Baking soda is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. It is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder.
Baking soda has been used for many years in cooking and cleaning. However, it has health benefits as well. Be careful though when you take baking soda because it is high in sodium. Always check with your doctor on what amounts to take. Excess sodium causes things like high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney problems.
Health Benefits of Baking Soda:
- Neutralizes acid – The alkaline properties in baking soda enable relief of acid indigestion, severe acidity, and heartburn.
- Hyperkalemia – Is caused by high levels of potassium and in a study baking soda lowers the acidity in the body.
- Promotes kidney health – Sodium bicarbonate helps in decreasing stone formation and removing of material that causes the kidney stones.
- Treats bladder infections – The alkaline compound in baking soda decreases the acidity in the urine which is what causes the pain while urinating.
- Reduces muscle pain and fatigue – Researchers suggest that baking soda is great for those who have prolonged and intermittent exercise.
- Pesticide Poisoning – Research in animals has suggested that use of sodium bicarbonate or similar chemicals which make the blood alkaline might save people poisoned by OPs.
- Reduces the duration of cold and flu – By mixing lukewarm water, salt and baking soda aids in helping to clean the mucus from the nose if done a few times a day.
- Exfoliates the Skin – use on your hands or face by combining one teaspoon of baking soda with a half cup water and rub into hands or face (circular motions), then rinse.
- Relieves Skin Irritation – Baking soda is wonderful for reducing discomfort from sunburn, poison oak or poison ivy and great for allergic reactions.
- Relieves Insect Bites – By rubbing baking soda on a bee sting by combining 1 teaspoon and a half cup water to make a paste it will reduce the swelling and for bug bites, it will relieve the itching by just putting it straight on the bitten area.
- Relieves Diaper Rash – Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to a bath and soak for 10 minutes will help relief diaper rash.
- Soak Your Feet – Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda in water and soak for 20 minutes. You can also add some essential oil. Baking soda has antimicrobial properties which may protect body and feet from infection.
- Hand Exfoliator – by just simply placing a teaspoon of baking soda in your hand after washing them, will get rid of those dry skin cells and leave your hands really smooth.
- Sun Burn Relief – Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and water in a bowl. Make a light paste and gently put over the sunburned area, let sit on skin for 15 minutes and then rinse with cool water. You can use it as a soak in a bath for sunburn relief as well.
- Homemade Toothpaste – By combining 2/3 cup baking soda or more depending on how much you’d like to make and then add water and mix together, you have a very basic toothpaste. If you’d like to add peppermint oil to it, just add a drop or two.
- Teeth Whitener – Use a teaspoon of baking soda and add some water to make a paste. Rub it on your teeth and let sit for 5 minutes. You can do this once a week to keep your teeth whiter.
- Air Freshener – If you use a ½ a cup of baking soda in a jar with 15 to 20 drops of essential oil and place a lid with holes in it, it will absorb the nasty odors and emit a light smell of the essential oil you added.
- Cleans Your Microwave – By adding 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a microwave safe container and then turn on the microwave for approx. 2 to 3 minutes and then let stand for 5. Your microwave will come out clean and get rid of the grime.
- Boosts Laundry Detergent – You can add ½ a cup of baking soda to your regular laundry detergent and it will boost and make whites brighter and soften the water.
- Deodorize The Refrigerator – By just opening a box of baking soda and letting it sit in your refrigerator is a great way to calm odors. Do this at least every 3 months or sooner if it has absorbed most of the baking soda.
- Removes Oil and Grease – Mixing 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ a cup of water and then mix and rub on clothes will get rid of the stain.
- Deodorize Garbage Can – by mixing a ½ cup of baking soda and 2 cups of water and then pouring it into a garbage can, then scrub with a wire brush, let stand for 15 minutes and then rinse. Double the measurements for a 50-gallon trash can.
- Cat Litter Boxes – After you clean your cats’ litter box, pour a light layer of baking soda at the bottom of the litter box and then add your litter on top of that.
- Vegetable Wash – Adding a few tablespoons of baking soda to water and then put in a spray bottle and spray your vegetables and scrub lightly will get the dirt off your fresh vegetables. Then rinse very well with just water.
- Keeps Ants Out – This is a pet-friendly mixture. Mix 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 5 tablespoons of baking soda and put in a cup. Place the cup where the ants are and they will be attracted to the sugar and will accidentally eat the baking soda which will kill them. Remember it needs to be powdered sugar. The reason is that ants are smart and if you use regular sugar they can separate the regular sugar from the baking soda.
- Keeps Flowers Fresher Longer – by adding a ½ a teaspoon of baking soda to your vase, flowers will last longer.
- Pot and Pan Cleaner – Using 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water and rub on the pan where you want to get off the grime or stuck on foods. Let sit for 10 minutes. You should be able to scrub with a non-abrasive sponge, but sometimes some elbow grease is needed.
- Silverware Cleaner –Bring 1 liter of water, I piece of aluminum foil and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a boil. Then place the silver you want to clean in the pot for approx. 15 seconds and longer if more tarnished. Then take some tongs and take out what is cleaned.
- Coffee and Teapot Cleaner – Mix a ¼ cup of baking soda with a pot full of water and pour into the area where you pour water and brew like you would coffee. As a teapot cleaner, combine 2 tablespoons baking soda with 4 cups of hot water. Let it sit for an hour and then scrub.
- Floor Cleaner – By adding a ½ a cup of baking soda to a bucket of water you can clean your floors without scratching them. If you want to use on carpet, just sprinkle and wait about 20 minutes and then vacuum.