Tuesday, August 16, 2011

{ Baking Soda }


(K.I.S. Week: every post will be as simple as I can make it about simple solutions to everyday life situations. I will have minimal pictures in the posts as well to keep with the K.I.S. theme. Even the titles are simple!)

To kick off my K.I.S. Week series I thought I'd talk about my favorite solution to so many household problems, baking soda. It doesn't get much simpler than that. I mean, it is what it is: sodium bicarbonate. No additives, no other ingredients, pure, plain and simple and it does so many things. Here's my running list:

Leavening Agent - Super basic and obvious I know, but you can't bake cookies and other delicious desserts without it.

Abrasive Cleaner - This is my, new to me, favorite use. Can someone explain to me why my mom and then me always used Comet? No need to buy harsh chemical cleaners, baking soda will do the trick. Now I don't fear for my lung health every time I have to clean the shower! Really, if you don't use it to clean your sinks and tubs you have to give it a try - at least once. I've also used it to clean my microwave; the bag also recommends using it to clean: counters, ovens, refrigerators, pots and pans and stainless steel - without scratching your surfaces.

Deodorizer - The places to use this are unending. I use it in my diaper pails. And, so I read on the bag, it's also great for deodorizing disposals, fridges and freezers, garbage cans, dishwashers between uses (I'll have to try this since I think mine has a little funk), and litter boxes.

Carpet Deodorizer - Got pets or kids? I've got kids and accidents of the bodily kind happen. Blot up the wetness and pour baking soda on top; it will absorb whatever is left and then you can vacuum it up and in the mean time you don't have to worry about your kids touching the new stuff on the carpet like you do with chemical cleaners. When Tabi had to go pant-less a few days last week I used this a couple of times. I'm not sure of how well it works with pet urine odors, but it never hurts to try; if it doesn't work you can always go back to what you were using before. I do know however, that people with pets sprinkle baking soda all over their carpets  before vacuuming to remove pet odors from their homes.

Diaper Rash Home Remedy - My friend Bryn shared this new diaper rash home remedy with me last week. To help dry out the rash, add 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda to the bath water. You will still need to use the cream of your choice after the bath for the next diaper. Bryn also suggested sealing the diaper cream with A&D Ointment to really protect baby's bum while they're in the diaper. We did two baking soda baths last week.

Bee & Wasp Sting Paste - Need some relief after a bee or wasp sting? Look no further than your baking supplies. Mix a tiny bit of water into a small bowl with baking soda to make a paste to alleviate bee and wasp stings. Poor little Tabi decided to model the paste for us yesterday after getting stung twice by wasps. We also gave her some Benedryl to make sure she didn't swell too much since one sting was close to her eye.

Laundry Detergent Enhancer - Now I haven't tried this myself, but the bag says, "For fresher, cleaner clothes... Add 1 cup with liquid detergent for cleaner, fresher clothes."

And finally,
Pool Cleaning - You know that I haven't tried this because I don't have a pool, but for those of you trying to control your pH level in a pool or hot tub baking soda might be your answer. You can get more details, as well as more baking soda tips, at Armhammer.com.

So as you can see, there really are almost 101 ways you can use baking soda around your house. It's super affordable and as the bag claims, "The Standard of Purity." Most of all, I like that I can use it without worrying about the kids getting into it or me breathing it in. Now, I buy the Costco bag but I wonder if Cash and Carry sells a bigger one... hmmm....

Do you use baking soda for anything not listed here? If you do, please share it in the comment section.


Off The Cuff Cooking said...

Also, you can clean silver jewelry or silver flatware with baking soda: Line a cereal bowl with aluminum foil, pour in a teaspoon or so of baking soda, add boiling water, and sink your silver jewelry into it. Wait about five minutes, and Voila!! Sparkly silver!

Oh, and unclog a kitchen drain with a "baking soda/ vinegar bomb" -- just dump about 1/4 cup baking soda into a clogged or slow drain, chase it with vinegar, and then pour boiling water after it to help loosen gunk and grease. Repeat if necessary.

Sheila said...

I love baking soda. I have used it for most of these things. just started using it for the bath tub...Grandma Ellie has been doing this...But the first thing that I had ever used baking soda for, (besides cooking) Is brushing my teeth:) things moms used back in the day...And We like it! Actually whitens. But can not be used to much, because it is abrasive. You can also use it to wash hair. Its kind of weird, but it does strip your hair of oils and makes it soft>

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