Lesser-Known Uses for Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate (scientific term), is most commonly used in baking and pastries. Little is known about the many other startling uses of this commonly found substance. Here, you will discover a few of the common problems around the house that can be solved using baking soda in surprising ways.
1. Help Your Dishwashing Gloves Slide Off and Stay Fresh
The first surprising home use for baking soda is for your dishwashing gloves. Have you ever had the difficult and often frustrating experience of trying to put on or take off sticky rubbery gloves?
Sprinkle some baking soda into your dishwashing rubber gloves each time you take them off. Not only will they absorb dampness and keep them fresh, but they will also glide on and off easily.
2. Scoop Up Vomit
Another surprising use of baking soda is to clean up a vomit mess. This is particularly effective if you have vomit on your carpet. Put on your smooth rubber gloves quickly (thanks to tip #1), and scrape up the vomit mess. Cover the carpet area with a layer of baking soda and leave for a few minutes.
Scrub from edges towards the middle with a brush or sponge and moisten repeatedly in clean, warm water. Sprinkle the area again with baking soda and leave to dry. Lastly, vacuum up the powder.
3. Remove Artwork From Walls
This is one truly surprising use of baking soda. Many do not realize that baking soda can be used to remove artwork from the walls. Yes, these are the drawings done by your little one with crayons and magic pens on your newly painted wall. Do not panic.
Make a solution of baking soda and warm water and wipe over those young Picasso marks on the wall. For tougher stains, sprinkle dry baking soda on a damp cloth and scour gently. Do note that this will work on washable walls only. You will discover how surprisingly well this method works.
4. Ease Razor Burn
This is another amazing home use of baking soda. Have you ever suffered from the common razor burn while shaving? This uncomfortable burning sensation is surprisingly easy to subdue by just using baking soda.
Make a paste of baking soda and water and dab a thin layer onto the skin area affected by razor burn to get almost immediate relief from the burning sensation. For even more immediate relief, sprinkle some dry baking soda onto the skin. This is such a quick and simple solution compared to spending on costly medication or lotion from the pharmacy.
5. Make a Sports Drink
Many people are surprised when they discover that they can use baking soda to create their own sports drink at home. This is a simple recipe to replace those expensive isotonic and energy drinks you can find in the supermarket aisles.
For an effective yet inexpensive sports drink, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 teaspoons sugar, and 2.25L water with a sugar-free children's drink and refrigerate it. Your homemade 100+ is ready to go!
6. Beat Indigestion
This is another surprising home use of baking soda. We often suffer from tummy bloat, especially after a hot and spicy meal. It is an uncomfortable feeling that often lasts a few hours or sometimes overnight.
For a quick fix to clear up your indigestion, consider using baking soda as an effective antacid. You can sprinkle some baking soda onto your food or simply mix it with water and drink. It will ease that bloated feeling right away after a meal. Now you've got your homemade ENO ready to go! It's an unbelievably simple home use of baking soda.
7. Remove Rust
Many of us spend extra money finding chemicals from hardware stores to clean up the rust on garden tools. Some even discard them for new and shiny ones. We do not realize that the baking soda we have at home can be used to clean the rust away, leaving metal as shiny as it's intended to be.
Start by removing the rust using a potato and some baking soda. Peel the potato and keep dipping it into baking soda and rubbing the tool until all the rust has been removed. Simple, and yet shiny again!
8. Get Rid of Ants
Ant poison is sometimes used as a deterrent to control ant-infested areas. While effective, the use of such chemicals often poses toxic risks to our family members, especially the young. Imagine babies crawling into areas treated by ant poison and later licking away happily on their fingers.
There is a surprisingly easier and safer way to do this at home using baking soda. Just sprinkle some baking soda on ants' entrance and exit areas to help get rid of them and prevent them from getting into the house. Watch the results as ants will typically avoid areas that are sprinkled with baking soda. This is no doubt a much safer method than using ant poison as a control solution since it is toxic.
9. Combat Snow and Ice
For those in cold countries, snow and ice are sometimes a nuisance, especially if they interfere with our daily lives. Hardened ice on the pathway poses a danger as people can slip and fall walking on them.
A surprisingly simple solution to this problem is to make use of the home baking soda. Sprinkle it over freshly fallen snow to help it melt quickly. Use more in case the slush freezes. To stop water from freezing overnight despite snow or ice forecast, sprinkle some baking soda generously on your concrete pavement. This will help prevent it from being frozen and thus causing accidents.
10. Soften Paintbrushes
Have you ever experienced the frustrating feeling of finding a hardened paintbrush before you start painting? You will be surprised to find out that baking soda can do the trick here as well. It's an overnight remedy for those who do not clean their paintbrushes after using them.
Mix together 100g of baking soda, 50g white vinegar, and 2.25L hot water. Soak the brushes in this mixture overnight, and by morning, they will be soft and ready to be used again.
Baking Soda Is Amazing!
There you go! 10 surprising and little-known uses for this wonderfully cheap and common baking soda we have in the house. We often rush out to buy expensive commercial products when faced with the problematic situations described above. But the next time you're considering buying a solution from the shelf, stop and try the suggestions above, which are likely to save you more money while creating a safer home environment for your family!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
yashvi on September 25, 2013:
sweeaun (author) from Malaysia on January 29, 2012:
Gosh, I didn't realize that. Anyway, don't think we can add that here. Else, will get banned!
worksmart18 on January 28, 2012:
Amazing substance. According to some spy tv series/movie, it can be used to make bomb too.