Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is widely used in baking thanks to its leavening properties – in other words – it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.
But aside from its usefulness in cooking, it has a number of other uses and benefits.
Here are just a few:
1. Neutralise fridge odours
Have you ever opened your fridge and been hit by a foul smell?
Chances are that some foods in your fridge have overstayed their welcome and started spoiling. Even once these items have been removed you may find the smell sticks around.
Bicarb can help freshen a smelly fridge by neutralising these unpleasant smells. It does this by interacting with the odour particles to eliminate them, rather than just masking their smell.
2. Air freshener
Sticking with bad smells… did you know that not all commercial air fresheners actually eliminate bad smell – rather they just mask them.
Baking soda is an excellent and safe alternative to commercial air fresheners. It interacts with odor particles and neutralizes them, rather than masking them.
To create a baking soda air freshener, you will need:
· a small jar
· 1/3 cup baking soda
· 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oils
· a piece of cloth or paper
· string or ribbon
Add the baking soda and essential oils to the jar. Cover it with the cloth or paper, and then secure it in place with the string. When the scent starts to fade, give the jar a shake.
1. Kitchen cleaner
The versatility of baking soda makes it a great kitchen cleaner. To use baking soda in your kitchen, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the desired surface with a sponge or cloth and scrub thoroughly.
You can safely clean the following with baking soda:
· stained coffee cups
· stained marble
· grease stains
· kitchen tiles
· clogged drains
· tarnished silver
2. Clean fruits and veggies
Many people worry about pesticides on foods. Pesticides are used to prevent crops from damage by insects, germs, rodents, and weeds.
Peeling fruit is the best way to remove pesticides. However, it also means you don’t get the important nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, found in the skins of many fruits.
Interestingly, recent research has found that soaking fruits and veggies in a baking soda wash is the most effective way to remove pesticides without peeling them.
Please note that this method doesn’t remove pesticides that have penetrated the skin of the fruit.
3. Homemade weed killer
Weeds often have deep roots, making them hard to kill without using a chemical weed killer. You can use baking soda as a cheaper and safer alternative. That’s because baking soda is high in sodium, which creates a harsh environment for weeds.
Sprinkle a few handfuls of baking soda over weeds that are growing in the cracks of your sidewalk, driveways, and other weed-infested areas.
However, avoid using baking soda to kill weeds in your flowerbeds and gardens, as it may kill your other plants as well.
4. Relieve itchy skin and sunburn
A baking soda bath is often recommended to soothe itchy skin. It may also help soothe itching from sunburns. To make a baking soda bath, add 1–2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath. Make sure the affected area is soaked thoroughly.
For more specific areas, you can create a paste with baking soda and a bit of water. Apply a thick layer of paste to the affected area.
As you can see baking soda is a versatile ingredient that has many uses besides cooking.
Chemgrit Food is a stockist of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. For more information contact Chemgrit Food.