/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » things i love thursday: baking soda

Baking soda isn’t glamourous and it’s not expensive.  It’s not even something I think about all that often – but I use it almost daily and couldn’t do without it.

I use enough baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that I buy it by the 50lb bag at the local feed store (less than $15 for 50#) and keep it in the basement.  I use it in the kitchen (baking), but also for cleaning, laundry, and as a mild abrasive.

Baking soda has been around forever – my paternal grandmother used it as a child to clean her teeth.  A small wet cloth dipped in baking soda was sufficient for a tooth cleanser – long before toothpaste was around.

I have friends who make their own laundry detergent with baking soda; I’ve never done that, but I do use it in every load of laundry.  We have high efficiency machines and the pre-wash cycle adds about 10 minutes to the total laundry-time for a load.  But putting in 2 tablespoons of baking soda in to the prewash dispenser gets an extra layer of dirt out of the clothes and makes them smell SO much fresher!  I remember the first time I tried it – we had some bath towels that although they were clean, they never *smelled* fresh after coming from the washer & dryer.  I read online that another mom had great success getting her son’s football uniform free from “sweaty-kid-scent” by putting baking soda in the washer.  So I figured I had nothing to lose – and I was pleasantly surprised at how FRESH those towels smelled.  Now I use it in every load of laundry.  :)

Baking soda is a great way to freshen your carpets before vacuuming – sprinkle it liberally on your carpets and let it sit for at least 1 hour.  If you’ll be gone all day, that’s fine too – just vacuum it up after an hour (or more) and any odor in your carpet will be gone.

You can use it as a dry-shampoo for your dog – take a small amount in your palm and rub it in to the dog’s fur.  Brush it out again and your best friend will smell better and be cleaner than trying to mask the scent with doggie-perfume.  😉

It’s also great getting scuff marks from shoes off of vinyl flooring.  Just take a wet cloth or paper towel, dip it in the baking soda, and rub gently – no marking the flooring with a harsh abrasive, and it comes right off!

And if you ever need to strip build-up from your hair, this little trick will do a perfect job:  mix 3 T. of baking soda with 3 T. of shampoo and put the paste on your wet hair.  It will take some effort to get it inyour hair and lathered up, but once you do and then you rinse – your hair will be as squeaky clean as if you’d never had any product-build up on it.  :)

I love this stuff.  It’s not glamourous, it’s frugal, and it totally gets the job done.  What’s your favourite product that does more than you first expected it might?

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  • http://www.simplysara.ca Simply Sara

    I *heart* Baking Soda too :)

    I’ve never tried it in my laundry though….but I’m so going to try that right now!
    Thanks for the great tip!

  • http://inthemomentblog.blogspot.com Kaycee

    Baking soda is the only thing that gets coffee stains out of my white porcelain sink. I”ll have to try it in my laundry.

  • http://grammyjanetsplace.blogspot.com/2009/03/things-i-love-thursday-4.html Janet F

    Baking soda cleans my kitchen sink perfectly!

  • http://www.momofmanymesses.blogspot.com Pam

    I too am a baking soda lover! I just recently learned how fabulous it is at cleaning and with four kids I’ll definitely start using it in my laundry too! Thanks for the extra tips.

  • http://yestheyareallmine.wordpress.com Rhen @yestheyareallmine

    Amen! I love baking soda too. I buy it in bulk and use it all over my house.
    Great TILT!

  • http://www.raisingcreativechildren.com Lorelei

    Wow, 50lbs! I didn’t know it came in bags that big! Thanks for the tip. I buy the largest box of baking soda available in my grocery store, as I use it for cleaning my hair- without shampoo. I haven’t used shampoo in over a year, and my hair has never been healthier.

    A product I love, that does more than I expected, is diatomaceous earth. It is a fine white powder, a natural substance mined from the earth made up of tiny hard-shelled algae. It puts the “scratch” in most cleansers like “Comet”. I buy THIS product in 50# bags from our feed mill.

    D.E. is a natural bug killer. Sprinkle it around the outside of your house to keep the little varmits from coming in. Sprinkle it on your dog’s coat, bed, and the area of the yard he sleeps in, to kill fleas. Sprinkle it on the carpet, leave for a few hours, then vacuum up, to kill fleas in your house. Sprinkle it on your garden to kill off many garden pests, including slugs. We also feed it to our livestock and pets, to kill internal parasites. It is relatively safe (don’t inhale the powder if you have allergies) some people even eat this stuff. (Yuck!). So much safer for a home with children than the name brand pesticides available on the market. Do make sure you buy FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth. Some companies heat-treat this natural product, and market it as a pool filter, but then D.E. becomes toxic.

  • http://chezsmiffy.blogspot.com/ Misti

    Hey, me too! :)

    I didn’t know about the 50 pound bags, but that sure would save me heaps of hassle because I, too, use baking soda constantly throughout the house!

    Like Lorelei, I use it instead of shampoo and my hair looks and behaves better than it ever has! (I re-balance the PH with a good kombucha vinegar soak after the soda, and the eternal itch has been gone for months!)

    I use it for dishwashing soap and laundry detergent, scouring powder, and … well, you covered it pretty well, actually, Sue.

    Love your blog!