There you are - at the grocery store - looking for that magic product. You know, the one that will do everything without harm and at a low price? You scour the endless rows of brightly colored bottles in the household products aisle. Is it on the shelves that hold the kitchen cleansers or does it live among the bathroom items? How about the laundry display? Maybe your search will end in the next row over, where they stock the baby goods? Nope. Not there. You're not even warm. It's time to stop searching for treasure in packages whose ingredients you can't pronounce. There is no NEW. There is no IMPROVED. What you need is neither revolutionary nor scientifically advanced. Plus, you're in the wrong part of the store.
That's right. Head on over to the aisle where they keep the spices, the cooking oils and the food flavorings. See that bottom row? Near the Salt? Your journey ends when you reach down to pick up one of civilization's oldest creations, contained in a humble paper box.
The question isn't what can Baking Soda do? The question is what can it not do?
Baking Soda is the King of multi-purpose products. It is safe. It is inexpensive. It is readily available anywhere.
Baking Soda is really nothing more than a chemical compound, consisting of salty (brine) water and carbon dioxide. The modern version that we know today was perfected in the 1800's by chemist, Ernest Solvay. Egyptians got their sodium bicarbonate (in the form of natron) from the Wadi El Natrun Valley. In fact, there still exists several sources of naturally occurring natron, including Canada, Russia, England, Italy and the United States. People have long known the benefits of this wonderful substance. Perhaps the moment has come for you to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself to the myriad possibilities of good, old fashioned Bicarbonate of Soda:
Household Swiss Army Knife:
Abrasive Cleanser: There's nothing better for scrubbing delicate porcelain or keeping metal scratch-free clean than a paste of Baking Soda. For Copper, try using Lemon Juice as your liquid. Ovens, inside and out. Bathtubs, toilets and Showers. Kitchen sinks, tiles and greasy pans. The clean, fresh smell is an extra-added bonus.
Laundry Treatment: Stains will disappear. Whites will be whiter. Grease spots will go away if you use Baking Soda. Add a couple of tablespoons with your detergent for cleaner, brighter clothes. Apply a Baking Soda paste to oily spills and let sit before laundering. Pour in a half cup of Baking Soda to the rinse cycle to soften items as well as remove nasty protein gunk from pets and kids.
Air Freshener: Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with water in a full-size spray bottle and spritz away smoke, cooked fish and other unpleasant smells. If you want a scent to your natural air freshener, drop in a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil.
Carpet/Driveway/Puppy/Kitty Messes: Pour Baking Soda liberally over what's dripped from your car. Coat pet urine and feces with Baking Soda and let it soak up the mess before you attempt to use the soapy water. If you accidentally plopped some marinara on your clean carpet, break out the Baking Soda.
Speaking of Pets: Litter Box odor? Pour a thin layer of Baking Soda on the bottom of kitty's box before you add the litter. Did your dog get into some funky mystery goo? Sprinkle him with baking soda before you wrestle him into the bathtub. In fact, Baking Soda is a wonderful dry shampoo for cats and dogs.
Medecine Cabinet in a Box:
Smell fresh. Become invigorated. Face the world with glowing skin and whiter teeth. Stop body odors without cloying perfumes. Baking Soda is excellent when it comes to personal hygiene.
Facial Scrub: Mix a few drops of your favorite cleanser with a couple of pinches of Baking Soda and you've got fine facial scrub for normal-to-oily skin.
Body Scrub: Pour some Baking Soda on a lathered up washcloth to slough off dead skin cells in the shower.
Bath Time: Pour a couple of tablespoons in your bathwater to sooth itchy skin and relieve conditions like eczema and psoriasis. A baking soda bath is great for painful sunburns too.
Hair Treatment: Are you suffering from swimmer's hair? Mix Baking Soda with some shampoo to create a paste. Distribute it through dampened hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Wash out. Shampoo with regular shampoo a second time, then finish off with a moisturizing conditioner.
Body/Foot Odor: Add some Baking Soda to your dusting powder. It will keep you cool and dry on hot summer days. Sprinkle some in your tennis shoes and stop worrying about smelly feet.
Oral Care: Got a canker? Maybe a sore throat? Blend a teaspoon of Baking soda with a cup of warm water and swish and gargle. Want a cheap alternative to expensive tooth whitening/polishing products? Brush your choppers (no more than once a week) with a paste made from Baking Soda and a bit of water.
Heartburn: Dissolve a half teaspoon of Baking Soda in an 8oz glass of water and drink it down. The alkaline reduces the acid.
These are but a few of the unlimited ways you can incorporate this amazing product into your life. Treat bug bites. Keep an open box by the diaper pail. Clean the diaper pail. Get rid of lime buildup. Mix Baking soda, flour and water to make play dough for the kids. Polish your silver. The possibilities could fill a book but the fact is, there are many books already written, dedicated to the myriad applications for Baking Soda.
What is important to remember is that at least 75 percent of the concoctions you buy can be replaced by what's inside that humble paper box. More important, so many of those brand-name items contain chemicals that damage you, your pets and your environment. When you spray that surface cleaner, why risk inhaling ammonia? When you want to freshen kitty's special place, why take the chance that she might eat that gel air freshener? When you flush after cleaning the porcelain bowl, why would you want to release bleaches and other toxins into the world?
Do yourself and your world a favor. Embrace the wonders of Baking Soda. Do it for the savings. Do it for the planet. Do it for your life.