Simple sodium bicarbonate has a myriad of uses beyond leavening your baking products. Baking soda can be used for everything from personal hygiene, cleaning your house, killing unwanted insects and weeds, melting snow, tenderizing meat . . . the list is long and impressive.
This simple workhorse of a miracle product could help us all save both money and the planet. A naturally-occurring earth mineral, it is found throughout nature, in the soil, oceans, foods and our bodies, affecting all living creatures by maintaining the ph balance and carbon dioxide levels. And because it is a naturally found material, using it for your everyday cleaning, baking and deodorizing will not harm the environment.
While everything else in the world seems to be getting more expensive, a box of baking soda has remained relatively the same. When you think of all the products it can replace, it’s worth its weight in gold.
And for those of you concerned with the environment, dump those harsh chemicals and plastic-packaged cleaning products. A box of baking soda and a jar of vinegar are the only things you need to keep your home clean and germ free. And it can be recycled. The baking soda you use in your fridge, freezer, or cupboards to absorb odors can be used to clean your counters, floors and laundry after you replace the boxes with fresh ones.
Baking Soda For Personal Hygiene and A Healthy BodyBaking soda makes a great antacid and gas reducer. Sprinkle a pinch in foods like beans and cabbage while cooking to relieve gas. For heartburn relief, drink a glass of water with 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed in.
As an alternative to expensive sports drinks like Gatorade, try this: boil a quart of water, add 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 5 teaspoons sugar, and 1 package sugar free Kool Aid or similar children’s drink. Mix together, pour into a container, and refrigerate until cool.
To clear a stuffy nose, add a little baking soda to your vaporizer.
Everyone knows brushing your teeth with baking soda can help to whiten them, but did you know it’s also an effective mouthwash for both killing germs and freshening the breath? In fact, cancer centers often recommend that their patients gargle with a solution of baking soda and salt water following chemotherapy to reduce the risk of infection. Keep a little handy in a plastic bag or pill box in your purse for a quick gargle when you go out to lunch.
To make your own toothpaste, use 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon peroxide. Brushing with this mixture will cut germs and grime on your teeth and mouth and leave your breath fresh and deodorized. You can also soak your toothbrush in a teaspoon of this paste in a glass of water to keep the brush clean and germ-free.
Soak dentures and retainers in a solution of baking soda and water to keep them fresh and clean.
As a shampoo, baking soda leaves both hair and scalp clean with no chemical residue. Just make a loose paste of baking soda and water and use it like your usual shampoo. If your hair is oily, add a little vinegar or lemon juice to the mix. For those with dry or frizzy hair, adding a little olive oil will help condition your hair and reduce tangling.
For some it may take a week or two for your hair to adjust to the difference, especially if you shampoo often, but the transition is well worth it for clean, shiny, non-chemically stripped hair. It’s also an effective treatment for dandruff.
If you’re not ready to give up your shampoo but still want the benefits of baking soda, mix 2 teaspoons baking soda with 1 teaspoon shampoo.
For cold sore relief, wet a little baking soda with just a drop of water to make a paste, apply to the cold sore, leave it on for up to 10 minutes, then rinse away. Do not scrub it.
Use dry baking soda instead of your usual deodorant for all day odor protection without staining your clothes.
Mix a solution of one part baking soda to three parts water to clean and sooth insect bites, sores, acne, eczema, hives, fungus, razor burn, and other skin conditions. This also makes a gentle exfoliating face scrub and effectively removes bad odors like grease, onion, and garlic from your hands.
Add a cup of baking soda to your bath water for softer skin, stress reduction, and to sooth the pain and itching of skin infections like chicken pox and poison oak and ivy.
Baking soda is great for bathing babies. It’s gentle on their sensitive skin and gets rid of cradle cap.
For sunburn relief, take a cool bath with 2 cups of baking soda in the water. This is also a good way to relieve fevers from colds and flu.
Adding a little baking soda to the water when you wash dishes will help keep your hands soft and cut any grease in the water.
Add a half cup of baking soda to each load of laundry to soften the water and boost your detergent's power.
Rubbing a paste of baking soda and water on callouses will help to soften them.
For removing ink, paint or grease from your hands, mix a paste of baking soda and water and wash as usual.
For tired and/or sore feet, soak them in a tub of hot water and 1 cup baking soda.
To treat minor burns, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the affected area and let it dry.
Combat the itching and burning of athlete’s foot by dusting feet, socks, and shoes with baking soda. If that doesn't work, try making a paste of 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon water and rubbing it between your toes. Let it dry, and wash off after 15 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your shoes.
Clean hairbrushes and combs in a solution of ½ cup baking soda and 1 cup water.
Baking Soda in the Kitchen and Around the House
To clean stubborn cooked or baked on food in pots and pans, fill the pan with hot water and add a little detergent and baking soda, then let it soak.
Most people know you can clean stains out of coffee and teapots with baking soda, but did you know you can also use it to clean your automatic coffee or tea makers? Sprinkle a teaspoon in the water and run it through a cycle (without coffee or tea). Follow up with a plain water cycle to get any loose debris before using the maker again.
Speaking of tea, baking soda is great for toning down the tannins in tea. Add half a teaspoon to the teapot after brewing and mix it in for bitter-free tea.
Add a pinch of baking soda to scrambled eggs before cooking for the fluffiest eggs you've ever had.
More eggs: add a pinch of baking soda to the water when boiling eggs to make it easier to remove the shells.
Use baking soda to clean bathroom tubs, tile and sinks–even fiberglass and glossy tiles. 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, course salt and liquid dish soap and let it sit then scour off.
Sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge to clean the microwave.
Soak smelly sponges in a solution of four tablespoons of baking soda mixed into a quart of water.
Polish sterling and silverplate with a paste made with three parts baking soda and one part water.
Sprinkle a little baking soda on the bottom of the oven, spray with water, and let set overnight to remove tough spills.
Use a solution of four tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize, clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (three parts baking soda to one part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
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.
Forget the Febreze. Use baking soda to deodorize nearly anything around the house--refrigerators, trashcans, drains, dishwashers, lunchboxes, carpeting, vacuum cleaners, cars, the litter box, pet bedding, sneakers, stuffed animals, etc.
Scrub fruits and vegetables with baking soda to safely clean away residue.