Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Baking Soda.... Your New Best Friend

There are certain things in life, that once you get to know them, will blow your mind. Take our old friend baking soda..... Oh sure, it works great as a leavening agent (aka it makes stuff rise) when you bake, but did you know that this simple item has a million and one other uses too? Okay, maybe not a million and one, but it is sure handy!! It's not just for baking folks!

How handy is baking soda, you ask? Well, what I'm about to share with you is an list of things you can use baking soda for besides baking. And I promise, I am sure I have missed a few! But I am hoping you will see why you might want to start hoarding this stuff!!! No seriously!! Baking soda is one item everyone has and should have more of. Baking soda really is amazing stuff........

Deodorizing
  1. The Refrigerator – Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.
  2. Trash Cans - Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trash can to combat stinky smells.
  3. Drains - pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. (This a great way to reuse the baking soda that was in your refrigerator when it is time to change the box.) 
  4. Carpets Odor - Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it set overnight or as long as possible. Vacuum up. You may have to clean your vacuum filters after doing this as the fine powder will collect in them. 
  5. Vacuum Cleaners - By using the method above for carpets, you will also deodorize your vacuum cleaner too!!!
  6. Cat Box- Sprinkle the bottom of the litter pan with baking soda and fill as usual. 
  7. Pet Bedding - Eliminate odors from your pet’s bedding by sprinkling baking soda. Wait 20 minutes and vacuum up.
  8. Shoes - Shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing. 
  9. Stuffed Animals - Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for a while before brushing off.

Personal Care Items
  1. Toothpaste - Make a paste from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Great   alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. 
  2. Mouth Wash - Put one teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water. 
  3. Body scrub – This is good for every inch of your body. Just make a paste with a ratio of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. 
  4. Deodorant – If it is good at soaking up smells in your fridge, why not your underarm! Just pat some on.
  5. Hair – Give you favorite shampoo a boost by adding a small amount of baking soda. Just put some baking soda in your hand before you squirt out the shampoo and then scrub away.
Cleaning
  1. Surface Scrub - For a safe yet effective cleaner, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub. Rinse and wipe dry. Great for just about any surface you need to clean, be it in the bathroom or kitchen!
  2. Dishes and Pans - Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, along with your regular dish detergent, to water to help cut grease and left on food. For baked-on food, let the pan soak in the baking soda and detergent water for a while, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge as scouring powder. 
  3.  Floors - Remove dirt from no wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water….. mop and rinse 
  4. Boost Laundry Detergent - Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. 

Medical
  1. Antacid - Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid. Got heartburn, sour stomach and/or acid indigestion? Just add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in an 8 oz glass of water (more if your my hubby) and drink. Just know, you will burp!
  2. Insect Bites and Bee Stings - Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply to ease the itch.
  3. Sunburn - Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry.
  4. Splinter - Make a paste and apply it to the area with the splinter. When the paste dries the tiny end of the splinter will be stuck in the paste. When you remove the past, it should pull the splinter out far enough to grab with tweezers.
Miscellaneous 
  1. Remove Oil and Grease Stains - Use baking soda to clean up light oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
  2. Polish Silver - Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Clean Car Batteries - Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on car batteries. Disconnect the battery terminals first! Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and use a toothbrush to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. 
  4. Remove tape residue - Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Rub the paste onto the bits of tape that are stuck, then wipe clean.
  5. Extinguish Fires - Baking soda can help in the initial handling of MINOR kitchen fires. When baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. Do not use baking soda when dealing with a grease fire as it may make it splash.
  6. Clogged Drain - Pour in 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot vinegar to unclog a drain.
  7. Book Odors – Seal musty-smelling books in a plastic bag with baking soda sprinkled inside to eliminate mildew and odors. Leave book in bag for a few weeks.
  8. Flowers – Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon of baking powder to the water in the vase.
  9. Cooking an Omelet – Make an omelet fluffier by adding ½ teaspoon baking soda for every three eggs
  10. Soil acidity tester - To check the acidity of your soil, mix ¼ cup baking soda with 2 cups water. Then add 1 cup of your soil. If it foams, your soil is acidic.
  11. Wall Repairs – To fill a small nail holes in a plastered wall mix together some white toothpaste and baking soda. Fill the holes in completely, and then allow the mixture to dry

Okay so I didn't list a million and one things, but I think our little friend baking soda is kind of impressive, don't you? So what did I miss? What do you use baking soda for around your place?



**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**

37 comments:

  1. Please, if I may, make a comment, more of a warning about using baking soda as an antacid. Doctors are advising about using it as an antacid because your stomach can rupture from the pressure and combustion of the baking soda. So I wouldn't recommend anyone using it as an antacid. I just wanted to put that out there. Thanks :)

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    1. While it is humanly possible, cases of this happing have been extremely rare and in those cases it would appear the people took WAY to much for an extended period of time. A small dose here and there is perfectly fine. It has been a remedy for years and if you are that concerned, ask your doctor (who will tell you it is fine, even our pediatrician says so.) Thanks for the concern though.

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    2. I love the list. I love baking soda and have used it in many of the ways you have listed. But I have learned here that there are even more ways to use it. I look forward to trying these suggestions.

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    3. Elena, isn't it great to have one thing that is like your "go to guy." LOL

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  2. I buy baking soda in the club-size bags at Sam's and always keep it on hand. Some of your suggestions I have tried - others I haven't. I had no idea it would help keep cut flowers fresh longer. That's a great tip to know.
    One of the most common ways we used this was when our children were small enough to still have "accidents" on furniture or mattresses that were not covered with a liner. Pouring on baking soda would absorb the moisture AND the smell. Worked great for us.
    Thanks for sharing your tips!

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    1. Thanks for the tip Karen! We are currently potty training so this is timely!

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  3. Cool list, thanks. I especially like how you remind us we can reuse the baking soda that has been sitting in our fridge to clean.

    My favorite use (that you named) is an anti-itch solution for insect bites or hay fever. I use that paste a lot.

    I also use it every 6 months on my bare mattress--I just sprinkle it on and let it sit an hour or two and then vacuum it up.

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  4. I suffer from heartburn and I always use 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of warm water and it works every time!

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  5. I totally agree with you that baking soda can be your best friend. I buy 5 pounds bags of it at a time. I use it for so many of the things you list here. By the way you list is very good and this is an excellent post. I shared on google & twitter. Visiting from WIldcrafting Wednesdays.

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  6. I love this share, baking soda has replaced all those cleaning supplies I wasted money on in the past and I love it!!!

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    1. It is so simple but such a knock out around the house. :)

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  7. We use baking soda for a variety of things too! I didn't know the tip about the flowers in water though! Thanks for sharing! I am visiting from the Home-Making party. We also have one on Mondays if you are interested in joining in ~

    http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-art-of-home-making-mondays-please_28.html

    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Oops, I meant I am visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday :)

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    2. Well no matter where your visiting from I am glad you dropped by!

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  8. Seriously so true! Baking soda is a gift to have around the house!

    Thanks for linking up at the Bewitchin Projects party this week! I can't wait to see what you link up again next week over at OurMiniFamily.com!

    Cheers,
    ~Cathy Mini~
    OurMiniFamily.com

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  9. Baking soda is amazing! I buy it in 50# bags and use it mostly for washing diapers and as a supplement for my goats.

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    1. So your the one who will cause the shortage in supply! LOL

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  10. So many uses for baking soda that I haven't tried yet, thanks for the reminder and for new uses I've never heard about before!

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    1. Happy baking soda time LOL Enjoy trying them out.

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  11. Wow, who knew! Now I do!!! Pinning!

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  12. I also use one tablespoon per one cup cool water then dip a wash rag in it then apply to sunburn and heat rash. Works great!

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  13. Well, now I know why people buy the Costco-sized bag of baking soda. I had no idea you could use baking soda so many ways. One of those jumbo-sized bags just my jump into my cart on my next Costco run - lol!

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    1. You just thought they baked a lot, didn't you :)

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  14. I started canning this year and was just told yesterday that when I make my tomato sauce, put a tablespoon of baking soda in the mix and then no one would have heart burn from the sauce. When my tomatoes are ripe, I am going to try it. Great ideas!

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    1. I have never heart that! Doesn't hurt to try :)

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  15. So many great uses for baking soda - and most of them cheaper than alternatives! :)

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    1. And there is something that feels so good about saving a buck!

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  16. Love these tips! I always keep a few baking soda boxes in stock just in case I need them for whatever.

    Thanks for linking up to Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

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  17. So many great ideas! Thanks for joining us at Green Thumb Thursday! I hope you'll stop by and link up again this week!

    ~Lisa M

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