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Eight Great Uses For Baking Soda

September 14, 2009 By: NB Category: Clean Chemistry, Safest Cleaning Agents

sodium bicarbonate

sodium bicarbonate

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate and to a lesser extent as sodium hydrogen carbonate, is a chemical compound found in the mineral natron. It is a white solid that is crystalline in structure but can appear as a fine powder with a slight alkaline taste. The natural mineral form of sodium bicarbonate is nahcolite but it can be produced artificially. Besides helping our baked goods rise and have a light texture, baking soda is a wonderful additional to our cleaning arsenal. Here’s why:

  1. Baking soda is antiseptic and helps kill germs not only in our homes but for personal hygiene as well. A paste made from baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective alternative to commercial toothpaste. It also makes a good natural deodorant. It is more effective than vinegar, salt, or hot water alone when washing vegetables to remove pesticides.

  2. It’s anti-fungal and not only helps kill mold and mildew but will neutralize their odors.

  3. Baking soda will dissolve tarnish. A solution of baking soda in warm water ( 3 Tbsp to a quart of water) with a piece of aluminum foil laying in the bottom of the container will remove tarnish from silver when it comes in contact with the foil.  Caution: This method should NEVER be used on any plated items, only solid metal, and never on any piece of aluminum, or the finish will be damaged.

  4. Baking soda is a powerful odor absorber – in the fridge, freezer, down the drain, on carpets, upholstery, fabrics, even a pair of smelly sneakers.

  5. It’s gently abrasive. A smooth paste of baking soda and water will help scrub off caked on, baked on, dried on gunk from glass cook-tops, porcelain, fiberglass, stainless steel and enameled metals.

  6. Baking soda softens hard water and is superb as a fabric softener. As an aside. you never want to use a fabric softener on towels and washcloths – it hampers their absorbency.

  7. Baking soda will extinguish small grease or electrical fires. Don’t use baking soda on a deep-fryer fire though – it might cause the flaming grease to splatter.

  8. It is effervescent when combined with vinegar and will work wonders cleaning a grimy oven or clearing a clogged drain.

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