Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wholesome Wednesdays: Sodium Bicarbonate

Good old baking soda. I've always had a box open in the fridge, but never really given much thought or consideration to the versatile dust until this past year or so. Since investing more time on learning alternatives to chemicals and modern goops to clean my home and treat my fire ant stings, i've discovered some great uses for baking soda.  Here are some of the ways i've been using my baking soda in the last year:

  • Insect sting relief: When i get a fire ant bite, i score the bite with a sterilized razor blade and apply a poultice of baking soda on top. Sometimes i also add essential oils or mashed borage leaves when i have them. The baking soda helps suck the poison out and prevents the massive swelling i tend to get from those nasty bites.
  • Drain cleaner: Pour some baking soda into a clogged drain and follow with some vinegar and cover it up. A little explosion will happen in the drain and force the nasties down. Follow with some boiling hot water to help further dislodge things and repeat as neccessary. (It helps to scrape out the nasty hair first, if applicable)
  • Cleaning the garbage disposal: Same steps as above. Freshens the gunky smell and gets the grime off.
  • All purpose cleaner: The grittyness of baking soda works well to clean just about anything. Combine with Borax and you have a super hero team of scrubbing power.
  • Biscuits. Yum.
  • Add a scoop of baking soda or borax to a load of laundry for cleaner, softer clothes.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda or borax in the compost pail in the kitchen to keep those funky smells less funky.

This weekend i plan on creating some homemade carpet freshener. I'll post my recipe and let you know how it works. I plan on combining essential oils with baking soda and diatonaceous earth to freshen the carpet and kill any nasty critters crawling about the house via puppy feet.

Also, thanks again to Susy at Chiot's Run for inspiring me to make my own toothpaste! I'll be looking for vegetable glycerin to get the consistency nice enough that my husband might actually use it.

Arm and Hammer has a neat little website feature that discloses all sorts of 'secret uses' for baking soda. Check it out. Some of their tips include:
  • Clean walls or furniture with a paste of baking soda - acts like that magic eraser
  • Adding baking soda to the rinse cycle specifically helps freshen up those sheets even more
  • All purpose deodorizer - that's what that open box in the fridge is for (even though i still bake with that one, gross) and sprinkling it about in the form of a carpet freshener is great all over the place including on pet bedding or anywhere else.
  • Pamper that bod: add to shampoo to get your locks cleaner and shinier, soak your feet, scrub your body, relieve an acid stomach, add to a bath to neutralize the ph and get you cleaner/fresher, use as deoderant.... 
  • Clean off car batteries
  • Clean up oily spills
  • Bring it camping and use it for everything: washing hands, clothes, dishes, teeth, hair, fire extinguishing, EVERYTHING
  • You can safely clean just about ANYTHING with baking soda, right down to vegetables, the dog herself or baby's favorite chew toy
Wow. That was intense. I never knew the true power of baking soda. I can't wait to whip up my carpet freshener and use it EVERYWHERE on EVERYTHING, not just carpets. So put away those nasty chemicals and stock up on some baking soda. It'll cure what ails ya, or your dirty floor, or toilet, or teeth, or hair, or dog, or............

How do you use baking soda?

This post also seen on Simple Lives Thursday

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!