In today’s crazed and commercial world, it can be easy to forget the importance of simplicity.
In fact, the marketing departments of consumer goods corporations get paid to make you forget about it. Nowadays, we’re made to believe that every little problem can only be solved by the proper corresponding product. You couldn’t possibly clean your kitchen counters and your toilet with the same product, now could you? And of course, using that same cleaning product as a recipe in your next meal would be preposterous.
Or would it?
If you read our article about making your own cleaning products at home, you already know about the incredible versatility of baking soda.
But a list of cleaning applications only scratches the surface of its potential. It rivals even coconut oil, which continues to gain popularity as a versatile superfood/skin care product/household necessity.
Let’s explore some of the many reasons why backing soda is an invaluable household item that you should have always have close at hand.
The mineral with endless uses
Baking soda is just pure and simple sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), which in its raw form is a mineral called nahcolite.
Nahcolite is a plentiful and easily extracted mineral, which makes it very affordable. And it’s one of the few household go-to’s that’s actually good for you both you and the planet—it’s completely non-toxic and is mined in an environmentally friendly fashion—so you can use it without any guilt.
As its name would suggest (thanks again to marketing departments), baking soda is most commonly used as an ingredient in baking recipes—usually as a leavening agent in breads and sweets.
But even its food-based applications don’t end there. It has the same “leavening” effect in egg dishes, which makes for some of the fluffiest omelettes you’ve ever tried. It also works wonders as a meat tenderizer—just use 1 teaspoon for every 1 pound of meat, massage by hand, and rinse the meat well. Remember always to use organic, grass-fed, and sustainable meats.
Baking soda will also help prevent the buildup of lactic acid in muscles, so you can use it to make your own recovery sports drinks (you can make a simple mixture like water, baking soda, raw local honey, and lime juice, or combine it with smoothie blends like the one mentioned in this article to create an unbeatable shake blend.
There’s a couple bonuses that come from adding baking soda to your food and drinks too. It will boost metabolism, accelerate fat burning (especially if combined with a natural source of caffeine), and block the enzymes responsible for fat storage.
When mixed in liquids rather than food, it also will help balance the body’s pH (it’s slightly alkaline when in aqueous solution, and the conventional American diet makes most people’s bodies fairly acidic).
And the coup-de-grace: it works as a gas suppressor when mixed with lemon juice and water. Just drink a glass of this concoction before dinner, and you can eat beans, sunchokes, cabbage, and other tasty foods that often come with “disruptive” consequences.
It cleans and deodorizes more than just the fridge
The one use for which baking soda is often repurposed is fridge and freezer freshening. You probably already know that placing a new, open box in your freezer and refrigerator each month is perhaps the cheapest and most effective way to rid them of odors.
But did you know that it works just as well as body deodorant? Some store-bought deodorants even contain baking soda as an ingredient.
For some reason, though, few people make the leap to making their own deodorant with it. 4 tablespoons of baking soda, 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, and a dab of coconut oil makes an incredibly effective, completely non-toxic deodorant—and it’s way cheaper than any manufactured product.
And while you’re at it, try out baking soda for your other hygienic needs: the same recipe above (with a bit less baking soda) makes an excellent facial cleanser and shampoo. Substitute hydrogen peroxide for the coconut oil to make a powerful, fluoride-free toothpaste and fingernail stain remover. Adding to a bath with Epsom salt is a great way to reduce swelling and soothe sore muscles after a long day.
When it’s time to switch back from self-care to household maintenance, baking soda has you covered there, as well. In addition to the cleaning applications discussed in our previous article, you can also use it as an ant and cockroach repellant, a drain cleaner (pour boiling water down the drain, followed by a ½ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar), a stainless steel and chrome polish, a fire extinguishing agent (hopefully you won’t need to use it for this reason very often), and a laundry freshener (add a ½ cup with your detergent to each load for even cleaner clothes).
Discover your own uses for baking soda
The possibilities are endless. Once you start integrating the tips suggested above into your household routines, you’ll develop an intuition for developing your own applications. Get creative!
And remember: corporations would love for you to keep believing that you’re helpless without their oodles of products. By discovering the versatility of common household items and returning to a simple, DIY approach to self-care and household care, you’ll be de-conditioning yourself from their propaganda, so that you can live a healthier, more empowered, more sustainable lifestyle.