Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, is an alkaline compound that, when combined with acid, produces harmless but useful carbon dioxide gas. When used to bake biscuits or cake, the small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas become trapped in batter, causing it to inflate, or rise.
Baking soda is well known for its ability to absorb odors. This is the reason many people place a box of baking soda in refrigerators, freezers, and other enclosed spaces to absorb random odors.
Baking soda is also an ideal cleaner because of its granular texture, which helps with scrubbing. Its alkaline pH can dissolve some deposits and buildup. It has many uses.
No. 1: Natural Deodorant
If you get an allergic reaction to commercial deodorants or prefer to stay away from aluminum and parabens found in many antiperspirants, you might want to consider making it yourself.
No. 2: Poison Ivy, Insect Bites
Mix up a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it to the site of the bite or irritation. Watch as the pain slowly dissipates until it finally disappears completely. Baking soda is effective at relieving itching and irritation on your skin because it neutralizes toxins that may be sitting on the surface.
No. 3: Heartburn, Indigestion
Most antacids available over the counter contain one type or another of bicarbonate. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is effective because it neutralizes the stomach acid instantly on contact to relieve ulcer pain, indigestion, heartburn, and myriad issues that can be the result of an overly abundant amount of acid in your gut.
Typically, the recommended dosage when using baking soda to treat gastrointestinal issues is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda that has been dissolved in 1/4 cup of water.
No. 4: Foot Soak, Exfoliator
A foot bath or soak is definitely one of the most relaxing experiences out there. If you want to make it even more awesome, add baking soda to your routine. Fill your basin or foot spa with warm water as you normally do, but this time, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda.
No. 5: Freshen Carpet
Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets to absorb and eliminate odors. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then vacuum well as you normally do.
No. 6: Clean up Painted Surfaces
You can use baking soda to erase marks on baseboards, windowsills, door jams, and any other painted surface that has gotten marked up, scuffed, or even crayoned! Just sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto a damp sponge and rub lightly until the stain is gone. Wipe the area clean with a clean, dry cloth, such as microfiber.
No. 7: Freshen up Smelly Shoes
Use baking soda to absorb and eliminate odor from stinky shoes. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda into the shoes, making sure it is distributed well. In the morning, shake it out well into a trash can. Hint: Use the crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner to make sure every bit of baking soda gets removed.
No. 8: Head Off Garbage Can Odors
You can prevent odors from building up in your kitchen garbage and bathroom trash cans with the help of baking soda. Just sprinkle a small amount right into the container over the trash or garbage from time to time. You can also sprinkle a handful directly into the bottom of the can before lining it with a new bag.
No. 9: Grout Cleaner
Mix up a small about of baking soda and fresh hydrogen peroxide to make a paste about the consistency of pancake batter. Working in small areas, apply to dirty grout. Scrub well with a stiff brush. Rinse, and prepare to be surprised.
No. 10: Gentle Exfoliant
A quick and easy way to remove dead skin cells is with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. With your fingers, apply the paste to your face, hands, etc. Using a circular motion, rub it well to exfoliate the skin. Rinse thoroughly, and enjoy softened skin!
No. 11: Take Care of Smell, Slow Running Drain
Pour baking soda directly into that smelly drain. Following with an equal amount of plain white vinegar, and get ready for the show! It’s going to bubble up and fizz away. Allow to sit for a few hours or so. Follow with a quart or two of boiling water. Your drain will be fresh and clean, and as a bonus, you’ve cleared any potential clogs from stuff that has a way of building in household drains.
No. 12: Manicure Prep
Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Use as you would hand lotion on your hands, massaging it into your hands, nails, and cuticles to smooth and exfoliate prior to your home manicure. Rinse well, and dry your hands before proceeding.
Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at EverydayCheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021 Creators.com
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