When you think about Alka-Seltzer, you probably find yourself reliving unpleasant memories of your last bout of heartburn or indigestion. Alka-Seltzer has been around since 1931, and is one of the oldest and best-known remedies for a wide range of minor aches and pains ranging from excess stomach acid to hangovers. The Alka-Seltzer formula contains aspirin, anhydrous citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate.
Plop a couple of tablets into a glass of water and you’ll get an effervescent fizzy mixture that the company once promoted as a cure-all. In fact, believe it or not, they even recommended in one advertisement once upon a time that buyers take it to cure “the blahs!” You can’t really take Alka-Seltzer to cure boredom, of course (although, that may not be strictly accurate—more on that later), but you might be surprised at just how many things you can do with it. Most of the alternative uses for Alka-Seltzer don’t even have anything to do with your health! Check out all the little ways that Alka-Seltzer can make your life easier!
Get your toilet clean in no time.
Cleaning the bathroom is always a pain, and cleaning the toilet is the most unpleasant job of all. What if you didn’t have to do all that scrubbing to get all the grime out of the toilet bowl? Alka-Seltzer can do the work for you! Just drop two tablets inside the toilet bowl and walk away. Come back 20 minutes later. The citric acid will work on the toilet bowl grime, loosening it. When you get back, all you’ll need to do is a super quick scrub. Flush the toilet, and voila, it will be clean! Not only that, but all the nasty toilet bowl odors will be neutralized, and your bathroom will smell clean and fresh!
Unclog your drains.
There are a lot of suggestions out there for unclogging problematic drains in your house, but Alka-Seltzer is one of the best. It’s super simple! Just drop four tablets down the clogged drain, and then pour in a single cup of white vinegar. Wait for ten minutes for the mixture to foam up and start working its magic. As with the toilet bowl, the citric acid in Alka-Seltzer will start loosening up the gunk that’s clogging your pipes. After the mixture has fizzed up in your drainpipe for ten minutes, pour in a pot of boiling water (you can boil it while you are waiting for the ten minutes to elapse; perfect timing). Check your drain—hopefully it will be clear! If not, repeat with another four tablets.
If you do this regularly with drains that tend to clog up, you can prevent serious clogs from forming in the first place. Another nice benefit is that you get rid of unpleasant odors, just as you do when you clean the toilet bowl. Nobody wants to work in a kitchen that smells bad! Get rid of those odors and get back to enjoying your cooking
Clean a deep vase.
Do you have one of those deep vases with a narrow stem? If so, you know there is absolutely no way to get inside and clean it out by hand. You can try to reach down there with a feather duster, but you’ll do a pretty inadequate job. Just because it’s tough to clean doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be cleaned though!
Do it the easy way with Alka-Seltzer. Just pour water into your vase (not too much; remember it is going to fizz up), and then drop in a couple of tablets of Alka-Seltzer. You may want to hold the vase over a sink in case you put in too much water. It’ll fizz up. Wait for about ten minutes, and dump the mixture out. Put the vase under the sink faucet after you do this, and turn it on high. The gunk inside the vase will be loosened, and with the pressure from the faucet, it should be easy to get it out just by running the water. Rinse it out several times, and set it aside to dry!
Clean a thermos.
This is just like the vase application above. If you have a long, narrow thermos, you know it can be next to impossible to get down to the bottom. But you don’t want to drink out of a dirty thermos, yuck! Just do what you did with the vase. Pour some water into the thermos, set it down in the sink, add a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets, and wait for about ten minutes. Pour it out, and then rinse under the faucet a few times. Your thermos will emerge sparkling clean, ready to be used once again!
Use it as a general cleaner.
For those in search of a natural cleaning agent that isn’t loaded with chemicals and weird additives, Alka-Seltzer can offer a simple, cost-effective, safe solution. Just put some warm water in a bucket and add several Alka-Seltzer tablets. After the mixture stops fizzing, you can use it to clean whatever you want. Alka-Seltzer is particularly great for cleaning grime off of countertops and bathtubs. You can use a sponge, or transfer the mixture to a spray bottle for added convenience. You’ll find it does a great job. It’s fast and easy to prepare, and again—cheap
Clean burnt-on food off your dishes.
There are few hassles in the kitchen that are more irritating than having to clean burnt-on food residue off of your dishes. You can scrub and scrub and scrub to no avail, even after soaking your dishes for an hour! But have you tried soaking them with water and Alka-Seltzer? You will be shocked what a huge difference a couple of tablets make! If you just have one dish to wash, you can add a couple tablets to the dish itself and fill it with water and put it in the sink to fizz. If you have a number of dishes you want to deal with, you can instead plug the sink drain, fill the sink with water, add the dishes, and add a few more tablets (5 or 6 works great).
Walk away and do something else. Veg out in front of the TV and watch your favorite show. Come back when it’s over and tackle your dishes. You’ll be surprised at what a cinch it becomes to clean them! The caked-on food will come right off. A huge time and energy saver!
Deodorize your refrigerator.
Nobody wants to open their fridge door to unpleasant odors! Baking soda is often recommended to counteract the smell of a fridge, but baking soda goes stale within about a month, and it’s not necessarily the best solution if you just want to deodorize now and again. A better solution is a tablet of Alka-Seltzer dissolved in a cup of water. Unlike with the baking soda, you do not have to leave it in there indefinitely. You only have to put it in for half an hour, and then you can take it right out. The odor in your fridge should be gone.
Still an odor after half an hour has elapsed? Check the sides of the fridge. See any grime? That might be the source of your smell. Prepare some Alka-Seltzer cleaning agent like we talked about earlier. Get a sponge and wipe down the sides of the fridge. This should take care of any remaining odor.
Get stains off your Tupperware.
Even if you can get all the caked food off your dishes, that doesn’t mean they look clean. Plastic food containers are particularly tricky, because they tend to stain easily—and permanently. This is frustrating because the containers never look like they’re clean even when they are, and it can be hard to tell if you’ve done a good job or not. Plus, it’s just unsightly, especially if you want to use them to give people food!
You can get those stains right off by soaking your plastic containers in warm water and Alka-Seltzer. Wait for about thirty minutes. After you get back to check on your Tupperware, you will be amazed—a lot of those stubborn stains will simply be gone, like they never existed in the first place. The rest should be easy to wipe off by hand.
Clean out your coffeemaker.
Here’s another amazing use for Alka-Seltzer in your kitchen. Got a coffeemaker that is a pain to get clean? Can’t reach all those internal components yourself? Run it through a brew cycle—with Alka-Seltzer! There tablets should do the trick. Fill the water chamber and drop them inside. The Alka-Seltzer will do its job during the brew cycle and get all those hard-to-reach components squeaky clean. After you’re done, be sure to rinse it by running another cycle with normal water. This will get the Alka-Seltzer residue out. That way you won’t mess up your next cup of coffee.
Clean your dentures.
Nothing is worse than grimy dentures with stains. Want to get your dentures so clean they’ll look like you just bought them? Drop them into a glass of warm water and add an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Wait for ten minutes and watch in wonder as stains just disappear! Citric acid is truly amazing stuff. And if you’ve ever purchased a denture cleaner designed specifically for the purpose, you know how much money you’re saving. High-end denture cleaning products can run you up to around $60! You can get the same results with Alka-Seltzer and spend only a few dollars. Now that is serious savings!
Polish your jewelry.
Jewelry cleaner is something else you can save money on. You won’t need to buy it anymore when you use Alka-Seltzer (and as you might know, you can spend $50 and up on expensive jewelry cleaning devices!). Jewelry is really easy to clean this way. Put a couple of tablets in a glass of water. Drop the jewelry you want to clean inside, and wait for two minutes. Watch the oxidation and dirt miraculously dissolve. Take note, though, you cannot clean all jewelry safely using this method. Pearls and opals should never be washed using Alka-Seltzer, as they can be damaged.
Cure a urinary tract infection.
Here is one of the more unusual uses for Alka-Seltzer! While Alka-Seltzer may not be a cure-all for all your health woes, tons of people swear by it for urinary tract infections. It seems to work best if you take it the moment you notice symptoms of a UTI (if you get them regularly, you should be pretty attuned to this). Take two tablets immediately (dissolved in a glass of water). A lot of people report an immediate improvement after doing this. You may even find that your UTI goes away completely at that point. Remember, Alka-Seltzer has aspirin in it, so only take it if you are not allergic, and don’t double up the dosage if you have already taken aspirin!
Clean your cooler.
Getting ready to go for a picnic or a fishing trip? Get your cooler ready to go by adding an inch of water to the bottom. Pop four tablets of Alka-Seltzer in, and wait for an hour. Come back, rinse it out, and dry it. It will be totally clean and odour-free. Perfect for your next outing!
Here is another unusual and fascinating use for Alka-Seltzer. After you’ve used Alka-Seltzer to get your cooler ready to go for your fishing trip, don’t forget to take some extra tablets along. Why? You can use it to entice fish to your line! Cast your line as usual, and then break an Alka-Seltzer tablet in half. Toss the broken tablet as near to your fishing line as you can. The bubbles will attract the fish; they go crazy over this stuff.
Another way you can do it is using a hollow plastic tube jig. These jigs are great for all kinds of things, and there are a lot of ways you can use them. All you have to do here is push a piece of Alka-Seltzer into the tube. As the jig sinks, it will start sending bubbles upward. This is even better than the tactic above, because fish will come right for your bait. You should see some amazing results when you try this!
Soothe insect bites.
Want some relief from itchy, burning sores left by mosquitoes and other creepy-crawlies? Alka-Seltzer provides an excellent solution. Drop a couple of tablets in a glass of warm water. Get a cotton ball and dab some of the mixture onto your bites. After about half an hour, you should start feeling better. Don’t wash it off until the half hour has elapsed.
Get those unsightly stains out of your whites.
If you own white cotton garments, you know how easy it is for them to start turning yellow. It takes next to nothing to discolor them, and a lot of those stains will resist even the harshest scrub with the highest-end laundry detergent. What do you do about those ugly stains? A lot of people just give up and live with them—or thrift their whites away and never look at them again. But there is an alternative!
With Alka-Seltzer, you can get rid of those yellow stains for once and for all. Pour a gallon of warm water into a wash basin with two tablets of Alka-Seltzer. Wait for your mixture to start fizzing, and then throw your dirty whites inside. Let them soak for twenty or thirty minutes. Check to see if the stains are gone. You may need to scrub some of them out by hand, but a lot of them will simply disappear. Hang them out to dry, and admire the result! Your whites will be white once more, shiny and new!
Here’s another Alka-Seltzer we think is totally awesome! If you’re trying to quit smoking and you’re dealing with nicotine withdrawal, you know how awful those symptoms can be. Anxiety, headache, nausea, indigestion, fatigue—it’s just a barrel of fun! But it’s important to quit smoking and get your health back, and Alka-Seltzer can help. So long as you aren’t allergic to aspirin, you’re not on a low-sodium diet, and you don’t have peptic ulcers, you can take Alka-Seltzer after every meal in a glass of water.
You’ll find that this alleviates a lot of your withdrawal symptoms, and it can help you find fast relief when you need it most. This is a great way to stave off those cravings and stay resolved! Once those withdrawal symptoms finally abate, you’ll be feeling a lot better. But in the meantime, Alka-Seltzer will tide you over.
Cure a hangover.
Yes, this really does work apparently! If you want to get over a hangover fast and cure that awful headache, eat a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein and drink some Alka-Seltzer water. A single dose should be plenty. You’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time. Especially if you can get some sleep!
Try Alka-Seltzer for muscle cramps and soreness when aspirin won’t work.
Why would you do that? They have the same active ingredient, right? While it’s true that the aspirin in Alka-Seltzer is what helps to relieve muscle cramp, a lot of people ay that they get better results from taking Alka-Seltzer than they do from taking aspirin. No one seems entirely sure why this is, but it may be that the other ingredients in Alka-Seltzer and the effervescent quality of the mixture help to improve absorption. As a result, your body has an easier time digesting the aspirin, and you experience better results.
Build easy rockets for kids.
Remember that advertisement where the Alka-Seltzer company claimed that their effervescent product could cure “the blahs?” We said it wasn’t all nonsense! There are a number of ways you can use Alka-Seltzer to entertain yourself—and your young ones. Kids love rockets. This is a really easy way to do it, fast and cheap.
Kids will find the Alka-Seltzer thrilling, and can learn about chemistry and physics by observing what takes place. If you bring a timer, you can try experiments like using hot or cold water, more or les fuel, and so on. You can also turn this into an art project by adding some tempera paint into the mixture and setting the rockets on top of a piece of paper. When the rockets take off, they will spatter paint in a cool explosive pattern on the paper that you used as a launch pad. Have fun with this one, and try not to make too big a mess! Instructions
Build a “lava lamp.”
This is another fast and easy science experiment which is great for curing “the blahs.” Get a clear plastic bottle, water, some vegetable oil, food coloring, and Alka-Seltzer. Pour water into the bottle until it is about a quarter full. Pour in vegetable oil until you hit the halfway mark. Wait until the oil and water separate. Now, add about a dozen drop of food coloring. The coloring will drop through the oil and into the water. Now, cut a tablet of Alka-Seltzer into half a dozen pieces. When the fizzing starts, you’ll see colorful bubbles floating around inside the bottle, just like you’d see in a lava lamp. You can take it into a dark room if you want and shine a flashlight through the bottom. If you do this, you can watch it light up.
So there you have it. Alka-Seltzer is some pretty awesome stuff. It’s a relatively simple product with only a few ingredients, but it’s a winning formula, and it’s easy to see why it’s been such a huge seller over the years! Alka-Seltzer can help you clean your kitchen and bathroom, dishes and pipes, and even your laundry. It’s a great remedy for some surprising health issues, and you there are even some crazy uses like catching fish. And if you do have a case of “the blah,” you can even entertain yourself and learn a little basic chemistry with a fun Alka-Seltzer experiment. It’s a great way to introduce kids to science, and you’ll have fun too!