Everyone is looking for ways to save money. A great way to save money is to use items you already have in your home for multiple purposes. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a common household item that nearly everyone has on hand. It is inexpensive and has numerous uses. Check out these great alternate uses for baking soda that can save you money on everything from cleaning, gardening, pest control, and deodorizing.
Baking soda can be added to your laundry and will act as both a fabric softener and deodorizer. Simply pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup into the washing machine when you add your laundry detergent and it will both soften your clothes and help remove odors.
Baking soda is not only effective at deodorizing your laundry but can also neutralize odors around the house. Leave an open box in your refrigerator, closet, or bathroom in order to remove odors. You can also sprinkle some on clothes, furniture, carpets, shoes, and slippers to absorb odors. Just sprinkle it on, let it sit for awhile, and then vacuum it up!
Due to its coarse texture, baking soda is great for exfoliating skin. Simply add one teaspoon to your regular facial cleanser, mix well, and wash your face normally. Its coarse texture will gently exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells without harming sensitive skin by over scrubbing. When used as a cleanser, baking soda is also great way to get rid of blackheads naturally.
Polish Metal Finishes
Baking soda can also be used to polish metal finishes such as brass, stainless steel, and chrome. It is gentle enough that is will not not scratch delicate metals, such as brass, and it is also gritty enough that it will remove tarnish and stains.
Clean Bathroom Surfaces
Baking soda can also be used to clean your bathroom. It is effective at for scrubbing sinks, showers, toilets, and bathtubs. Sprinkle some on, mix with water and scrub away soap scum and grime. You can also mix baking soda with water in a spray bottle to create a spray cleaner. Simply spray the mixture on walls, mirrors, and counter tops and use as you would any other spray cleaner.
Clean the Toilet Bowl
You can keep your toilet bowl clean and smell free by adding one cup of baking soda to the toilet. Let it sit for an hour and then flush. It will not only clean the toilet but also absorb any lingering odors.
Baking soda is an effective drain cleaner. Pour one half a cup into the drain and then pour in one cup of vinegar. The two will combine and loosen any clogs in the drain. After about ten minutes, flush the drain with boiling water in order to flush out any remaining clogs.
Clean Pots and Pans
Just as it can be used to clean and polish metal, its gritty yet gentle texture makes baking soda the perfect thing to remove grease and grime from pots and pans. Use it to make a paste and clean your pots and pans as you would another cleanser.
One of the more traditional uses for baking sodas is as a natural remedy for acid reflux. It is a natural antacid and sodium bicarbonate is a frequent ingredient in commercial antacids. Why spend money on expensive antacids where you are paying for the advertising and packaging when you can use a product that you already have at home, that has numerous household uses, and is only a couple dollars a box. Simply mix one spoonful of baking soda with a glass of water and drink it while it is still fizzing. This will treat acid reflux, heartburn and an upset stomach.
Many people are moving further and further away from commercial toothpastes because the additives in your typical toothpaste have questionable health effects. Further, it is more economical to make our own toothpaste rather than buying store bought toothpastes where you are paying for their advertising and packaging. To make your own toothpaste, combine one half a teaspoon of baking soda with peroxide paste and brush your tooth as usual with this natural toothpaste free from harmful additives and chemicals.
Another natural toothpaste using baking soda but without peroxide which has mixed reviews when it comes to whether it is healthy or not:
Melt or slightly soften 1/2 cup of coconut oil. Mix it with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda, 2 small packets of stevia powder, 15 - 20 drops of food grade peppermint or cinnamon essential oil, and optionally 10 drops of myrrh extract. Stir the mixture several times while the coconut oil cools to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Put the mixture into a small glass jar and let it cook completely. To use the toothpaste, dip your toothbrush into the mixture and scrape small amounts onto the bristles. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to but the mixture onto your toothbrush.
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Repel Cockroaches and Ants
Do you have a pest problem? You can use baking soda to naturally repel cockroaches and ants. Simply sprinkle it under sinks and around windows (any place you would expect cockroaches and ants to be coming into your home) and it will repel those pesky cockroaches and ants.
Sweeten Tomato Plants
If you have a garden and want to have delicious, sweet tomatoes. A simple trick is to add baking soda! Simply add it to the soil when planting and growing your tomato plants and you will grow delicious, sweet tomatoes.
Protect Vegetable Gardens
Baking soda is also great for gardening in that it is effective in preventing your vegetables from rabbits who will nibble at your crops. Simply sprinkle some around the garden to keep rabbits at bay.
Wash Fruits and Vegetables
Once it is time to bring your fruits and veggies in from the garden (or home from the store) you can use baking soda as a safe and chemical free way to wash grime and residue off of them.
If you want to keep cut flowers fresh longer, a simple trick is to just add one teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase. (Another trick for preserving fresh cut flowers using another common household item is to add a tablespoon vodka to the water to preserve the flowers.)
Put Out Small Fires
If you find yourself with a small fire in your home and no fire extinguisher in sight, don't distress, baking soda to the rescue! Sprinkle some onto any small fire on your rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood to put the fire out.
Remove Scratches and Crayon from Walls and Floors
If you have kids, you likely find crayon and scratches on your floors and walls. Removing your kids "artwork" from the floors and walls is no longer a headache! You can remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls simply by using baking soda.
Clean Your Coffeemaker
Over time, your coffeemaker can develop smells and residue from constant use. A great tip for cleaning your coffeemaker without using soap or harsh chemicals that you don't want ending up in your morning coffee is by running your coffee cleaner with a baking soda solution and then rinsing it with water.
Create Modeling Clay
If you or your kids like to work with modeling clay (or you are looking for a great rainy day activity with nothing in the house), you can create modeling clay by combining baking soda, water, and cornstarch.
Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add cup of water into the pan and stir over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Once it is nearly the consistency of playdough, remove the pan from the heat and dump the contents onto a clean surface. Cover with a dishtowel and wait for the substance to cool. Once it has cooled, you can knead the clay into a smooth consistency. After that, the clay can be used to create objects. Once you have the desired form, leave it overnight to dry. Thereafter, you can paint it to finalize your creation.
Keep Rain Off Windshield
If you want to keep rain droplets off of your windshield while driving, you can repel the rain and keep your view clear by rubbing your windshield down with baking soda before heading out in the rain.
Clean Dentures and Retainers
Additionally, baking soda can be used to clean dental fixtures such as dentures and retainers. Create a solution by one to two tablespoons with warm water in a cup or bowl. Soak the dental fixtures in the solution for 30 to 45 minutes. If the dentures or retainers are really dirty, you can use a clean toothbrush to scrub out any stains.
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