The Invaluable, Versatile Baking Soda
Recently I discovered that baking soda has its own national day. Naturally I wanted to know why. What makes baking soda such awell used product?
I’ve heard it recommended over the years for various things by various people. My Dad even used it for teeth brushing at times.
These days with more people trying to get back to basics, we are seeing increased usage of it again. It’s a very effective cleaner and deodorizer that is safe for use on our skin and for baking.
That’s rather amazing in itself. I had no idea it could be put to work in so many ways.
Have you considered how useful a product it is?
Most of us use it in the refrigerator to reduce odors. Of course we use it often when baking too. Its uses go far beyond that.
- Did you know you can use a few tablespoons in a sink of water to clean pesticides from fruit and vegetables?
- Or that you can sprinkle it on steps to melt ice and give you better traction? Without harm to the surface either.
- A paste of baking soda and water will remove bugs from your car’s grill. Let set for a little while and wipe clean.
- Speaking of grills, sprinkle some on the brush you use to clean your BBQ grill to make it easier to clean.
- It is said to remove cravings for sweets even! Just a teaspoon is a glass of warm water swished around in your mouth will do it. Don’t swallow it. Spit it out.
- Another of the most popular uses is on clogged drains. First pour baking soda into the drain (a cup), then add an equal amount of vinegar.
- It’s good in a bath to relieve sunburn, as a paste to relieve itching, and more.
- A three to one paste of baking soda and water makes a great skin exfoliator.
- Add a dash to your shampoo when washing your hair to remove product build up.
- Dip into it with your wet toothbrush to clean and help whiten your teeth.
- Use it to clean microwaves, coffee makers, even the kitchen counters. Actually use it on the whole kitchen!
- It will remove soap build up from your shower and tub.
- You can freshen sheets, towels and laundry by adding baking soda to the rinse cycle.
- It will deodorize trash cans, microwaves and garbage disposals, not just the refrigerator and freezer.
- Keep a container of it in the linen closet too to keep them smelling fresh.
- Pets in the house? Use baking soda in cat litter boxes, on carpet, and on the pet itself to remove odors.
- Don’t forget pet beds, sofas, any area that might retain odors. Sprinkle, leave it for 15 minutes or so, then vacuum up.
- A half cup in the washing machine helps liquid detergents work more effectively.
- For more whitening power, add 1/4 cup to the bleach you are using for whitening.
- Actually all your clothes will be brighter if you add a cup to your wash cycle.
- Add some to your kitchen detergent, especially when you have food baked on.
- Children’s toys looking grim? Wipe with baking soda and water, or soak then wash in the mixture.
- If they happen to color on the wall while you are cleaning their toys, use baking soda and water to remove the crayon.
All from a product that we can use in food. It is most commonly used in baking to expand batter. Nice to know it is something we can use on our bodies even that isn’t damaging. It is sodium though, so if salt intake is an issue for cholesterol or congestive heart failure, you should watch your usage. But if you are using it for teeth cleaning or as a mouthwash, you needn’t swallow it.
While the ancient Egyptians used a form of it for cleaning, the first use in food is said to be in 1843 when chemist, Alfred Bird, created baking soda. His wife was allergic to yeast and eggs, so he was searching for something that would work as a substitute. His handy creation helped keep the military in that day supplied with bread and other batter products.
An interesting background for a product we take for granted. I’ll be experimenting with it, trying a variety of the different uses now that I know of them.
What about you? Do you use baking soda for something not listed here? Share, if so, won’t you?
Most of us tend to buy baking soda in the small containers that fit easily into the refrigerator for freshening. But when yo start to use it for laundry and cleaning, you may find you go through it much faster. Did you know it is available in large containers? This one is 13.5 pounds, with a resealable top. You can then have small containers for the bath, the fridge, and anywhere else you will use it.