Foul-smelling fridge? Greasy plates? Stinky pet bed? Kids crayoned the living room walls?
Despair not! There’s one solution to all these messes. And it’s right there on your kitchen shelf. This versatile product has long been known for its amazing qualities as an aid to baking. But your grandma knew that it had plenty of other uses. It doesn’t just raise your cakes; it also freshens, deodorizes, cleans, and sanitizes various surfaces.
What Is Baking Soda?
The chemical term for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. This is a salt, also known as bread soda, cooking soda, or soda bicarb. The active ingredients are sodium and bicarbonate and appear as a fine, white powder or crystals. The taste is mildly salty and alkaline. When exposed to mild acid and water, it produces bubbles. Then it loses much of its potency in cooking and cleaning. That’s why it’s important to store it in a cool, dark, dry place in an air-tight container.
Baking soda is slightly different from baking powder. Soda contains the basic leavening ingredient, but it needs an acid to become activated in cooking. Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, weak acid, and a buffering agent such as cornstarch to keep the two elements apart till the time of use. Some baking powders react immediately with the food ingredients, while others have a second reaction upon heating.
Other Uses For Baking Soda
Most store-bought cleaning agents contain high levels of artificial fragrance, pigments, and harsh chemicals. Over-the-counter medications can often be substituted with natural products and home remedies. Baking soda is a multipurpose product that gives you the desired results at a pocket-friendly price. It is readily available in almost every kitchen around the world.
It can be used as a:
- Teeth cleaner
- Face wash
- Pain and acidity reliever
- Stove and trash-can cleaner
- Fruit and vegetable wash
- Pet area and mattress cleaner
- Bug repellent
- Grease remover
- Silver and Chrome polish
- Temporary wall hole filling
- Hair wash
- Shoe odor remover
- Acid reflux relief
- Bath water soak for tired limbs
- Stain remover
Around the world, you’d probably come across hundreds of other clever ways to use baking soda. Typically, it is combined with vinegar (a mild acetic acid) to enhance its qualities and make it more effective. During the pandemic, baking soda and vinegar are used extensively as natural disinfectants. Unfortunately, these two ingredients are diametrically opposite on the pH spectrum.
Baking soda can dissolve organic matter with the help of vinegar, making it an effective all-around cleaning agent. The mild, thorough cleaning action of baking soda doesn’t leave scratches on the surface. While preparing this combination, ensure you don’t mix them in equal quantities. Different combinations are based on the cleaning you need and the item being cleaned. Generally, experts recommend that you combine one part of baking soda with two parts of vinegar. If you combine it with water to make a paste, add the water in tiny quantities to avoid flooding the soda and causing effervescence.
Top 5 Ways To Use Baking Soda
- Deodorizer: Baking soda absorbs odors and doesn’t just mask them. That’s why you’ve probably seen your mom or grandma sprinkling it generously on kitty litter trays and keeping a bowl full of it in the fridge. This is because acidic agents cause most odors, and baking soda is a pH neutralizer. It’s important to spread it out evenly for it to be effective. Get nasty smells out of sneakers, socks, cutting boards, trash disposal systems, closets, drawers, mattresses, and stinky dogs! Make a homemade air freshener by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a baking soda-water mixture.
- Bathroom Cleaner:You can use baking soda to clean nearly everything in the bathroom. From shower curtains to tiles, the tub, floor, toilet, taps, and drains. Combine it with vinegar for best results. You get a mild yet super-effective cleaning agent that’s natural, safe, and non-toxic to humans, pets, and plants. A thorough scrub with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda removes mildew and stains on ceramic surfaces. Unblock clogged drains with a mixture of soda and vinegar and follow with boiling water to get the flow going.
- Health and Safety: You can extinguish small fires caused by grease/electricity by throwing them on the fire. It is an effective antacid and relieves acidity and heartburn. You can make a homemade mouthwash since it is an effective antiseptic and antibacterial. Brushing your teeth with dry baking soda gets them sparkling. Some physicians recommend a mild solution to treat eye infections. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of baking soda to relieve kidney problems, acid build-up, bone loss, and skin problems. Make your natural deodorant by mixing with cornstarch and patting it on sweaty areas. Fruits and vegetables are covered with a variety of pesticides and other chemicals. Give them a thorough wash with baking soda to remove these harmful products. If your driveway or car is iced over, sprinkle soda bicarb to melt the ice quickly.
- All-Purpose Cleaner:Every room in your house can benefit from being cleaned with baking soda. It removes stains and smells from carpets, upholstery, and curtains. You can wash your kitchen and bathroom floors down with a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Clean your microwave, oven, and cooktop with soda and water paste. You can also give your silver items a new shine with this. Your dishwash sponge is a bacteria and mold trap. Soak it in a soda bicarb solution for an hour once or twice a week, and you won’t have to replace the sponges so often. Remove oil stains from your driveway or garage, clean your car batteries, polish chrome on your car, clean your kids’ toys, remove blood and wine stains, and wipe marble work-tops down with a baking soda solution.
- Cosmetic: Baking soda is one of the best-kept natural beauty treatment secrets. You can use it as a gentle exfoliator, prepare your nails for a manicure pedicure, and clean your combs, brushes, and styling tools. If you’re suffering from product build-up in your hair, add a sprinkling in your shampoo and rinse as usual for clean, fresh, and glossy tresses. It’s a great dry shampoo to use in an emergency if your hair looks limp and greasy. In addition, baking soda is a natural teeth whitener and skin brightener. Soda is the answer when your skin breaks out in spots and pimples or you have blemishes and open pores.
Its astringent and antibacterial qualities make it an effective homemade cosmetic. Get your skin to glow with a baking soda wash. It removes dead cells and pigmentation. If you suffer from dark lips, neck, and elbows, cover them with a paste of baking soda and water, keep it on till it’s dry, and then wash off. Add volume to your hair with a castor oil/baking soda shampoo.
Baking soda is a miracle cleaning agent, beauty aid, and deodorizer that can handle the most difficult jobs. The bonus is that it’s completely natural, non-toxic, affordable, and easily available.