Baking soda – the all-round super powder
Baking soda is touted as a natural cleaning/beauty/deodorising/miscellaneous super powder. It can deodorise fridges and shoes, clean practically anything, treat insect bites, relieve heartburn and soften skin as a bath soak. Just to name a few.
So why is baking soda so brilliant?
It’s because baking soda is amphoteric meaning it can act as either acidic or alkaline. In water however, it is generally a little bit alkaline. Alkaline solutions neutralise acidic solutions.
Sticking it to the stink
The gross smell in the fridge is usually caused by acidic particles so leaving baking soda in the fridge will neutralise the odours in an acid/alkali reaction. Because baking soda is amphoteric, it will react with alkaline particles as well. Way to go Super Soda! The greater the surface area, the better the baking soda will work, so if you need to clear out a smell quickly, sprinkling baking soda onto a baking tray will be your best bet.
As the baking soda reacts with the acidic smelly particles it will turn into a salt, water, and carbon dioxide. So replace it often for best results.
Cleaning off the crud
Baking Soda is most commonly alkaline so it follows in the footsteps of it’s much much harsher cousins like bleach and ammonia when cleaning off oil and grease deposits.
Sometimes when cleaning off slightly acidic residues with baking soda, bubbles of carbon dioxide will form as part of the reaction and these bubbles can help lift the dirt.
- Sprinkling baking soda onto a stove top can help give it a clean.
- Giving teddy bears a bit of a dust then vacuum gets rid of oil deposits from skin after years of play.
- Dissolving baking soda in a bath is a gentle way to clean off oily skin or hair.
Baking soda was the go to for heartburn before antacids came around so if you’re feeling a little uncomfortable and all you have is baking soda you’re in luck. Dissolving a spoonful in a glass of water should help. The alkaline baking soda will neutralise the acid causing you grief.
Because baking soda is amphoteric it can help balance the pH of the body if drunk like the above.
For more examples of what to do with baking soda check out Nicole’s post on cleaning ideas, and these top 10 odours that baking soda can eliminate. What do you use baking soda for?