Yes, that old sodium bicarbonate is good for more than keeping your cakes from collapsing. In fact, it has a number of applications around the home, especially if you’re looking for a natural, yet effective, cleaning solution.
Let’s start with your grandmother’s silver. Over the years, it’s accumulated tarnish, which is the cosmetic result of silver oxidation as the metal mixes with moisture in the air. To get rid of these dark stains, line the bottom of a pot with a layer of tin foil. Then pour boiling water into the pot, and add 1/4 cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of salt. Now, add your silver items so that they both touch each other and rest on the foil. The resulting chemical reaction will remove the stains. Just let the silver sit for about five minutes, then buff gently with a dry towel.
Another quick tip: Keep your silver in a low humidity area, to stop tarnish before it happens.
“So baking soda fixes my silver,” you may be saying. “What else can it do?”
Well! How about dealing with those troublesome odors? Perhaps your fridge is a little stinky. There’s always that one cucumber that rolls to the back of the crisper and hides until your next refrigerator overhaul. Or maybe your linen closet is getting a little musty. An open box of baking soda will fix those problems quite easily. Just make sure to replace the box every three months or so- especially in the refrigerator.
Baking soda will also remove the musty smell from old sponges. Just soak a sponge in warm water mixed with about 5 tbsp of baking soda.
This wonderful household product also makes a fabulous scrubbing solution for bathroom tiles, kitchen counters, and refrigerator shelves. Just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge, and scrub as you normally would. Then rinse the area and wipe it dry. Be careful to rinse thoroughly, however. Baking soda left on the surface can form a white stain. Easy to remove, but annoying when you’ve just scrubbed your kitchen clean.
Baking soda is especially potent when you combine it with that other home-wonder, white vinegar. The combination can do more than just ace your child’s science project (hello, volcano!). Mix 1/2 cup of soda with 1/2 cup vinegar and pour it down your drain to clear clogs without resorting to dangerous chemicals. After pouring in the solution, cover the drain with a damp cloth and wait five minutes, the flush the drain with hot water.
These are just a few of the ways you can use baking soda around the house. It’s a great way to avoid harsh chemicals that leave dangerous residues in your home. If you have a favorite ‘alternative’ way to use baking soda, let us know in the comments. We’d be happy to try out any new suggestions!