The Many Uses of Baking Soda, Yay!

31 Aug

The other day, Paul told me to buy baking soda* because he had used up the little box we had. This is not an unusual request because Paul normally experiments with household products doing I don’t know what – alchemy probably. He doesn’t like relinquishing what’s behind his experiments, and I have a feeling that if we had a basement, he would be in it, wearing a lab coat with a lock on the door, only appearing as Doc Brown to grab his plate of dinner.

As I poked and prodded at why he could possibly need more baking soda, he finally admitted to the discovery of using it on his face as a mask and cleanser. After thinking he was crazy, I realized it’s probably not a bad idea. It’s a cheap, natural substance (sodium bicarbonate) that makes your refridgerator smell nicer, so why not make a paste for your face? Right?

I bought some at the market, placed it in the bathroom, and stopped to read the packaging. I noticed the front mentioned softer skin, so I continued on to a side panel, where it then says to use baking soda as a “facial exfoliant.” And to prove how oblivious Paul can be, he didn’t even know it said this.

Ever since then (I too use it after my facial cleanser), I started to research all the other uses of this magical substance. THERE ARE A LOT. Besides all of the cleansing uses for baking soda, here are other favorites I came across:

  • Keep baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out. (Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery, and rugs without damaging anything.)
  • Cover the bottom of the kitty’s litter box with 1 part baking soda; then add a layer of three parts litter on top. (You don’t have to buy the pet-specific kind either.)
  • Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.
  • Add 1/2-cup or more of baking soda to bath water to soften skin. Putting 2-tablespoons of baking soda in your baby’s bath water will help relieve diaper rash.
  • Apply a paste of baking soda directly to insect bites/stings, rashes, poison ivy, measles, chicken pox, and other skin irritations to relieve discomfort.
  • Take 1/2-teaspoon of baking soda in one-half glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.
  • Repel rain from windshields. Put gobs of baking soda on a dampened cloth and wipe windows inside and out.
  • Sprinkle on your carpet to remove odors, then vaccuum up.
  • Mix 2-tablespoons of baking soda with 1-teaspoon of your shampoo and/or conditioner for a hair pick-me-up.
  • Make a paste with water and apply the baking soda to a pimple for 10-15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle on foods that make you feel gassy or bloated.

I don’t know if all of the claims for baking soda actually work, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Paul’s face is sure looking better, maybe mine will too. Not that it needs to look better.

* Baking soda is not the same as baking powder. If you want to get really technical, baking powder is a leavener that combines an acid with baking soda. Don’t use baking powder to try any of the above.

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One Response to “The Many Uses of Baking Soda, Yay!”

  1. Tamara September 1, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    Baking soda friggin’ rocks! lol. makes me cookies all yummy and stuff!

    I need to try it on my face though.. hmmm. interesting. I want purty skin too!

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