Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baking Soda, Gift of the Gods?

Die hard baking soda fans wax poetic on the many uses for bicarbonate or soda, but I have always been skeptical....until today, when I used baking soda to scrub my bath tub and it has never looked shinier (except, maybe when it was brand new)!

My mom always insisted that I keep an open box of baking soda in my refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh. Who am I to argue with her?

But, to be honest, I never thought the baking soda made much of a difference. I just put it in the fridge to humor her. I generally forget about it until I get around to cleaning out the fridge and realize it's probably time to replace the old box of baking soda (experts say you should also keep one in the freezer and replace them both every 2 months!)

Now that I witnessed first-hand its wonder powers, I feel certain that there's nothing baking soda can't do! Even better, it's cheap -- and it's environmentally-friendly.

Here are just a few ways to use baking soda around the house:

1. Keep an extra box of baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire. Toss the powder on the flames to put out the fire. Ditto with your garage and your car. Baking soda also puts out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs. But hang on the fire extinguisher just to be safe!

2. Clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda.

6. Wash garbage cans with baking soda and sprinkle some in trash bins to prevent nasty odors.

7. When trying to remove tough oil and grease stains from clothing, add some baking soda to the wash.

8. Clean your fridge and freezer with dry baking soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. Rinse with clear water.

10. Since baking soda absorbs kitty litter odors, coat the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part baking soda; then add a layer of three parts kitty litter on top.

11. Clean combs and brushes in a baking soda solution.

14. Wash food and drink containers with baking soda and water.

15. Wash marble-topped furniture with a solution of 3-tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Let stand awhile, then rinse.

16. Clean formica counter tops with baking soda on a damp sponge.

17. Clean thermos bottles and cooling containers with baking soda and water to get rid of stale smells.

18. To remove stubborn stains from marble, formica or plastic surfaces, scour with a paste of baking soda and water.

19. Wash glass or stainless steel coffee pots (but not aluminum) in a baking soda solution ( 3-tablespoons soda to 1 quart water).

20. Run your coffee maker through its cycle with a baking soda solution. Rinse.

21. Give baby bottles a good cleaning with baking soda and hot water.

22. Sprinkle baking soda on barbecue grills, let soak, then rinse off.

23. Sprinkle baking soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.

24. Polish silverware with dry baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse and dry.

25. For silver pieces without raised patterns or cemented-on handles: place the silver on aluminum foil in an enamel pot. Add boiling water and 4 tablespoons baking soda. Let stand, rinse and dry.

26. Reduce odor build-up in your dishwasher by sprinkling some baking soda on the bottom.

27. Run your dishwasher through its cycle with baking soda in it instead of soap to give it a good cleaning.

28. To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in baking soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad.

29. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of baking soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the baking soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day.

30. Rub stainless steel and chrome with a moist cloth and dry baking soda to shine it up. Rinse and dry. On stainless steel, scrub in the direction of the grain.

31. Clean plastic, porcelain and glass with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rinse and dry.

32. Remove the nasty smell from ashtrays with baking soda and water. Then sprinkle a bit of dry baking soda in your ashtrays to prevent smoldering and reduce odor.

33. Clean your bathroom with dry baking soda on a moist sponge -- sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc.

34. Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.

35. Soak your shower curtains in water and baking soda to clean them.

36. To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with baking soda, then rinse.

37. Dip your wet toothbrush in baking soda and brush your teeth with it.

38. Sprinkle baking soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.

39. Add 1/2-cup or more of baking soda to your bath water to soften your skin. Putting 2-tablespoons of baking soda in your baby's bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations. Take a baking soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.

40. Apply baking soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.

41. Take 1/2-teaspoon of baking soda in one-half glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.

42. Gargle with 1/2-teaspoon baking soda in one-half glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.

43. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.

44. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.

45. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.

46. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.

47. Wind burns: moisten some baking soda and apply directly.

48. Making Play Clay with baking soda: combine 1 1/4 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.

49. Use baking soda as an underarm deodorant. Hmmm. Not sure about that one.

50. To eliminate dog odors or just freshen up the air, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet where your dog lies and vacuum up. Leave the soda on the carpet for half an hour. It also eliminates odor in your vacuum after it has been vacuumed up. A great way to freshen up your home air during the winter when everything is closed up.

Oh yeah, and of course, you can use it for baking!

There are so many uses for baking soda that I can't list them all here. I'm going to rush out now to stock on some more baking soda and I advise you to do the same.

No comments: