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Baking soda – that plain, white substance nearly ever household has in the cupboard. Other than an occasional ingredient needed for some recipes, who hasn’t heard of using baking soda in the refrigerator or freezer to help remove odors. Perhaps you have even used baking soda as a mild abrasive for cleaning purposes or even seen it as an ingredient in your toothpaste or laundry detergent.
Personally, I prefer using baking soda in place of many chemical laden cleansers and over the counter treatments for a variety of personal ailments and conditions. I feel that there are way too many chemicals all around us every day. No wonder so many people have multitudes of allergies, cancers and other serious and other serious on-going ailments these days. I think it is time to step back and say NO to all of these man-made chemicals which really do little more than make the manufacturers money!! As far as my home goes, I am actively trying to get back to more natural and earth-friendly products.
So, back to the topic at hand. Exactly what IS baking soda? Baking soda it is a chemical compound with the formula of NaHCO3. It is known by several names such as bread soda, cooking soda, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, bicarb soda, bicarbonate of soda or simply bicarb. It is a white, powdery substance with a slightly salty, alkaline taste.
Now that you know what baking soda is, what all can you do with it, besides use it for baking? Well, baking soda actually has many uses. It doesn’t matter what brand you use, they are all the same, so go for the best deal you can get!
Here is a list of several uses for baking soda that you may not know about, or perhaps have forgotten about:
Absorbs Odors –
*place a small box or bowl in the refrigerator or freeze to absorb food odors, replace once a month,
*to help freshen a room, sprinkle onto carpeting and allow to sit for 15 minutes to an hour or more (depending on the level of odor), then vacuum. As an added bonus, this method will also refreshed the vacuum cleaner,
*sprinkle into the cat litter box to help eliminate urine and feces odors,
*sprinkle into lunch boxes, shoes, the kitchen trash can, sink drain, garbage disposal, closets, pet beds and bedding, and auto carpeting to freshen and help eliminate stale odors.
As a Cleaner –
*use as a mild scrubbing abrasive on counter tops, stove tops, sinks, bathtubs, tile, linoleum, fiberglass shower walls and doors, shower curtain,
*add 1 cup to wash cycle to help detergent clean your clothes better,
*helps brighten, removes stains and freshen linens, baby clothes and cloth diapers,
*use to wash your car, the gentle abrasive helps to clean off road dirt and grime without hurting the wax finish,
*clean brushes and combs with a squirt of shampoo then soak in a bowl or sink of warm water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, then rinse and air dry,
*mix with water to make a paste and use to scrub away stains on glass dishes, it is even safe enough to use on Grandma’s fine china,
*add to dishwater when hand washing dishes to help cut grease and eliminate oily film, use as a soak and a non-scratching abrasive to help clean pots and pans with baked on foods,
*a small amount dissolved in water and applied with a damp sponge or dish rag quickly cleans and deodorizes the microwave. Be sure to rinse well!
*polish sterling silver flatware and silver plated serving pieces by making a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, polish with sponge or damp cloth, rinse well, pat dry,
*wash coffee mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water to remove stains and eliminate bitter tastes. Tougher stains may require soaking overnight,
*sprinkle onto the bottom of the oven and spray or sprinkle with water to dampen, let sit overnight, the next day scrub, scoop, sweep or vacuum the baking soda and grime out, finish with a wipe down with a clean, damp sponge.
As a Soak –
*mix 3 tablespoons in a sink full of water to remove dirt, waxes and other residue from fruits and vegetables,
*soaking your feet in 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a foot tub filled with warn water will help relief aches & tiredness, as well as deodorizes smelly feet,
*soak retainers, mouthpieces and dentures in two teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a small bowl of warm water to clean, freshen and remove odors.
*mix 1/2 to 1 cup into a warm bath to help detoxify the body, as ell as helps to relieve pain from hemorrhoids, vaginal yeast infection, anal fissure, and other discomforts in the genital or buttock area, soothes irritated skin, relieves itching and reduces burning sensation.
NOTE: to avoid any type of complications, pregnant women, as well as people high blood pressure and/or heart problems MUST consult their doctor before using baking soda in the bath!
Fire Extinguisher – it is an excellent resource in snuffing out minor grease or electrical kitchen fires. When baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames.
First Aid –
*make a paste with a bit of water to soothe and stop the itch of insect bites, poison ivy and other mild skin irritations
*make a paste with white vinegar, once the fizzing has stopped, apply to stings from bees, wasps and hornets to relieve the pain draw out the poisons,
*make a paste with apple cider vinegar or honey to apply to minor burns, sunburns, or wind burns,
*for removing a splinter mix 1 tablespoon into a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day, most splinters will come out on their own,
*ease indigestion and heartburn by drinking a mixture of ½ teaspoon dissolved in a glass of water, repeat as needed every two hours.
NOTE: consult with your physician before using internally if you are taking any dietary supplements, prescription drugs or on a low salt diet!
For Your Body –
*make a paste with a bit of water to use as an effective facial and body scrub/exfoliant plus it works wonders for helping to clear up acne,
*pat under the arms for a chemical free, natural deodorant,
*dip a wet toothbrush into some baking sods to use as a natural toothpaste which will clean and whiten your teeth, freshens your mouth, too,
*use as a hand cleanser to remove strong odors such as onion and garlic, then use your regular hand soap and wash as usual,
*to your shampoo add a teaspoon, or up to a handful, blend well – it will soften the water to more easily remove any styling product build-up in your hair and leave your hair feeling soft and smooth.
There are still many other uses of baking soda that I did not include here. As you can see, there are many uses of this versatile, natural powder. Do you have any favorite uses of baking soda that you would like to add? Please, feel free to comment and share!