We all keep a box of baking soda at home, as this versatile product has a myriad of uses in every household.
It is primarily used as a leavening agent in baked goods, as in a combination with an acid, it reacts, creates bubbles and releases carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to rise.
In its natural form, it is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron, which is high in sodium bicarbonate.
Natron was used in ancient Egypt as soap for cleaning, but in 1846, Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight started to manufacture and sell it as baking soda. In the next two decades, it was used as a cooking additive and by the 1920s, people have learned its potential as a medical agent.
It is undoubtedly the cheapest homemade remedy, and here are 11 surprising ways to use it:
Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain
It neutralizes the stomach acid, relieves indigestion and heartburn, and treats ulcer pain. Dissolve half a teaspoon in a half a glass of water, and take it every 2 hours.
Yet, note that this should be an occasional treat, as the excessive use might cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.
Tooth and Gum Paste
Since it is a mild abrasive, it can help you clean and polish the teeth, eliminate plaque and fight bad breath. Its antibacterial properties fight Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is a common contributor to tooth decay.
Mix 6 parts of baking soda with 1 part of sea salt and you will get an effective tooth and gum paste. Blend them for half a minute, and transfer the mixture to a suitable container.
Then, take a bit with the tip of the index finger, and apply it on the gums and teeth. Start with the upper outside gums, continue with the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums and the lower inside. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
Use a pinch of baking soda and water instead of the commercial deodorants which are full of parabens and aluminum. You can also apply some baking soda directly on the armpits.
To remove dirt from the hands and neutralize odors, wash them with a mixture of 3 parts of baking soda and one part of water.
Insect Bites and Poison Ivy
Mix baking soda and water and apply the paste on the insect bites to soothe the itching. It will also heal minor skin irritations, itchy rashes, and poison ivy.
Foot Soak and Exfoliator
Scrub the feet with baking soda to exfoliate them. You can also add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water and soak the feet in it to relax them and soothe the skin.
To relieve the sunburns, enjoy a bath with a ½ cup of baking soda. You can also apply a cold compress with water and baking soda to the irritated areas.
Add some apple cider vinegar and baking soda to your bath, and soak in it to relax, and soften the skin. Additionally, this will also clean the drain and tub afterward!
You should soak the affected area in a mixture of a tablespoon of baking soda and half a cup of water twice daily, and after a couple of days, you will completely remove them.
Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to one crushed ripe strawberry, and spread the paste onto the teeth. After 5 minutes, brush them well, and rinse. This will make the teeth pearly white and shiny!
Improved Sports Performance
“Soda doping”, or the use of baking soda capsules, is commonly practiced by distance runners before races. It is believed to provide similar effects to carbohydrate loading. Also, it improves speed among swimmers. According to researchers:
“Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming.”
Baking Soda as a Natural Cleanser
Baking soda is extremely useful as a household cleanser as well. One interesting fact is that it was used to clean and restore the inner copper walls of the Statute of Liberty during its 1986 restoration. It cleaned grime and did not damage the copper!
Here is how to use it to clean your home:
- Sprinkle it on the carpets, leave it to act for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.
- Mix it with water and use it to scrub away grime from the shower and bath.
- You can scrub the barbecue grill with baking soda. Also, add it to hot water, and soak your pots and pans in it for 15 minutes, in order to easily wipe away baked-on food.
- Fill the kitchen sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminum foil and baking soda, and leave your silver to soak until clean.
- Put some baking soda in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top with holes in it, sprinkle on the surfaces and scrub the kitchen and bath.
- Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water and use the mixture o clean your baby’s toys.
- Add a cup of baking soda to the laundry load and use it as a fabric softener, and as a whitening agent.
- To get rid of the bad smell, sprinkle baking soda in your shoes.
- Use it to smother out the flames in the case of a minor grease fire in the kitchen.
- Mix it with apple cider vinegar to clean the drains. Sprinkle it down the drain, pour some apple cider vinegar, and after 15 minutes, rinse with hot water.
- To wash your fruits and vegetables, sprinkle baking soda on a vegetable brush and eliminate the dirt and residue from them.