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15 Clever Alka Seltzer Cleaning Uses: Toilets, Jewelry & MORE!

15 Clever Alka Seltzer Cleaning Uses: Toilets, Jewelry & MORE!

Did you know you may have a very effective cleaning agent in your medicine cabinet? Alka Seltzer is a popular over-the-counter medication designed to temporarily relieve minor indigestion and heartburn. But who knew you could use Alka Seltzer to clean toilets?

As it turns out, the effervescent tablets can be a great addition to your cleaning arsenal. In this post, we’ll tell you why, and share 15 clever ways to use Alka Seltzer to clean toilets, jewelry, or other household items in your home or RV.

What Is Alka Seltzer?

Alka-Seltzer is an over-the-counter medication for the temporary relief of heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach, especially when accompanied by headache or body aches. People often use the medication after overindulging in food or drink.

The active ingredients in each Alka-Seltzer tablet are anhydrous citric acid (1000 mg), heat-treated sodium bicarbonate (1916 mg) as an antacid, and aspirin (325 mg) for pain.

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief Lemon Lime Flavor Effervescent Tablets, 4-in-1 Relief from Heartburn, Sour Stomach, Acid Indigestion, and Upset Stomach, Dissolvable Antacid, 36 Ct
  • FIZZY, FLAVORFUL HEARTBURN RELIEF: The heartburn relief you need in a tasty lemon lime flavor. Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief Lemon Lime Flavor Tablets...
  • FAST 4 IN 1 SYMPTOM RELIEF: Refreshing, crisp relief so you don't have to second guess those tasty meals. These Lemon Lime antacid tablets relieve...

Why Is Alka-Seltzer a Good Cleaning Agent?

The secret behind Alka-Seltzer’s success as a cleaning agent seems to be in the effervescent combination of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), two ingredients in Alka-Seltzer, both of which have cleaning properties.

In addition, the salicylic acid in aspirin helps neutralize and break down stains. All together, the three main ingredients in Alka Seltzer work to clean lots of different surfaces and materials.

15 Clever Alka Seltzer Cleaning Uses

There are many uses for Alka Seltzer as a cleaning agent. However, you’ll want to be sure that the effervescent tablet is fully dissolved (the fizzing stops), and avoid using it on delicate or sensitive surfaces that may be damaged by citric acid or sodium bicarbonate. Always rinse thoroughly after cleaning with Alka Seltzer to remove any residue.

Now, here are 15 ways to use Alka Seltzer for cleaning!

Clean Kitchen and Bathroom Tiles

Dissolve 4-5 Alka-Seltzer tablets in about 10-12 ounces of warm water. After the tablets have dissolved completely, pour the mixture into a spray bottle. The result is a great homemade tile cleaner that works great! Use a toothbrush for crevices or stubborn areas.

Clean the Toilet Bowl

Drop a couple of Alka Seltzer tablets into your toilet bowl and let them sit until the fizzing stops. The effervescent action produced by the three main ingredients will help break down stains and mineral deposits. Scrub the bowl clean with a toilet brush and flush!

An RV toilet

Alka Seltzer to clean a toilet? You bet!

Clean and Shine Jewelry

Use Alka Seltzer to clean jewelry and make it sparkle by dropping rings, necklaces, and earrings into a glass of water with a fully dissolved Alka Seltzer tablet. Let the jewelry soak for a couple of minutes, then scrub gently with a toothbrush and rinse.

Unclog a Drain

If you have a slow-draining sink, Alka Seltzer can help. Drop a couple of tablets down the drain, followed by about a cup of vinegar. Let the effervescent chemical reaction work to break down the clog for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Then, run very hot water down the drain to help move the debris from the clog through the system.

If the clog is in your RV, there may be other issues to deal with, so be sure to take a look at our posts on clogged RV kitchen sinks, how to unclog an RV shower drain, and how to unclog an RV toilet for additional suggestions.

Clean a Coffee Pot

To clean a stained coffee pot, fill your coffee pot with water and drop a tablet of Alka Seltzer into the pot. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to help remove coffee buildup and stains, and rinse thoroughly.

Polish Stainless Steel

Dissolve a couple of Alka Seltzer tablets in just enough water to create a paste. Use the paste to clean and polish stainless steel surfaces and appliances. The effervescence not only helps to remove stains but also adds a nice shine.

Polishing a stainless steel counter

You can use Alka Selzer dissolved in water to polish stainless steel surfaces and appliances.

Deodorize the Fridge

Dissolve an Alka Seltzer tablet or two in a small amount of water and place the open container in your refrigerator. This can help neutralize odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Remove Burnt-On Food from Cookware

If you’ve got cookware with residue from burnt-on food, fill the pot or pan with warm water and drop in a few Alka Seltzer tablets. Allow the mixture to soak for an hour or so, and the effervescence will help loosen the residue, making it easier to clean.

Clean Grill Grates

If the grates of your grill are full of charred food and burnt-on residue that has accumulated over time, dissolve a few Alka Seltzer tablets in a small amount of water to create a paste. Wipe the grill grates with a cloth soaked in the mixture and then rinse clean.

For really stubborn burnt-on residue, ball up some aluminum foil and use it to scrub the grill grates. Never use a grill brush to clean your grates as that can pose a serious health hazard. For more on this, check out our post on why we clean grills with aluminum foil.

Remove Coffee & Tea Stains

If you’ve got coffee mugs and tea cups that have become stained over time, fill them with hot water, drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet into each mug/cup, and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Then give them a scrub (with the effervescent liquid still in the mug/cup) and rinse well and the stains should be gone.

Clean Retainers or Dentures

Dissolve an Alka Seltzer tablet in a glass of water and soak your dental/orthodontic retainers, dentures, or sports mouthguards to help remove stains and odors. Rinse thoroughly before using.

Orthodontic retainers

Dissolve an Alka-Seltzer tablet in a glass of warm water and drop in retainers, dentures, and/or sports mouthguards to clean them and remove stains and odors.

Refresh the Dishwasher

To help clean and deodorize your dishwasher, drop a tablet of Alka Seltzer into the empty dishwasher and run a hot cycle.

Whiten Laundry

To boost the whitening power of your laundry, add a crushed Alka Seltzer tablet to your load along with your regular detergent. The action of the three main ingredients can help to break down stains and brighten whites.

Clean Glassware

You can use Alka Seltzer to remove stains and mineral deposits from glassware. Fill the glass with warm water and drop an Alka Seltzer tablet in. Let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub it with a brush.

Three glasses of water and a person's hand dropping a tablet into one of the glasses

Clean stubborn stains and mineral deposits from various types of glassware with Alka-Seltzer tablets.

Remove Stubborn Clothing Stains

White clothes have a tendency to yellow over time. Shirts can get especially dingy around the inside of the collar and under the arms which can be too stubborn to be removed with regular laundering. Alka-Seltzer can help.

Add two Alka-Seltzer tablets to a gallon or so of warm water. Once the tablets have fully dissolved, add the clothing and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Scrub the stained areas and then toss them in with your regular laundry. If the stains are old and stubborn, you can try soaking them overnight, as long as the fabrics aren’t too delicate.

We hope you’ll find some of these Alka Seltzer cleaning tips useful. For more cleaning ideas, see our posts on how to clean a badly stained Corian sink, 15 clever uses for toothpaste around your RV, non-toxic RV cleaning, how we use a California Duster, and our vacuuming tips!

While we’re busy cleaning things, check out our video on whitening a Corian sink:

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Friday 24th of November 2023

What about Alma seltzer to clean black tank?


Monday 27th of November 2023

Interesting question, John... we haven't heard of anyone doing that. We're guessing that's because you'd have to (1) use a lot of them to have enough to do much of anything in the black tank, and (2) once you DID have enough of them in the tank, we'd worry that the foaming action could result in some unpleasant "tank contents" finding their way OUT of the tank. 😝

We'd suggest sticking with some of the other tried-and-true methods like Dumping & Cleaning an RV Black Tank or, for more serious odor issues you can have the tank power washed 4 Ways to Clean Your RV Tank Sensors

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