Baking soda: this humble powder might just be the most versatile, effective, economical product in your home. Some of its uses almost everybody knows; others are less familiar. In all its applications, baking soda is inexpensive, nontoxic, and natural. Let’s have a look at some of the amazing abilities of baking soda.
Three Baking Soda Uses Most People Know
These are the reasons many households always have a few boxes of baking soda handy in the kitchen.
- Keeping the refrigerator fresh. A small box of baking soda left open in the refrigerator will absorb odors.
- Freshening the sink drain. If your sink starts to smell not so nice, pour baking soda down the drain with running water to freshen it.
- Putting out grease fires. Don’t ever pour water on a grease fire; that could spread the fire! Pour baking soda right on the flames. It will ruin the food, but it’s burned, anyway, and better ruin the food than catch the kitchen on fire.
Baking Soda Uses You Might Not Know
Baking soda is a name for sodium bicarbonate (or bicarbonate of soda). It’s alkaline, which is the chemical opposite of acid. When baking soda comes in contact with acid, the two interact, sometimes dramatically. The chemical properties of baking soda help us with certain problems, such as:
If your drain stops up, pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, let it settle a bit, then pour a cup of white vinegar in. Science to the rescue! The bubbling reaction between the baking soda (alkaline) and the vinegar (acid) can do wonders unplugging that drain.
NOTE: only do this if you have metal pipes, not plastic, and don’t do it if you’ve already used chemical drain cleaner. You don’t want toxic stuff bubbling everywhere.
Relief from Bug Bites and Stings
The next time something bites you or a little person you know, get quick relief by making a thick paste of a little baking soda and a tiny bit of water. Make sure there’s no stinger; then apply paste directly to the spot. Also relieves poison ivy and sunburn.
When shoes become unpleasant to sniff, get a paper towel and about a half-cup of baking soda. Pour the soda in a line down the middle of a paper towel, stopping short of the edges. Fold the paper towel in half so the baking soda is in the fold, then gently roll like a burrito. Place your baking soda burrito in the shoe and leave overnight. It will absorb odors, just like in the refrigerator. Remove and throw away (the baking soda, not the shoe).
Cleaning Outdoor Grill
If your grill is all crusty, make a paste of baking soda and some water and apply it to the grill with your grill brush. Let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub away. You’ll be amazed how easily that baked-on residue comes off.
Cleaning Non-Stick Cookware
For most non-stick pans, if food sticks or burns, baking soda can help. Gently rub baking soda in the pan and add water to cover the bottom; bring to a boil. Let stand until just warm, then gently scrape residue with a soft scrubber.
This is so effective, you’ll be hooked. Sprinkle baking soda over tired or musty carpet and leave for 15 minutes. Vacuum and it’s instantly fresher. A sweet variation is to stir 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil into the baking soda, whisk it until no clumps remain, then sprinkle on your carpet. Wow.
Baking Soda: the List Goes On
We could write much more and not describe all the remarkable powers of that humble little wonder, baking soda. We didn’t even mention rinsing produce, cleaning hair brushes and combs, freshening laundry, treating your cat’s box, and so much more. Then, we could talk about exciting home science experiments! For now, though, we’re done.
Have fun keeping clean and fresh with baking soda, the versatile, economical, all-purpose product for your home.