Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is natural, economical and in almost every kitchen. It can safely replace many expensive products that are also potentially harmful to the environment. The following are eight of the most practical uses for baking soda.Drain cleaner and deodorizer: Put ¼ cup of baking soda in the kitchen or bathroom drain. Pour ½ cup white vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for 30 seconds before pouring ½ cup warm water in the drain. Let stand for 10-15 minutes then run cold water down the drain for 10 seconds. Doing this every 3-4 weeks will keep your drains deodorized and will minimize clogs.
Household cleanser: Baking soda will clean tile, porcelain, stainless steel and plastic surfaces without scratching or leaving harmful residue. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface to be cleaned then with a wet cloth or sponge, scrub and rinse. You don’t need a lot to get the job done, it doesn’t leave behind harmful residue and it doesn’t pollute the water system. Safe for cleaning baby toys, high chairs, etc.
Fire extinguisher: Every kitchen should have a container of baking soda near the stove. It effectively puts out cooking fires. If flames appear, quickly throw baking soda at the base of the fire. Be sure to stand at least an arm’s length from the flames.
Fruit cleaner: Wax and surface pesticides on fruit are concerns for many people. By sprinkling baking soda on the fruit skin then, with damp fingers, rubbing and rinsing, you can enjoy clean, fresh tasting fruit without paying for commercial fruit cleansers.
Hand and face wash: Make a mixture of three parts water to one part baking soda. Use this paste to scrub away stubborn hands stains like paint and grease or strong odors like fish and garlic. The same mixture can be used to naturally exfoliate and soften your face after washing away surface dirt with soap and water. For more sensitive skin, make the mixture four parts water to one part baking soda. Baking soda in the tub helps to relieve stress and soften skin. Add ¼- ½ cup to your bath. This is safe for most skin allergies and doesn’t leave behind oily residue that many bath oils and detergents can.
Heavy duty dish cleanser: To clean dishes with baked or burned on food, use baking soda to ease the cleansing without harsh steel wool or detergents. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the tough-to-clean area. Let stand for five minutes. Then add hot water and stand for 10-15 minutes. Wash as usual and the stuck-on food will wash away easily without excessive scrubbing.
Tooth and denture cleaner: If you ever find yourself without toothpaste, baking soda is an excellent alternative. Put a little on a damp toothbrush or the end of your finger and rub against your teeth. It helps remove food and stains and freshen your breath. For dentures, make a paste from baking soda and warm water then clean as usual. Or, for overnight soaking, use one part baking soda to four parts water. Rinse in warm water the next morning.
Acid indigestion and heart burn remedy: You can naturally neutralize painful stomach acids by adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda to an 8-ounce glass of water. Stir until completely diluted then drink.
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