I'm taking this article and will expand on it later, but this was taken from Michael's Green Living Tips website. He has some REALLY great tips and suggestions about Green Living. Also if you sign up for his newsletter he'll plant a tree for you too. ;)
Baking soda - 30 handy tips
My original article on baking soda being an earth friendly household chemical replacement was mainly about what the substance is and how it's made. I also briefly touched on a few useful tips in how the substance can be used, but in this article, I've jotted down a stack of baking soda tips - some of these I've tried myself, others I'm yet to give a whirl.
Special note: always spot test any home concoctions first before going all out. That doesn't just apply to baking soda, but any tips provided on GreenLivingTips.com - or any other site for that matter :).
- A bowl of baking soda in your fridge will help remove excess moisture and absorb odors.
- Sprinkle some in your veggies crisper and cover with a cloth or paper towel for crisper veggies that last longer.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge for cleaning out your refrigerator and benchtops without scratching.
- Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in water in a microwave safe bowl, then bring to the boil in your microwave. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then you should easily be able to wipe out any baked on stains, plus your oven will microwave will smell fresher too.
- Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of rubbish bags will help to control odors as you add trash.
- To give your dishwasher a good clean, run it through a cycle and use baking soda instead of detergent.
- Baking soda can be thrown on stove fires to extinguish the flames. The carbon dioxide generated when the powder burns starves the fire of oxygen.
- Wash chemicals and pesticides off fruits and vegetables in a pot filled with water and 3 - 4 tablespoons of baking soda added.
On a somewhat related note, here's something interesting I came across. Baking soda is sometimes used when boiling vegetables to preserve their color. That practice is not recommended as it destroys the vitamin C content of vegetables.
- Anywhere that moisture is a problem, such as cupboards under sinks, place a bowl of baking soda to help control humidity. You'll need to occasionally stir the powder for maximum effective life.
- Crayon or texta marks on walls? Try applying baking soda/water paste on an old toothbrush and lightly brush the affected area.
- Water stains on wooden floors can be removed with a sponge dampened in a solution of baking soda dissolved in water.
- Sprinkle some baking soda into your vacuum bag to help reduce musty/pet smells being spread throughout your house when vacuuming.
- Sprinkle baking soda on rugs and carpets before vacuuming as a deodorising treatment. Most carpet powders you buy are baking soda based! Just a brief note on this - not recommended for areas that are very humid as the baking soda may stay in the carpet.
- Mops can really stink out areas where they are stored. If your mop is getting on the nose, don't throw it out, try soaking it in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and a gallon of water for a while.
- Stains on porcelain sinks, toilets and plastics can be removed by applying a layer of baking soda and then using a damp sponge . I found this to work particularly well on a water stain in a sink that couldn't be shifted otherwise without the use of heavy duty chemicals and scratching the surface.
- As an alternative to caustic soda for clearing blocked drains, throw a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a couple of jugs of boiling water.
- Baking soda can deter ants - pour a solid line in areas of activity and they won't cross it.
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of (earth friendly) dish detergentent and a gallon of water to make a spray for treating roses against black spot fungus.
- Work a baking soda and water paste onto stains prior to washing to help remove them from the fabric
- Half a cup of baking soda added to a full load of washing will help brighten your wash and remove odors.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply with a pot scourer to remove light rusting
- A baking-soda/water paste applied to chrome surfaces, allowed to dry then buffed off will leave chrome shining!
- Baking soda applied to fresh grease and oil spills on your garage floor will draw away the oil, which can then be scraped off.
- Baking soda lightly sprinkled and mixed into cat litter will help control odor.
- Eliminate odor after you've cleaned up pet accidents by sprinkling over the dampened area with baking soda; allow to dry and then vacuum.
- Whoofy shoes getting you down? Get a couple of old socks, fill up the toe secitions with baking soda, place into the offending shoes and leave overnight to help remove odors.
- A thick paste of baking soda and water applied to bug bites can provide relief.
- A half teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a glass of water can act as mouthwash.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto regular toothpaste to create a whitening toothpaste
- To clean jewelry, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply the mixture the piece, allow to sit for a couple of minutes, rinse off and then polish with a soft cloth.
- Sprinkle your Christmas tree with baking soda to mimick snow - a much more environmentally friendly alternative to some of those chemical snow sprays!
With so many uses you'll likely use a lot and buying baking soda in small boxes probably won't be too economical. Have a chat to your local baker who may be able to supply you with larger quantities or try contacting a bakery supplies company as some sell direct to the public.
You can also save money on baking soda by re-using it. For example, once it has served its purpose as a fridge deodoriser you can put it down your sink to help keep your drains clear.
Phew, that's quite a list of baking soda tips - it's such a versatile substance and certainly a greener way to get many jobs around the house done. My list is by no means exhaustive and I'm sure I've missed a bundle of ideas and applications! Please add your own tips below!
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