Baking soda is a humble home staple that has been used in households for thousands of years. It is made from a white or colorless mineral called nahcolite or natron, which forms naturally and has been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
Today baking soda is sold as an inexpensive and non-toxic powder with an enormous number of uses, including beauty treatments, baking, and house cleaning. Here are some ways you can use baking soda to clean and beautify:
1. Remove Blood. Spread a runny mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on bloodstained fabric and let it sit several hours or overnight. Spot test colored fabrics before applying in visible areas because this combo can leach color.
2. Shampoo and Degrease Hair. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and rub into your scalp while you shower. For those mornings when you oversleep and have greasy hair, sprinkle some dry baking soda onto your roots and rub vigorously. You may want to rinse with a little water so you don’t leave the house with powdery locks. This treatment also eliminates odor!
3. Clean Household. Baking soda can be used as a light abrasive for general household cleaning. Sprinkle dry baking soda on greasy stoves or counters and wipe with a damp cloth.
You may have to add a bit more elbow grease than with chemical cleaners, but you can be satisfied knowing your cooking surface is sparkling and non-toxic. Baking soda is also an effective cleaner for bathtubs and metallic faucets.
4. Relieve Itchiness. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply to stings and insect bites to decrease swelling and itchiness.
5. Freshen Fridge. Place a bowl with about a cup of baking soda in the back of your fridge or simply open the box and put the whole thing in. Change every month or two, and your fridge should stay fresh.
6. Freshen Shoes: Put a dusting of baking soda inside your shoes and leave overnight. Shake them out in the morning and any odor should be gone.
7. Whiten Teeth. Baking soda can be used instead of or in addition to your regular toothpaste. To replace toothpaste, dip a damp toothbrush into baking soda and brush normally.
In addition to your toothpaste, you can sprinkle your brush with baking soda for some extra whitening power. Don’t use baking soda in place of toothpaste for more than a couple weeks, as its abrasive qualities can damage enamel.
8. Remove Dirt. To remove dirt from fabric, mix baking soda with a little water and let it soak into the dirt stain. Then rinse with vinegar diluted in water. You can also add baking soda to your white laundry loads for more whitening and freshening power.
9. Clean Food and Drink Containers. Sometimes your plastic food containers still smell after you’ve washed and rinsed them. When this happens, mix 1–2 teaspoons of baking soda in enough hot tap water to fill the container. Let sit overnight. For metal drink containers, mix the baking soda in boiling water and let stand.
10. Remove Armpit Stains. As for blood, mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together and let it soak into the yellowed fabric for several hours or overnight until yellow color is gone.