re ready to go!