Last Updated December 20th, 2021
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is the secret behind your crispy cookies and fluffy cakes. It is a white alkali powder also known as sodium bicarbonate. It is used as a leavening agent in the bakery industry. The reaction of soda and acid helps the dough rise and gives off carbon dioxide.
In its natural form, it is known as nahcolite. Nahcolite is derived from natural mineral natron. The mineral natron consists of excessive amounts of sodium bicarbonate.This versatile kitchen staple has proved beneficial in all walks of life.
Baking soda is widely used in cleaning, cooking, and health care industries around the globe. The history of baking soda dates back to 4 million years ago when salt lakes around the world evaporated to form trona deposits.
The Many Uses Of Baking Soda
Help treat heartburn
The acid reflux or heartburn can be treated with the use of baking soda. The burning and painful sensation that rises in the upper region of your stomach is caused by the acid reflux that takes place in your stomach. As a result, the stomach sends out acid refluxing and it spreads all the way to your esophagus (a pipeline that connects your stomach and mouth). The major causes of acid refluxing are stress, overeating, and consumption of greasy or spicy foods. During heartburn, a mixture of baking soda with water helps cut down the acid burning sensation and enhances relief.
Serves as an effective mouthwash
Baking soda can be an effective replacement for a cost-effective mouthwash. Baking soda helps kills harmful bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. It removes unwanted food particles present in the nooks and corners of your mouth, which your toothbrush can’t clean. Apart from providing clean breath it also provides antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to maintain oral hygiene. With such properties, it also helps in treating mouth sores or mouth ulcers.
Makes your teeth sparkle
Who wouldn’t want a set of sparkling teeth? The use of baking soda as toothpaste helps remove stains on the teeth and it appears whiter than before. It is a popular home remedy for whitening teeth. Since baking soda consists of a mild abrasive property it breaks down the molecules that cause the stain and removes the stains on the teeth.
A cheaper deodorant
Though human sweat is odorless naturally, especially in areas like your armpits. The bacteria present in the armpit to convert sweat into an acidic waste product that causes the unpleasant odor. A pat of baking soda helps control the odor and serves as an effective deodorant.
Improves exercise performance
Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate is a popular supplement among athletes and sports personnel. The use of baking soda triggers performance as it helps you perform better, specifically during anaerobic exercises such as high-intensity training and sprinting. It keeps your muscles from getting tired by balancing the pH levels that get altered due to the production of lactic acid. Baking soda possesses a high pH which delays fatigue and helps you exercise longer.
Helps relieve itchy skin and sunburns
Several studies have proved that a baking soda bath is the best method to relieve itchy skin and remove tan. These baths are specifically used to relieve itching caused by bug bites and bee stings. It also helps soothe itching caused by sunburn. It is affordable and easy to prepare a baking soda bath. Add 1 to 2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath. Soak the affected area thoroughly and experience the healing results.
Softens the hard skin on your sole
A combination of baking soda in warm water helps to remove the dead cells in the feet that are accountable for causing cracks. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak your feet. After a few minutes of soaking gently scrub your feet to remove dead cells and prevent cracks.
Improves nail health
If in any situation you experience a mild nail infection, then the best cure for it would be baking soda. The antifungal properties in baking soda help reduce infection and initiate healing.
Eases discomfort for cancer patients
Rinsing or gargling your mouth with a combination of baking soda, salt, and water can help relieve discomfort in the throat which is caused by chemotherapy or radiation. However, be careful as to not swallow it.
Don’t worry if you have a burnt pot
Baking soda, when added in abundance to the burnt vessel and boiled for some time, removes the burnt stains and gives you a cleaner vessel. The baking soda acts on the greasing agent and removes them more effectively when used with dish detergent. Apart from removing dirty and hard stains, it helps to maintain your silver shine better. A spoonful of baking soda in warm water works better on silverware and helps the silver bask in the shine.
Helps neutralize odor in your refrigerators
The residues of food in the fridge stay a longer welcome than expected. These residues of food stick around the fridge and cause a foul odor that lingers on other food items, vegetables, and other items in the fridge. In order to avoid such odor, it is advisable to place a small container of baking soda in your refrigerator. The baking soda masks the foul odor that is released from the foods and engulfs it within its container. Care should be taken that this baking soda should be changed at regular intervals and shouldn’t in any way be re-used for any purpose.
A cost-effective air freshener
You can never jump to the conclusion that all commercial air fresheners have the capacity to completely eliminate bad odor. But baking soda does the magic. Baking soda is deemed as an excellent and safe alternative that can be used to help eliminate bad odor. The use of baking soda helps to neutralize the particles responsible for foul odor and interacts with them instead of masking the foul smell.
An air freshener can be easily prepared by adding a mixture of baking soda with your favorite essential oil and placing it in a jar. Place a cloth on the jar and tie it with a ribbon. Secure the jar in a safe place and when the scent starts to fade just give the jar a little shake. Baking soda can also be sprinkled at the bottom of your garbage bin in order to restrict foul smell around the house caused by kitchen waste.
The all rounder kitchen cleaner
Baking soda has been used as a great kitchen cleaner. As mentioned above, it doesn’t just behave as a good stain remover but also a good foul smell remover. Baking soda can be used in several proportions and mixtures, which can help you, maintain a cleaner kitchen. Below are few things which can be cleaner with the touch of baking soda, they are, oven, stained coffee cups, stained marble, grease stains, kitchen tiles, clogged drains, tarnished silver, and microwaves.
Helps remove stains from clothes
If you are done rubbing your stain carpets then its time you opt for a stain removing a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. It doesn’t just help your carpets stay cleaner and stain-free but can also be used to remove stubborn dirt from your laundry. A little addition of baking soda to your detergent helps remove stubborn dirt on clothes and cleans the laundry even better. It doesn’t just make it clean but also retains the softness of the fabric and makes it odor free.
Used to clean fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are coated with several chemicals that help retain their freshness. These chemicals cause harm to the body and it is of greater importance that the skin is removed from the vegetables and fruits. This makes us lose the essential nutrients present in the skin. But thanks to baking soda, vegetables, and fruits when washed with baking soda help remove the toxic substances on the skin and make it edible.
Extinguishes a fire
It is indeed surprising to know that some fire extinguishers contain baking soda. Baking soda is also called dry chemical fire extinguisher as it is used to extinguish oil, grease, and electrical fires. However, it can be used only to extinguish a small fire and not a big one.
The unwanted weeds that can grow in your driveways or walkways can be removed by using baking soda. Baking soda contains higher levels of sodium that kills the roots of the weeds and dries them up. The baking soda creates a fierce environment for the weeds and makes it highly impossible for it to grow again. Care should be taken, not to sprinkle the same on the plants nearby as it can cause death to your plants as well.
Removes the smell from stinky shoes
Bye, bye, stinky shoes, and hello fragrant feet. Stinky shoes are a common problem that most individuals face. It is very embarrassing and can be problematic for people around you. The use of baking soda in stinky shoes helps to remove the bad odor and keep the feet healthy. Add baking soda to thin bags and place the shoes inside the same. Remove the baking soda bags when you need to wear shoes.
Baking Soda In Food Industry
Baking soda is an active ingredient that is being used in all baked goods. It helps food raise this by releasing carbon dioxide bubbles. This expands the dough or batter, creating a fluffy product. It gives the fluffy texture and grain in pancakes, cakes, bread, and other foods. In addition to this, it is used to thicken sauces. Using baking soda for cooking is quite popular.
Safety precautions you need to practice
Though baking soda is deemed safe for consumption, it can be harmful when over consumed. Avoid from applying baking soda in a longer time frame to teeth as it can erode tooth enamel. Excessive consumption of baking soda leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and in worst cases, it can lead to seizures and kidney failure. As it produces gas, can be harmful to the gastrointestinal tract. The antacid features present in baking soda can worsen gastrointestinal problems. And when taken in large portions it can even cause a stomach wall rupture.
In conclusion, baking soda is a versatile ingredient that has numerous health benefits apart from cooking. It has always been a must use kitchen ingredient for not just fluffy cakes but for cleaning purposes as well. It is an important household staple which is efficient enough to remove tough stains, foul odor, and clean the toughest dirt in your home.
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