Sunday, June 13, 2010

Uses for Baking Soda

A friend told me about this information. It comes from a book called "Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of". Pretty interesting stuff! Some I've heard of before and some I'm going to try out, but haven't yet.

1. Washing Food. Make a paste of baking soda on a clean sponge, the wash toxins off the skin of fruits and veggies. Rinse well.

2. Drain Cleaner. It's not the fastest idea but if you got the time, give it a try! Take 1/2c of baking soda and pour down the drain followed by 1/2c of vinegar. Place a glass bowl over the top of the drain for two hours, then rinse with hot water. This will remove grease and dirt build-up through the pipes. (note: This might be best used as a "preventative measure" during your monthly deep cleaning around the house).

3. Vacuum odors. Sprinkle some baking soda on the floor and vacuum it up to kill odors in your vacuum. (note: I use a baking soda based carpet "freshener" that seems to kill the odors in the rugs as well as the vacuum, but plain old baking soda is probably a lot cheaper!)

4. Soft Hands. Make baking soda into a paste and use on the hands while washing dishes. It'll help remove tough food while softening your hands at the same time.

5. Tooth brushing. This wasn't on the list, but I would bet it is in the book. I use a mix of baking soda and salt to brush with. It gives a good shine and clean to your teeth, freshens your breath, and the salt is good for your gums.... except if you have salt issues, better not use the salt.

6. Musty books. Sprinkle some baking soda between the pages and brush it out a few days later for a fresh scent.

7. Mothball smell. The smell of mothballs on stored clothing, bedding, etc can be removed by adding a cup of baking soda to your washing machines rinse cycle to eliminate the odor.

8. Oil and grease. Sprinkle soda on the garage or basement floor to soak up oil and grease.

9. Weathered look. Wash your deck with a solution of 2 cups baking soda to one gallon of water. Take a stiff straw brush to work the solution into the wood, then rinse with cool clean water to achieve a clean, yet aged patina. It will also eliminate mold and mildew.

10. Weed Killer. Sweeping large amounts of sodium-rich baking soda into the cracks of your paved walks and driveway will eliminate weeds and dandelions.

11. Canvas Cleaner. To clean anything canvas, rub on a paste of baking soda, then rub it off.

12. Burned Pots. Pour in a thick cushion of baking soda, add an inch or so of water and put the pot on the stove to boil. After boiling for a minute, try scrubbing again. The burnt-on mess should come right off.

13. Plastic Shower Curtains. Wash mildewed or dirty plastic shower curtains in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with a couple bath towels, add in a 1/2c of baking soda and detergent during the wash cycle. Add in 1c of vinegar during the rinse cycle and let drip dry.

14. Dishwasher detergent. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons borax as an alternative to commercial detergent. You can also sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on your dirty dishes and use your usual dish washing detergent, it will give it a cleaning boost.

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