Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Triple "R" Tuesday...The many uses of Baking Soda...

This week I've done my recycling as well as my reducing (well I'm still working on that one. Another huge run to make to the thrift shops to drop off more stuff) and I'm constantly reusing stuff. That's what you do when you need to be frugal. A shower curtain suddenly becomes a bib, or an older towel suddenly becomes a hand towel and wash cloths. But there is something else that we can do. Take what we have and make multi-purpose cleaners that are not only effective, but also better for the environment.

Really, if you have the time, and the elbow grease, you really only need a few tools to get most of the housework accomplished. Vinegar, sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda, bleach, borax and hydrogen peroxide. And I'll go through all of these throughout the time in this blog. But the first one to mention is baking soda. There are innumerable amount of recipes that this can be used for. All from cooking down to beauty supplies, as well as household cleaners. There is no way I could list everything here. So there will be some simple things you can do for the multi-purpose.


Baking Soda is used in leavening, much like baking powder, but whatever you do, NEVER think that the two are interchangeable. Because they aren't. If your recipe calls for baking POWDER, use baking powder, and if you're out, go buy some because baking soda will not do.

Household cleaner:

You can sprinkle some of this down your sink once a week and pour vinegar afterward. After watching the volcanic eruption for a few minutes, you can rinse it down with HOT water and this will help keep your drain cleared out and smelling better.

Mix it with water to form a paste and you have a soft scrub. This is good for sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, floors...the list goes on and on. Anywhere you need a soft abrasive this is your friend!

You can add some to your existing wash load to help make things brighter and fresher.

You can put a box in any closed off environment and it will help to remove any foul odor.

If you're really adventurous you could make your own homemade laundry soap this includes baking soda or "super washing soda" which is baking soda on steroids. Laundry soap recipe

Beauty products:

This can be used to wash your hair. 1tbsp per cup of water. Mix well and pour over dry hair, rub in well into the scalp and do this for a minute, and rinse. Follow this with an apple cider vinegar rinse (2tbsp acv to 1 cup water) and you have clean hair that doesn't tangle. This helps remove residue from your shampoos, conditioners, gels, hairsprays, etc. If you're really adventurous, you could wash your hair this way indefinitely. No real need to buy shampoo and conditioner. (and what frugalista wouldn't want to save that money!)

If you have issues with deodorant sometimes irritating your underarms, or if you're trying to get away from the aluminum in deodorants, and you're trying to find a more natural way, baking soda dusted on, followed by corn starch is a good way. Or if you need your stick. Mix some baking soda with some oil, (light safflower/olive/almond etc) until you get a somewhat dry paste, and push it into your deodorant container. For the greener people, this is inexpensive, and a healthy way to keep that bacteria from setting up on your skin and causing that bad body odor. Now this doesn't prevent sweating, so don't get too irritated if you find out this isn't an antiperspirant.

There are so many things you can do with baking soda, it's almost limitless what CAN be done. And this is reusable in so many places, that this is a dream for the unclutterer AND the frugalista. And on top of that it's GOOD for the environment! So that gets a little green smile. So if you have any little ones running around, this is by far much better than them getting a hold of your store bought housecleaning chemicals. :D

So how do YOU use baking soda?

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