Sunday, March 30, 2014

Baking Soda: 25 Household Uses


Baking soda is a great non-toxic cleaner, mild abrasive, and odor-remover.  It's cheap and doesn't contain harmful odors or ingredients.  My favorite uses are to scrub out my stainless-steel kitchen sink and to remove baked-on food from pots and pans.  Here are some other tips for using baking soda around the house...

Cleaning

1. To remove baked-on or burned food from pots and pans, sprinkle a few tablespoons in the bottom, add some hot water, and let it sit for 30 minutes or more.  For really tough jobs, simmer the water and baking soda on the stove for a few minutes and then let it sit overnight.



2.  Sprinkle baking soda into your stainless-steel sink, add a little dish-washing soap, and scrub.  The baking soda is a mild abrasive and will make the sink shine!  Some baking soda on a sponge can also be used to clean and shine stainless-steel fixtures.

3.  Scrub out toilets, bathtubs, and porcelain sinks with a homemade baking soda scrub to remove stains and odors.  Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon liquid dish-washing detergent, and a little vinegar to make a paste.

4.  Clean baby toys by mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bucket of warm water.  Soak or scrub toys and rinse.  I like that this solution doesn't use dangerous chemicals on toys that will be handled (and put in the mouth) by young kids.

5.  To remove crayons marks from walls and floors, make a baking soda and water paste and gently scrub marks off.

6.  To make an effective fruit and vegetable wash, sprinkle baking soda on wet produce, scrub, and rinse.

7.  Clean and deodorize your dishwasher and coffee maker by running a cycle with baking soda.  Scrub out your coffee pot with baking soda on a sponge to remove stains.

8.  To clean silver, make a water-baking soda paste and rub on silver with a cloth.  Rinse and dry well.

9.  Unclog drains by pouring 1 cup baking soda over the drain followed by 1 cup hot vinegar.  (Kids think this reaction is pretty fun, too!)

Cooking

10.  For fluffier omelets, mix baking soda in with the omelet mixture.  Use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for every 3 eggs.

11.  To take the bitter taste out of home-made iced tea, mix in a pinch of baking soda with a pitcher of iced tea.

Safety

12.  Keep an open box in a cabinet near the stove.  In case of a stove-top fire, carefully throw handfuls of baking soda onto the fire to extinguish the flames.  Baking soda can even be used on grease fires.

Deodorizing

13.  Leave open boxes of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb smells.  These boxes can then be used for cleaning, but don't cook with them as they will have absorbed bad flavors.

14.  Sprinkle onto carpets, let it sit for a few hours or overnight, and then vacuum.  The baking soda will absorb odors from both the carpets and vacuum cleaner.

15.  Sprinkle baking soda into cat litter boxes to absorb odors.

16.  Add a cup of baking soda to the washing machine when you have smelly or stained clothes; it will help deodorize and remove dirt.

Health & Beauty

17.  Make a gentle skin defoliant by mixing 3 parts baking soda to one part water.  Rub on skin and rinse.  This works great for sensitive skin!

18.  To make a relaxing foot soak, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda in with with warm water in a basin.  The baking soda will gently clean and deodorize feet.  Add sprigs of fresh mint or a few drops of essential oils for your own little at-home spa!

19.  Make an antacid for heartburn by mixing 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 cup water and drink.  (This was also recommended when I had a bloated sheep.  However, I couldn't get the stubborn guy to swallow it!  If you have sheep, TheraBloat works much better and should be kept on hand since bloat can turn deadly quickly.  I bought a case from PBS Animal Health.)

20.  To relieve pain and itching from bug bites, sunburn, poison ivy, and bee stings, apply a water-baking soda paste to the area.

21.  Gargle with baking soda to freshen breath.  You can also use it to brush pets' teeth.

22.  Add baking soda to your shampoo to fight dandruff and itch.

Outdoors

23.  Baking soda can be used to keep pool water clear.  See the Arm & Hammer website for more information on using it in pools.

24.  For burned build-up on grill grates, soak the grate in hot water with a few tablespoons of baking soda.  Sprinkle baking soda on your grill scrubber and scrub the charred pieces off.  Tough jobs may need to soak overnight.  (Since my grill grate is larger than my sink, I have soaked mine in a kiddie-pool filled with a few inches of hot water and baking soda.  It can then be scrubbed and hosed off outside.)

25.  I haven't had the occasion to try this one, but I've heard that you can remove corrosion from a car battery's terminal with baking soda.  There are excellent directions on how to do it here.




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