Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white powder that is useful for many things, mostly in cooking and baking.
However, this humble kitchen staple has many unexpected and practical uses beyond the kitchen. This article will explore some fascinating and innovative ways to utilize baking soda daily.
1. Natural cleaning agent
One of baking soda's most well-known alternative uses is its role as a natural cleaning agent. Its gentle abrasive properties make it practical for scrubbing surfaces without scratching. Here are a few cleaning applications:
Scrubbing sinks and bathtubs: Sprinkle baking soda on surfaces, add water to make a paste, and scrub away stains and grime.
Deodorizing carpets and upholstery:
- Sprinkle baking soda on carpets or upholstery.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- Vacuum it to remove odors.
Removing oven grease: Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water and rub it all over the inside of your oven. Let it sit overnight, then clean it in a grease-free oven.
2. Odor neutralizer
Baking soda is a renowned odor neutralizer. It can effectively absorb and eliminate unpleasant odors. Some creative ways to use it for this purpose include:
In the fridge: Store an open baking soda container inside your refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh and absorb food aromas.
In shoes: Sprinkle baking soda inside shoes to neutralize foot odors. Shake out the excess before wearing it.
On pet bedding:
- Sprinkle baking soda on your pet's bedding.
- Let it sit for a while.
- Shake or vacuum it off to keep their area smelling clean.
3. Fire Extinguisher
Baking soda can be used as an emergency fire extinguisher for small grease fires in the kitchen since it releases carbon dioxide when heated. However, this method should only be used as a last option, and proper fire safety practices are required.
4. Skin soother
Baking soda can be used to relieve skin irritations and discomfort. Here's how:
Sunburn Relief: Dissolve a few tablespoons of baking soda in a lukewarm bath and soak for relief from sunburn.
Bug Bite Relief: Make a paste by combining baking soda and water to lessen irritation and swelling from insect bites.
5. Teeth whitener
Many commercial toothpaste products contain baking soda for its teeth-whitening properties. You can create homemade toothpaste by mixing water with baking soda to form a paste and brushing your teeth.
However, using this sparingly is essential, as baking soda can be abrasive and may damage tooth enamel with frequent use.
6. Deodorant substitute
Baking soda works well as a makeshift natural deodorant. Apply a small amount to your underarms to help absorb sweat and neutralize odor.
Be mindful of potential skin sensitivity and perform a patch test first.
7. Fruit and vegetable wash
Baking soda could help wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. It helps remove dirt, pesticides, and even some wax residues.
Add water to the baking soda to make a solution, soak your produce, and rinse them well.
8. Fire ant bite remedy
If you end up with a fire ant bite, you can alleviate the sting by making a paste from baking soda and water and applying it to the injured region.
9. Car maintenance
Baking soda can also be helpful for car maintenance.
Battery terminal cleaner: Create a paste with baking soda and water to clean corrosion from car battery terminals.
Windshield cleaner: Mix baking soda with water to clean your car's windshield effectively.
10. Garden Helper
Baking soda could be helpful in your garden to help with various tasks:
Plant Fungicide: A diluted baking soda solution can help control fungal diseases in plants like roses and tomatoes.
Slug Deterrent: Sprinkle baking soda around plants to deter slugs and snails.
These are only a handful of baking soda's numerous fascinating and practical applications. Its versatility and affordability make it a valuable addition to any household, providing solutions for cleaning, personal care, and even some unexpected challenges.
Whether you're looking to save money, reduce your environmental footprint, or explore creative solutions, baking soda is a versatile ally that deserves a place in your home.