It is most likely that you have a box of baking soda in your fridge or freezer and probably also inside your pantry. Although this odor eating substance has many uses, the two most well-known are probably keeping odors in check in the fridge and freezer and the power it has to cause dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.
But baking soda isn’t just for baking – in fact, it has a multitude of uses both in and out of the kitchen. The ancient Egyptians even used a compound similar to baking soda as soap since it’s antiseptic, antifungal and lightly exfoliating. You may already know that baking soda can take the stains off your teeth, while, mixed with water, it can ease a tummy ache and even replace your current mouthwash.
What exactly is baking soda?
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a chemical salt that, in its natural form, is the mineral nahcolite. Baking soda can react as both an acid and a base, although in an aqueous solution it is a bit on the alkaline side.
Pure nahcolite is found in abundance in the Green River Basin, which cuts through several states in the central part of our country. Several commercial companies mine nahcolite directly from the ground and sell it as a raw product, while others heat and treat it with chemicals and then sell it.
Either way, both methods produce an environmentally friendly product. The only caution we have for consumers is to stick to an aluminum-free brand of baking soda when possible.
Sodium bicarbonate helps to regulate pH. It keeps substances from being too acidic or too alkaline. Its ability to neutralize the pH of any substance it comes in contact with makes it highly effective for so many things. Baking soda can also help keep pH balance steady – a process known as buffering.
It is both the neutralizing and buffering capabilities of baking soda that allow it to work so well on acidic odors like those found in your refrigerator, and also keep your pH neutral like it does in the laundry water to boost the power of detergent.
You might want to stock up, because there are many uses for baking soda you might not be aware of. Here are five things you can do immediately with baking soda!
End itching for good
Baking soda can help battle itches of all kind. If you’ve been itching all over, or in hard to reach spots, Take a baking soda bath by adding one cup of baking soda to a tub of warm water. Soak for 30 to 60 minutes and then air dry. You can also try shaking a little into your hand and rubbing it onto damp skin after a bath or shower.
Make a baking soda paste to remedy a localized itch by mixing three parts baking soda and one part water. Just apply to the offending spot and let it sit for about ten minutes before rinsing off.
For insect bites, mix the paste as above and apply it as a salve onto the affected area.
Make your own non-toxic deodorant
Standard deodorant typically contains a host of potentially harmful compounds. The good news is, you can make your own natural deodorant using baking soda. Just mix four tablespoons of baking soda with ten drops of your favorite essential oil, and apply to your underarms.
Clean your brushes
Hairbrushes tend to get dirty quickly with oil as well as product buildup. For lustrous hair that shines, it’s essential to keep your brushes and combs clean. Remove the buildup and residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of three tablespoons of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow brushes to dry.
Clean your toothbrushes by soaking them in a mixture of ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup water. Allow them to soak overnight for a thorough cleaning.
Remove fingernail stains
Dark nail polishes can stain your nails yellow and are common causes of unsightly discoloration. You can also get yellow nail stains from exposing your nails to rust, paints, varnishes, nicotine, and other chemicals. To get rid of those stains, try mixing baking soda and peroxide and scrubbing it on your nails with a nail brush or an old toothbrush.
Get your silver sparkling again
To shine your sterling silver or silverplate pieces, use a baking soda paste made using three parts baking soda to one part water. Rub onto your silver using a clean cloth or sponge; rinse thoroughly and dry.
Why buy expensive products that may be filled with toxins when you can buy a box of baking soda for less than $3?
-The Alternative Daily