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Saturday, June 19, 2010
35 Wonderful Uses For Baking Soda
Baking soda! There is probably a box or two in your pantry with many of your other cooking spices.
For those who know the many uses and benefits of baking soda probably always keep a few boxes on hand.
Arm and Hammer Baking Soda is the popular brand that many are familiar with. Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a naturally occurring substance that is found in all living things.
Baking Soda is made from soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate. The soda ash is mined in the form of an ore called trona. The soda ash is then dissolved into a solution through which carbon dioxide is bubbled and sodium bicarbonate precipitates out, forming Baking Soda.
For those who are not aware of this simple and inexpensive cooking additive, here are 35 amazing uses for baking soda.
For personal care baking soda can be used to:
1. Freshen up your mouth- Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.
2. Make a toothpaste- make a paste of baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.
3. Use as a facial scrub- Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.
4. Soak oral appliances- Soak oral appliances in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh.
5. Use as a deodorant- Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.
6. Use as an antacid- Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion.
7. Hair treatment- Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. Baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
8. Clean brushes and combs- Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
9. Treat insect bites and itchy skin- For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.
10. Make a hand cleanser and softener- make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands then rinse clean.
11. Bath soak- Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.
For cleaning baking soda can be used to:
12. Make a surface soft scrub- For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.
13. Freshen up sponges- Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water).
14. Cleaning the oven- Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.
15. Cleaning the microwave- Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.
16. Polishing silver flatware- Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.
17. Cleaning coffee and tea pots- Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.
18. Cleaning the floors- Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
19. Cleaning the furniture- Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
20. Boosting liquid laundry detergent- Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.
21. Removing oily stains- Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
22. Cleaning batteries- Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because it's a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion.
23. Cleaning the car- Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar.
For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.
For deodorizing use baking soda to:
24. Deodorize your refrigerator- Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.
25. Remove odor from carpets- Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. An added bonus: You'll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.
26. Deodorize trashcans- Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay.
27. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals- To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. This will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.
28. Deodorize and clean dishwashers- Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.
29. Freshen your closets- Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.
30. Freshen stuffed animals- Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.
31. Deodorize pet stuff- Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet's bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.
32. Deodorize stinky sneakers- Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.
A few other uses for baking soda:
33. Care for the septic system- Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.
34. Scrub fruits and vegetables- Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well.
35. Extinguish grease or electrical fires- Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames.
For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire. Never throw baking soda into a deep fryer. This may cause the grease to splatter on you.
There are many more uses for baking soda. The fun part is researching and experimenting to find more useful benefits.