Today I want to talk about the beauty of baking soda. So many uses, so little time. Such a simple, eco-friendly, inexpensive thing that can also save a ton of money over time. I want to use it for everything! I’m currently trying to make baking soda ice cream. Just kidding. But you get how enthusiastic I am about it.
I discovered this baking soda book (Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Heard Of) at Barnes & Noble on clearance (I mean, where else would I be looking, right?). I didn’t buy the book because of skepticism about some of the uses, which if I was honest was really masking the fact that I was feeling cheap, only had one coupon, and I wanted to buy the book by my favorite author instead.
Soon enough I regretted it because I tried a few of the simpler recipes that I committed to memory, and they worked spectacularly, but by then the book had already sold out. Thinking about this gave me the idea of sharing a few of the successes I’ve had in case you’re new to it. Below are three I tried last week:
Baking Soda Removes Hair Build Up Like a Charm
This baking soda trick will literally save me significant money on shampoo costs. Between sweating at the gym and styling products, hair build up is a given. But it took multiple washes to rid my hair and scalp of it, which means I was using a LOT of shampoo. I doubt I’d be complaining if I used Suave (not hating, I wish I could use it), but my hair is really dry and the water in our house, even with a softener, while perhaps not hard, is not good for it. So I use a pricey shampoo that works for me. What wasn’t working was doing three and four wash cycles to get rid of the build up.
Baking soda to the rescue! I didn’t remember what the book said so essentially I took the stuff with me to the shower, wet my hair, poured some baking soda in my hand, made a little paste and massaged it in. Real scientific I know. I let it sit while I showered and then rinsed my hair and followed with my regular shampoo. WOW!!!!! The build up was gone and I only needed to use my regular shampoo once. It also had a softening effect. Now I keep a box of baking soda in the bathroom.
Easily Removes Silver Tarnish
I have a set of real silverware that is never used because of tarnish and not wanting to spend time or money cleaning the pieces for a special once a year meal. With Easter around the corner I thought I’d try a baking soda trick from the book. I used a tin foil pan, placed another layer of foil in it and added baking soda and vinegar, salt, and enough boiling water to cover the pieces. I submerged the pieces for about a minute, removed and rinsed. I was so impressed! Yes, I had to soak a few pieces again, and if you have a silver piece with that “antique” look and you want that finish to stay, don’t use this method as it cleans every-thang. Now I might actually use the set. I mean really, what good is it sitting in a closet?
It Cleans Gold as Well as Silver
It’s amazing how dirty my wedding rings get, but if you think about it, it’s not surprising. Between lotion, and the day to day contact with stuff…hmm, let’s not think about that too much. After a while the rings lose their luster. Plus they’re probably a little gross. So I tried soaking them in a slurry of baking soda and water for thirty minutes, rinsed and rubbed with a soft cloth. Sparkly!
You would think I would use this trick again and again, but I’m conflicted because at it is a mild abrasive, which is why it works so well in removing stuff. I regularly use another method which works just as well. Dishwashing liquid. I put a few drops in a small bowl, fill it with water and let my rings sit overnight. In the morning they get a rinse and pat down with a soft towel. Not only are they shiny, you can actually see the gunk that loosened from the rings in the bottom of the bowl. I should have taken a picture. Makes sense though as dishwashing liquid is supposed to dissolve grease.
Sorry I didn’t specify amounts in each of these recipes, but I didn’t commit them to memory and I was too lazy to Google. When I finally get the book I’ll let you know about some other great baking soda uses. What great ways do you use baking soda?