Baking soda is a common baking ingredient that is also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. Bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies have a light, fluffy texture because to it.
That’s because it has leavening characteristics, which means it reacts with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to produce carbon dioxide, which causes dough to rise.
Apart from cooking, baking soda has a range of other purposes in the home.
16 health benefits and uses of baking soda
Baking soda is a handy all-purpose item due to its wide variety of uses, from cleaning countertops to supporting oral care. Here’s a comprehensive list of household uses.
Mouthwash is an excellent supplement to your dental hygiene practice since it reaches the corners of your mouth as well as the crevices of your teeth, gums, and tongue that brushing may miss.
Baking soda is frequently used as a mouthwash substitute. It may help freshen your breath and possibly have antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, according to some research.
While one study revealed that using baking soda mouthwash did not significantly reduce oral bacteria levels, it did raise saliva pH levels, which is critical for bacterial growth inhibition.
Make your own baking soda mouthwash by combining 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda with half a glass (120 mL) warm water and swishing as usual.
2. Teeth whitener
Baking soda is a common home cure for tooth whitening.
Many studies have revealed that toothpaste containing baking soda is more effective than toothpaste without baking soda at whitening teeth and eliminating plaque.
This is most likely due to baking soda’s moderate abrasive characteristics, which allow it to disrupt the connections between molecules that discolor your teeth. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics, which could aid in the fight against dangerous microorganisms.
Human perspiration, surprisingly, has no odor.
Sweat only develops an odor after bacteria in your armpits break it down. These bacteria turn your perspiration into acidic waste products, which are responsible for the odor.
Although there is limited evidence on whether this technique works, baking soda is frequently used as a natural deodorant to remove sweat’s odor by making its scents less acidic.
To make homemade deodorant, dab baking soda onto your armpits or mix it with a little coconut oil, shea butter, or cornstarch.
4. Fridge odor neutralizer
Have you ever opened your refrigerator and noticed a strange odor?
There’s a good chance that some of the foods in your fridge have outstayed their welcome and have begun to rot. This odor may linger after you’ve cleaned and emptied your refrigerator.
Baking soda can assist to deodorize a stale refrigerator by neutralizing odors. Surprisingly, rather than disguising odor particles, it eliminates them.
Fill a cup halfway with baking soda and store it in the back of your fridge to try this method.
5. Air freshener
Not all commercial air fresheners are effective at removing odors. Instead, some just emit scent molecules that cover up other odors.
Furthermore, only about 10% of air fresheners have an ingredient list. If you’re allergic to chemicals present in air fresheners, this can be an issue.
Baking soda, which is free of industrial chemicals and neutralizes odor particles, is a safe alternative to commercial air fresheners.
To make an air freshener with baking soda, gather the following ingredients:
- a small jar
- 1/3 cup (74 grams) of baking soda
- 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oils
- a piece of cloth or paper
- a string or ribbon
Fill the jar with baking soda and aromatic oils. Place it in your living room, bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen after covering it with the towel or paper and securing it with the string. Give the container a good shake when the aroma starts to diminish.
6. Whitening agent for laundry
Baking soda is an inexpensive way to whiten and clean your laundry.
It’s an alkali, or soluble salt, that can help eliminate grime and stains. When an alkali like baking soda is dissolved in water, it interacts with acids in stains, according to previous study.
Add 1/2 cup (110 grams) baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent to test it out. It also softens the water, so you might not need as much detergent as normal.
7. Kitchen cleaner
The versatility of baking soda makes it a great kitchen cleaner. When mixed with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar, it may also help control the growth of harmful microorganisms, including mold or bacteria.
To use baking soda in your kitchen, make a paste by mixing baking soda with an equal amount of lemon juice and a bit of water. Apply the paste to the desired surface with a sponge or cloth and scrub thoroughly.
Here are a few kitchen appliances, items, and surfaces that you can clean with baking soda:
- stained coffee cups
- stained marble
- grease stains
- kitchen tiles
- clogged drains
- tarnished silver
8. Garbage odor eliminator
Because they contain decomposing material, full trash bags generally have a foul odor. This odor can travel to your kitchen and other sections of your home if it’s really bad.
Baking soda, on the other hand, can assist remove waste odors by neutralizing acidic odor molecules.
According to studies, placing baking soda at the bottom of trash cans can reduce rubbish odor by 70%.
9. Carpet stain remover
A combination of baking soda and vinegar can remove the most stubborn carpet stains.
Mixing baking soda and vinegar creates a compound called carbonic acid, which is a common ingredient in cleaning products. This reaction creates a lot of fizzing, which may help break down tough stains.
Here’s how you can eliminate carpet stains with just baking soda and vinegar:
- Cover the carpet stain with a thin layer of baking soda.
- Fill an empty spray bottle with a 1-to-1 mixture of vinegar and water and spray it over the stained area.
- Wait up to 1 hour or until the surface dries.
- Scrub the baking soda loose with a brush and vacuum the residue.
- The stain should now be completely removed. If there’s some baking soda residue left on the carpet, wipe it up with a damp towel.
10. Multipurpose bathroom cleaner
Like kitchens, bathrooms can be difficult to clean. They have a variety of surfaces that you use frequently and thus need to clean often.
While numerous commercial bathroom cleaners exist, many people prefer more natural, cost-effective cleaning options. Baking soda comes in handy because it whitens and disinfects many bathroom surfaces, though it’s less effective than commercial cleaners.
Here are a few surfaces you can clean with baking soda:
- bathroom tiles
- bathroom sinks
Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water. Using a sponge or a cloth, rub the mixture thoroughly onto the surface you wish to clean, then wipe down the surface 15–20 minutes later with a damp cloth.
11. Pesticide remover for fruit and veggies
Pesticide residue on foods is a source of concern for many people. Pesticides are used to protect crops against insects, viruses, rodents, and weeds, yet many of them have negative health consequences.
Pesticides are best removed by peeling fruit. However, you won’t gain the vital nutrients present in the skins of many fruits, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Surprisingly, new research suggests that washing fruits and vegetables with baking soda is the most efficient approach to remove pesticides without peeling them.
According to one study, soaking apples in a baking soda and water solution for 12–15 minutes eliminated nearly all pesticide residue.
Remember that this procedure does not eliminate pesticides that have entered the skin of the fruit or vegetable. Furthermore, more research is needed to establish if this method is applicable to other types of produce.
12. Silverware polisher
Baking soda is a handy alternative to commercial silver polishers. You’ll just need a few extra ingredients:
- an aluminum baking pan or a baking dish lined with aluminum foil
- 1 cup (240 mL) of boiling water
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of baking soda
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of white vinegar
Add the baking soda to the aluminum baking pan and slowly pour in the vinegar. Next, pour in the boiling water, then place the silver in the baking pan.
Almost immediately, the tarnish should start to fade. Most silverware may be removed from the pan in 30 seconds, but extremely tarnished silverware may require up to 1 minute in the mixture.
Silver reacts chemically with the aluminum pan and baking soda in this mixture. It transfers the tarnish from the silverware to the aluminum pan, resulting in a faint, yellow residue at the bottom.
13. Scorched pot cleaner
It’s simple to scorch the bottom of a pot by accident while cooking.
These can be a pain to clean, but a burnt pot can be readily saved with baking soda and water.
Add enough water to cover the scorched parts and a liberal amount of baking soda to the bottom of the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat and dump the pan as usual.
If any stains or burnt food particles remain, gently clean them with a scouring pad and a small bit of washing liquid.
14. Oil and grease fire extinguisher
Interestingly, some fire extinguishers contain baking soda.
These types, which are known as dry chemical fire extinguishers, are used to extinguish oil, grease, and electrical fires. Baking soda reacts with the heat to produce carbon dioxide, which smothers the fire.
As such, you can use baking soda to extinguish small oil and grease fires.
However, don’t expect baking soda to extinguish larger house fires. These fires draw in more oxygen and easily neutralize the effects of baking soda.
15. Homemade weed killer
Weeds often have deep roots, making them hard to eradicate without using chemical weed killers.
Notably, baking soda makes a cheaper, safer alternative. That’s because baking soda is high in sodium, which creates a harsh environment for weeds.
Sprinkle a few handfuls of baking soda over weeds in areas like the cracks of your sidewalk or driveway. However, avoid using baking soda to kill weeds in your flowerbeds and gardens, as it may harm your other plants as well.
16. Shoe deodorizer
Baking soda is a great remedy for freshening up smelly shoes. That’s because it may counteract foul-smelling odors.
Pour 2 tablespoons (9 grams) of baking soda into 2 cheesecloths or thin pieces of fabric. Secure the cloths with a rubber band or string and place one in each shoe.
Remove the baking soda bags when you want to wear your shoes.
Baking soda benefits: Health benefits
1. Baking soda is a natural antacid
One of the benefits of baking soda is that it acts as a neutralizer. Acid reflux is a disorder in which stomach acid runs back into the esophagus from the stomach. Acid can irritate your oesophagus and create heartburn, which is a burning sensation that can occur anywhere between the abdomen and the throat. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes stomach acid and helps many of the symptoms of acid reflux and other stomach problems. (Also see: Benefits Of Baking Soda Water And How To Make It At Home.)
2. Known to be a natural alkalising agent
It’s well-known for being a natural alkaliser. This non-toxic chemical is used to cure most diseases and minimize the effects of acid and inflammation in the body. It is one of the most effective natural medicines for regulating the pH level of the body and enhancing general health. Excess acid in the body can increase the chance of developing osteoporosis, arthritis, and other diseases.
3. Helps alleviate urinary tract infections
Because of its potential to lower acid levels in urine, baking soda and water solution is believed to act as a protective barrier against urinary tract infections. This affordable cure comes in useful if you have a UTI, which is a highly frequent ailment that affects women.
4. It is known to be an exercise enhancer
The lactic acid released during physical activity or rigorous workouts has a tendency to accumulate in muscles and joints, creating stiffness and muscular fatigue. To prevent this from happening and affecting your physical performance, baking soda benefits come to your rescue. Drinking baking soda diluted in water can help control the condition.
5. Boosts kidney function
Baking soda, as an alkaline material, lowers acid levels in the body and helps to maintain a healthy pH balance. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), individuals who took baking soda had a two-thirds slower rate of deterioration in kidney function than those who didn’t.
6. Treats gout and other joint problems
Pain and chronic diseases like arthritis and gout are caused by high amounts of uric acid in the urine and blood in tissues throughout the body. Baking soda can be used to neutralize excess acid and is an efficient treatment.