Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baking Soda - the kitchen wonder-ingredient!

Baking soda does so much more than act as a leavening in baking - although that is a great use for it. I'm going to be discussing some more uses for this wonder ingredient today. I am sure there are more uses than I know of, so please feel free to share!

In the kitchen:
*Baking soda helps to put out small grease fires (NEVER pour water over them!). Keep your soda away from where the flames would spread (seriously, when I was younger my mom had a grease fire and couldn't get to the baking soda. Not a happy situation.) Do not use in deep fryers as it may cause the oil to splash.

*Baking soda can be used as a cleaning agent. Use it to help scrub counters or pans (avoid it on aluminum though.) If you have a stain on a counter-top (made of Formica), sprinkle baking soda over it and then pour on some white vinegar (yes the volcano combination!). Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Wipe clean. For more set in stains, you may need to repeat. (I've tried this and it works on food coloring, however the red did take a couple of times to get it out.)

Personal Care
*Baking Soda can be used as an exfoliant, simply add to your facial cleanser.

*Baking Soda can also be used as an antacid. One-half teaspoonful in a glass of water every two hours. (I used this when I was pregnant at a friend's house and had forgotten my antacids! Worked great.)

*Baking Soda can also be added to a bath to help ease itching (I remember using it as a child with chicken pox) areas (bites, stings, other irritations.) Simply add 1 cup under the tap while running the bath - be sure the water is warm to cool. Alternatively you can make a baking soda paste and apply to the affected area.

*You can gargle with salt and baking soda to help ease a sore throat (however this tastes disgusting.) Use 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp soda in an 8 oz glass of water.

*Baking Soda can be made into a paste and used as a non-flouride toothpaste. (It is suppose to be helpful in removing bad breath.)

*Add 1/4 cup to laundry to help remove odors (works great for towels that have sat in a washer overnight or for a few days... not that any of us would do that! ) I typically use expired baking soda for this and it still works great!

How do you use baking soda around your house?

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