I ♥ Baking Soda

This is a shameless plug for greencropcircles.com, a blog about green living. While waiting for our turkey to be done, I am re-printing this very popular article I wrote that might appeal to javafoto readers. Happy Thanksgiving!

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

I “discovered” baking soda when I spilled something in the oven and made a huge burnt food mess. Sure, I’ve used baking soda forever but I never knew that it was more than just a baking agent. I tried to clean up the mess with a scraper but it seemed like it bonded with the bottom surface of the oven. Panic-stricken, I googled oven cleaning and found this wonderful tip of pouring baking soda paste (baking soda mixed with a little water) and leaving it for an hour then scraping it off. Well, I tried it and simply put, it worked. It didn’t just work but it made my oven shine, as in like brand new! I scraped the mess like I spilled it no more than a minute ago. Inspired by this “discovery”. I googled other uses for baking soda and found some interesting ones. I now use it for most cleaning tasks and it works like a charm.

Bathrooms: I threw out the COMET which is toxic anyway and now use baking soda for the whole bathroom. Sink, shower, toilet, floor, everything can be cleaned safely with baking soda.

Kitchen: Food stuck in pans? Baking soda paste is the answer. It makes our sink shine and stays cleaner longer.

Deodorizer: I keep a small partially open box in the refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh.

Shampoo Additive: About once a month, I mix a little bit of baking soda on a teaspoon of shampoo (sulfate-free) on my palm to remove product residues on my hair.

Laundry: Add ½ cup to a load for brighter whites and stain removal.

According to Wikipedia:

“Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slight alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. The natural mineral form is known as nahcolite. It is also produced artificially.
Since it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda. Colloquially, its name is shortened to sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, or simply bicarb. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning “aerated salt”, was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. The term has now fallen out of common usage.”

It also cites many other uses:

Vegetables: Used to remove pesticides. Not that I want to eat food with pesticides but it is not easy to be 100% all-natural so this is a good way to clean vegetables.

Insect Bites: Apply paste to remove sting. The poison is absorbed and therefore lessens the sting.

Medical: Used as an antacid.

As with anything, you have to do your own research and proceed with caution. Baking soda can strip a layer of material such as when it reacts with aluminum and could be very abrasive when used as toothpaste.

Forget Comet, Windex, and Bleach. I ? baking soda.

For further reading, check out:

About.com lists more uses for baking soda.
Care2 has several articles about non-toxic cleaning.
Arm & Hammer, the most common brand has a good website with tips and FAQs.

How about you? What do you use baking soda for?

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