I make no secret about it, baking soda is my solution to almost everything.
I thought I’d write another post exclusively about baking soda and what I use it for since my last post is very out of date.
So, what exactly IS baking soda you might ask? Well very simply, it’s a mineral similar to salt that is mined. Sodium bicarbonate is naturally occurring in the earth just like so many other minerals and like salt, it tends to condense in certain areas. We have some very large deposits in places like Wyoming and Colorado where it’s mined from and after a cleansing process that involves dissolving it in water and then letting the water evaporate (again, to put it simply) it is sent to households all over the world.
It can be used in cleaning, food, and even industrial products like glass. Over the years it has slowly made it’s way into many areas of my life in place of chemicals and products.
How I Use Baking Soda
- I’ve mentioned many times how I don’t use conventional shampoo but instead I dissolve a tablespoon or so of baking soda in a little water and work in through my thoroughly combed hair before my shower. I rinse it off in the shower and use white vinegar if I need a conditioner. It works great for me and I’ve been using it for probably about three years now at least.
- Baking soda is a great scrubbing agent and can be used safely on counters, toilets, bathtubs, floors and walls. If I have a particularly hard to clean spot I sprinkle baking soda over it and add either hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to make it foam up. It’s like magic.
- I do equal parts baking soda, washing soda (very similar to baking soda), and borax as a laundry detergent. If I have a particularly gnarly load that I want to soak I grate in a bit of laundry stain soap during the soak and prewash cycle. The reason this is such an economical is because you only need two or three tablespoons per load to do the job.
- Baking powder is ridiculously easy to make and is comprised of ingredients we already mostly have in our pantry. If you have the ingredients you can make a container of baking powder for a couple pennies rather than spending a couple dollars. The ratio is 1/4 part cream of tartar, 1/4 part corn starch and 1/2 part baking soda. Simple, and SUPER cheap.
- Obviously baking soda is called ‘baking’ soda for a reason and I naturally use it in my kitchen for the usual recipes.
- I recently started making my own toothpaste and so far I like it. It’s not for the faint of heart though so you have to be committed if you want to try it. My recipe is 6 Tablespoons baking soda, several drops of peppermint oil, and enough vegetable glycerin to make it a paste. My one problem is that when I put this mixture into a tube it tends to settle a bit and I have to press and work it occasionally to keep it in good squeezing shape. Next batch I may put in an eight ounce mason jar for storage instead.
- There are many great facial scrubs you can make using baking soda. In fact, a very nice and tingly one would be to use the toothpaste mixture! How’s that for multitasking? But I really love mixing an oil with it like olive oil or coconut oil. It gently exfoliates and neutralizes at the same time. Since I’m not a big face product person I only do this once a week tops.
- Baking soda can be used for many other little things that I don’t use frequently enough to mention above. It kills fleas, can be used as an ant repellent, weed killer, refrigerator moisture and odor attraction, treatment for urinary tract infection, solution for neti pot, etc.
As you can see, my relationship with baking soda runs deep, it’s longterm, it has a ‘drawer’ in my house. Very serious.
The amount of money I safe by using baking soda over other products is probably ridiculous. I’m a little out of touch on how much things like shampoo and detergent cost or the frequency at which they’re replaced since I’ve been doing baking soda for so long. The other side of the equation is waste management and plastic reduction. Rather than dealing with all sorts of bottles, jugs and tubes I only have to have an occasional box which is harmless and can be properly recycled, unlike plastic. There is also far less processing involved which means less chemicals slipped in here and there and less environmental damage.
So that’s the current overview of how much I use and love baking soda in my daily life. I hope that it’s helpful to you!
Question: Do you use baking soda for anything unconventional? What are your helpful household hints?