Uses Of Baking Soda
With more of us looking to reduce our use of chemicals around the home, the trend for easy home remedies is on the rise. And when it comes to an effective home cleaner as well as a health and personal hygiene booster, look no further than your kitchen cupboard.
A staple in most homes, baking soda is a natural wonder chemical and shouldn’t be limited to baking as boy, does this cheap and innocent-looking white power work and clean hard.
We take a look at what makes baking soda tick and how you should be making the most of its fizzy power in your home.
What Is Baking Soda?
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a key ingredient in many recipes, as it produces carbon dioxide, which causes dough and batter to rise. It’s made in one of two ways – through refining the minerals nahcolite and trona or by passing carbon dioxide and ammonia through a concentrated solution of sodium chloride, aka table salt.
As well as helping baked goods to rise, baking soda also has other characteristics that make it a natural home essential, without the risk of nasty chemicals. It helps to regulate PH levels and neutralize acid, has a calming effect and is antimicrobial. It’s also a mild abrasive and super absorbent, all without any risks to your health.
Add all these qualities up, and you have a wonder powder that can get both you and your home in ship-shape. We take a look at 15 easy uses and benefits of baking soda to get you inspired:
1. Treat Heartburn
Over-eat or have one too many beers and you could trigger unpleasant heartburn. But with a simple baking soda recipe you can throw calming waters on that burning pain by making the most of its acid-neutralizing properties. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a medium-sized glass of cold water and drink slowly until the ‘fire’ is out.
2. Keep Your Breath Fresh
Less than sweet breath is something we all want to avoid and even if you do have good oral hygiene, spicy foods and not drinking enough water can leave you smelling a little yucky. Some shop-bought mouthwashes can be harsh so for a tooth-friendly way to spruce up your breath, reach for a tub of sodium bicarbonate. Mix a teaspoon in a glass of warm water, then have a good swish, spit and rinse.
3. Whiten Your Teeth
Sticking with your chompers, the fizzy nature of baking soda can also help to get those pearlies nice and white. The mild, abrasive qualities of the powder are great at whipping away surface stains, as well as being antimicrobial, so kicking any bacteria nasties into touch. Just be careful how much you use as it can be a tad harsh if used in quantity – to be sure, just add a little baking powder to your usual whitening toothpaste after you have squeezed it on to your electric toothbrush, then gently clean away.
4. DIY Deodorant
Baking soda can be used as a deodorant as it is really effective in nipping whiffy armpits in the bud by neutralizing the bacteria that causes sweat to smell. The method of application may take some getting used to, but stick with it, and you could see – and smell – a difference. Simply pat a pinch of baking soda under your arms, and work into the skin. Dust off any excess and then get on with your daily business.
5. Relieve Itchy Skin
Sunburn, allergies, bug bites or irritating skin rashes, itchy skin can drive you to distraction. If this sounds like you, fight the urge to scratch and open up the kitchen cupboard, pronto.
For a full-body treatment, add 1-2 cups of baking soda to a warm bath, then soak as the water soothes your skin. Add in some oatmeal for a super-calming effect. Or create a thick paste of baking soda and a little water and spread over the rash for itch relief on the go.
6. Neutralize Home Odors
A stinky fridge can really take over your home, unless you get on top of it. The first step is to remove all the out-of-date food and give the inside of your refrigerator a good clean. Then use baking soda to keep those unpleasant food smells at bay. Simply fill a cup with baking soda and place at the back of the fridge to absorb and neutralize those stinky odors.
7. Make Your Own Air Freshener
For other rooms in your home, make your own air freshener and odor eliminator by tipping some baking soda into a jar and add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Cover the top with a piece of cloth or paper and secure with string, then shake before placing in a corner of the room.
8. Multi-Purpose Home Cleaner
Fizzy, gently abrasive and a super muck remover without any irritating fumes, baking soda makes a fantastic household cleaner. For an all-rounds cleaner, make a paste from the powder and a small amount of water, then apply with a cloth and scrub, before rinsing. For a fresh smell, especially in the bathroom, add a squeeze of lemon to the paste then scrub away!
9. Whiten And Clean Your Laundry
Bring the sparkle back to your whites, by adding half a cup of baking soda to your laundry before you turn on the washing machine. As an alkali and soluble salt, baking soda can help to bring out ingrained dirt and stains, making your clothes, cleaner, fresher and even softer. Plus, it can help your detergent go further.
10. Remove Stubborn Stains
Whether it’s a nasty spill on the carpet or mold and mildew on the bathroom tiles, baking soda can make light work of stubborn stains. To get the stain removing powerhouse just right, you will need baking soda and white vinegar to create a 1:1 mixture which you can pour into a spray bottle. Cover the stain with the spray then leave to dry. Now scrub the baking soda mixture loose and vacuum or brush off any residue.
11. Banish Those Stinky Feet
If your shoes or sneakers are not too fresh, then baking soda can be your feet’s best friend. Take two squares of cheesecloth and pour two tablespoons of the wonder powder into each. Bunch up and secure with a band or string to create a pouch then tuck one into each of your shoes and leave overnight to absorb the cheese-feet odor.
12. Exfoliate For Healthy Skin
Baking soda can also add some fizz to your personal grooming routine. If your skin is looking dull or congested, use three parts baking soda to one part water and rub the paste in a circular motion as exfoliator across your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) before rinsing to buff out any deep grime. Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil if your skin is spotty, just don’t scrub too hard.
13. A Natural Hair Shampoo
Baking soda can make a really effective shampoo that will leave your hair squeaky clean. Make a thick paste of baking soda and a little water (you can add a few drops of castor oil, scented with lavender or lemon for extra moisture) and rub into your hair to form a lather. Rinse with lukewarm water before a final rinse with apple cider vinegar to add a lovely shine.
14. Clean Up Your Oven
Baking soda loves grease so get sprinkle happy with the powder to bring your gunked up oven back to life. Spread liberally over the grease and dirt, before spraying lightly with water to dampen the mixture. Close the oven door and leave overnight. Next day, sprinkle some more baking soda onto a cloth and scrub away the loosened grime, before rinsing thoroughly.
15. Keep Those Ants At Bay
And finally, if ants or little bug critters are the bane of your backyard but you don’t want to use harmful chemicals or pesticides, simply keep them at bay and out of your home with a generous dusting of baking soda. Add baking soda to an equal quantity of salt and spread liberally wherever you see the ant invasion and you will literally stop them in their tracks!
- Health Benefits Of Baking Soda – Well And Good