I always want to be on the cutting edge of whatever edge I might be standing on, and for now, that means “living green.”
Truly, I have been making an effort to “green up” my life which means cutting back on all the toxic stuff I spray, sprinkle, and pour onto my little corner of the world.
I’ve been investigating how I can do my part to be more environmentally responsible, and I’ve found that baking soda and vinegar are the best environmentally safe miracle cures for many things. I’ve learned that you can pitch half the cleaners under the sink and replace it with a single box of baking soda. Here’s a run down on 27 uses for baking soda which I often team up with its buddy, vinegar, to perform household chores throughout my home.
* Avoid harsh chemicals to unstop a clogged drain by dumping 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain. Pour one cup of vinegar over the soda in the drain. It will begin bubbling like crazy. Cover the drain with a lid and wait fifteen minutes. The baking soda and vinegar will have a chemical reaction, breaking down the clog. Rinse the drain with hot water to clear it out. If it’s really bad you may need to repeat.
*Keep an extra box of baking soda by my stove in case of grease or electrical fire. I have a fire extinguisher but have no idea how to activate it.
*My most time saving discovery is that you can clean your silver utensils and jewelry without all that scrubbing. Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of an enamel pan, add 2-3 inches of water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Add silver pieces, boil 2-3 minutes, making sure the water covers the silver pieces. Remove silver, rinse, dry, and buff with a soft cloth. This method cleans the design and crevices of silver pieces.
*Of course, you all know the old trick of deodorizing the fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. What I didn’t know is that you’re supposed to stir it from time to time and replace it every two months. Oh, gee, I’ve had the same box in there since the dawning of the new millinium. It’s probably time to replace it.
*Soda absorbs kitty litter odors. Cover the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part soda; then add a layer of 3 parts kitty litter on top.
*Always add 1/2 cup soda to your washing machine load. A half cup of vinegar I’m told will keep colors from fading.
*Clean combs and brushes in a soda solution.
*Wash marble-topped furniture with a solution of 3 tablespoons of soda in 1 quart of warm water. Let stand awhile, then rinse. Clean formica counter tops with baking soda on a damp sponge. To remove stubborn stains from marble, formica or plastic surfaces, scour with a paste of soda and water.
* Run you coffee maker through its cycle with a soda solution. Rinse.
* Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.
*Reduce odor build-up in your dishwasher by sprinkling some soda on the bottom. And occasionally run your dishwasher through its cycle with soda in it instead of soap to give it a good cleaning.
*To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day.
*Rub stainless steel and chrome with a moist cloth and dry baking soda to shine it up. Rinse and dry. On stainless steel, scrub in the direction of the grain.
*Clean your bathroom with dry soda on a moist sponge – sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc.
*Soak your shower curtains in water and soda to clean them.
* Brush your teeth with baking soda.
*Add 1/2 cups or more of baking soda to your bath water to soften your skin.
*Putting 2 tbsp. of baking soda in your baby’s bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations.
*Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.
*Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.
*Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.
*Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.
*Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.
*Make homemade Play Dough with baking soda: combine 1 1/4 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.
*Use soda as an underarm deodorant.
* Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.
If you know of other uses, I’d love to hear about them.