One ingredient that you can find in almost every kitchen pantry is baking soda.
Baking soda, the common name for sodium bicarbonate, is a processed natural salt that is primarily used as a leavening agent for baking. But apart from baking, it has countless uses around the house due to its unique characteristics.
It is a mild alkaline buffer, a gentle abrasive, an effervescent agent and an odor neutralizer, to name a few.
Not only does it have all these amazing characteristics, it’s also inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Once you learn about its interesting and unique uses, you’ll look at common baking soda with newfound respect.
Here are the top 10 unusual and interesting uses for baking soda.
1. Cleans Pesticide Residue from Fruits and Vegetables
Despite the growing popularity of organic farming, commercial pesticides still are widely used to help control damage to plants caused by pests. This plays a key role in increasing food production worldwide. But use of pesticides poses significant health risks.
Baking soda can help remove pesticide residue from fruits and vegetables. To make your own homemade cleaning solution:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Dilute this mixture with 1 cup of water, and pour the solution into a spray bottle.
- Spray it on your produce and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes.
- Wipe it off thoroughly using paper towels.
2. Works as an Alternative Toothpaste
When it comes to oral hygiene, brushing your teeth twice daily is very important. But if you’ve run out of toothpaste, baking soda will work as one of the best alternatives with which to clean your teeth.
This naturally mild abrasive agent helps whiten and brighten your pearly whites. According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, baking soda is effective at cleaning teeth and removing plaque to fight off tooth decay.
- Simply dip your wet toothbrush in baking soda, and use it to brush your teeth like normal.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth.
Note: Do not use baking soda on your teeth more than a few times a week as it may erode the tooth enamel.
3. Cleans Stainless Steel Appliances and Other Kitchenware
Whether you have a stainless steel gas stove, refrigerator, sink or cookware and utensils, keeping them sparkling clean can be tough. Now, with baking soda, you can keep your stainless steel appliances looking like new for years.
Baking soda helps remove grease marks and water deposits from stainless steel surfaces. Plus, being only a mild abrasive, it does not cause any kind of scratches.
- Wash the stainless steel appliance you want to clean with plain water.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the appliance.
- Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Using a soft sponge, scrub the surface in the direction of the stainless steel.
- Finally, rinse it clean with water.
4. Eradicates Bad Odors from the Refrigerator
No matter how often you clean your refrigerator, it can start getting a bad smell from time to time. To get rid of foul smells and dried-up spills inside your refrigerator, you just need to rely on your package of baking soda.
- Unplug the refrigerator and remove the entire contents.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the sides, shelves, drawers and compartments.
- Wipe it down with a clean, wet sponge.
- Place a bowl full of baking soda inside when you’re done cleaning. It will continue absorbing any odors.
- Keep the door closed for a day, then discard the baking soda.
Your refrigerator is now ready for use.
5. Works as a Natural Antacid
Baking soda makes a great antacid when mixed with water. It relieves heartburn, a burning sensation in the stomach and acid indigestion by neutralizing excess stomach acid.
- Mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.
- Stir thoroughly until it dissolves completely.
- Drink it immediately.
- Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day (1 to 2 hours after having meals or other medications).
Note: Do not take baking soda on a full stomach, and avoid taking it internally for more than 1 week.
6. Loosens Splinters
No matter how small a splinter is, it can cause mild discomfort to extreme pain. To loosen a splinter and quickly remove it, baking soda is very helpful.
It can help deal with hard-to-see splinters and even those that are deeply embedded in the skin. When applied on the affected area, it helps draw the splinter to the surface, so you can pull it out easily with tweezers.
- Add a little water to ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to form a thick paste.
- Apply the paste onto a bandage and put it over the affected area.
- After 24 hours, remove the bandage.
- Pull out the splinter with tweezers. If it doesn’t come out easily, repeat the process from the beginning.
- Once it’s gone, gently rinse the skin with lukewarm water.