What Exactly is Baking Soda?
Many of you may have been using baking soda around your home for years without ever even knowing what it is. We did a little digging to uncover the mystery. Turns out that 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. A number of 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.
Baking is the most common and familiar use. There are a few more neat ways to put baking soda to work for you:
Grease Cutter When Washing Dishes
When washing dishes, add 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda, along with your regular dish detergent to your water. This will help cut grease and breakdown foods left on dishes. Let pots and pans with baked on food soak in the baking soda and detergent for a bit first and add a little to your sponge for a scratchless scrubbing powder.
Clean Coffee and Tea Pots
To remove tea and coffee stains and reduce bitter taste left in mugs, use a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 quart warm water. Some stubborn stains may require overnight soaking in the solution or some scrubbing with a soft sponge. Either way you are left with a sparkling clean coffee pot and mugs.
To remove dirt and grime without scratching no wax and tile floors, mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket with warm water and scrub. Rinse clean after scrubbing. To remove scuff marks, put a little baking soda on a damp sponge, scrub lightly and rinse.
Nothing neutralizes odors better than baking soda. To keep your tub and sink drains smelling fresh, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running some warm tap water down the drain. You can also pour some down your garbage disposal and run some warm water while running your disposal. Add a little baking soda to your dishwashing detergent to help fight stubborn stains and bacteria.
Ease Itchiness and Swelling
You can ease uncomfortable itchiness and swelling from poison ivy or oak as well as bug bites, with a little baking soda. Make a paste with a little baking soda and water and apply to the irritated area. This will work for bee stings and chicken pox as well.
Baking soda mixed with a little warm water is an excellent exfoliator for the face and other parts of the body. The baking soda will smooth the skin and remove dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling fresh and vibrant. You can even dab a little paste on acne spots. It will help to draw out toxins and reduce redness.
Gout is a very painful and uncomfortable condition that is caused by a build-up of uric acid that is overproduced by the body until it builds up to very high levels and settles in the joints. This causes painful swelling and inflammation. Mix two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with a teaspoon of baking soda and drink up! The baking soda will alkalinize the urine and neutralize the uric acid.
Wash Fruits and Vegetables
Baking soda is a safe way to remove dirt and residue from fresh fruit and vegetables. Sprinkle a little on a clean sponge, scrub and rinse.
Rid Hair of Build-Up
If you use a lot of product in your hair and want the true “squeaky clean” feel, try baking soda. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water and apply to damp hair. Comb through and rinse well.
Go ahead, be daring, employ baking soda in your home today!