Raid your Pantry: The Many Uses of Baking Soda
Many of us use baking soda in our home-baked goods, or we leave an open container of it in the fridge to reduce any off-putting odours. But baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate, or bicoarbonate of soda) is a do-it-all powder. Here's our list of additional uses for the multi-functional & natural ingredient.
Deodorant: Sure, you can buy baking soda based deodorants from the drugstore, but you can save a few bucks and make your own. Just mix a bit of soda and water to make a paste, and gently rub it on your underarms. It is a deodorizer- just like it reduces bad odours from the fridge, it can reduce bad odours coming from you!
Skin soother: When the warm weather comes around again, keep baking soda at the ready to combat the soreness you feel from sunburnt skin, and to lessen the itchiness you feel from bug bites. Mix some baking soda with water until you have a paste consistency, and apply it to the affected area. It's a natural antipruritic (anti-itch treatment).
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Revitalize your scalp: To get our tresses looking top notch, many of us use a plethora of products in our hair. But often, using multiple hair products can cause a buildup on your scalp that regular shampooing can't quite get rid of. You might notice your hair gets greasier more quickly than it used to. To try to 'reset' your scalp, add a pinch of baking soda to your shampoo. This will remove the buildup of product from the roots of your hair.
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On your pearly whites: Brushing with baking soda every now and again can remove surface stains on your teeth, because the texture of baking soda is an effective mild abrasive. Don't worry, it's fine enough that it won't cause scratches on your teeth. However, this isn't a method you should use everyday, as it can harm your chompers if done too frequently.
Household cleaner: The tried and true water-and-baking soda paste combination can be used yet again when scrubbing your kitchen and bathroom. Just like it can remove stains from your white teeth, it can also scrub away stains on the shiny surfaces in your home too.
Stain removal: Have an oil stain? All you need to do is sprinkle some baking soda onto the spot, and it will absorb the oil out of the fabric. Have a wine stain? Take some baking powder and combine with a bit of vinegar, and dab it on those pesky stains on your living room carpet or on your bright white t-shirt. Rinse out with water after 15-30 mintues, and the stain should be greatly lessened if not removed entirely.
Image by Kai Oberhäuser
Laundry: Bright, white, freshly cleaned sheets are one of life's greatest pleasures. Boost up this freshness by adding about a cup of this super-powder to your load of whites. As a deodorizer and stain remover, the addition of baking soda to your wash will result in wonderfully soft, clean fabrics.
Unclog your drain: When your kitchen sink starts to drain verrrrry slowwwwly, but you're hesitant to go out and buy those chemical-heavy products for unclogging drains, use baking soda instead! A much more eco-friendly alternative to the drugstore products is the combination of baking soda and vinegar. First, pour some boiling water down the drain, followed by a dash of baking soda and a glug or two of vinegar for a bubbly chemical reaction, and after 5-10 minutes, finish it off with another pour of boiling water. Ta-da! A satisfying, draining sink.
Do you have any other uses for baking soda? Let us know in the comments below!