Baking soda, a usual name for sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline white powder mostly used in the kitchen. The powder has various uses but it is commonly known for baking.
Baking soda is mostly preferred for baking due to its leavening properties that cause the dough to rise through production of carbon iv oxide. How is baking soda made? This might be a challenging question to many people. Sodium bicarbonate is extracted from sodium carbonate commonly, called soda ash. Sodium carbonate is processed from trona, a deposit formed from evaporation in salty waters.
The Benefits and Uses of Baking Soda
By chance, you may have already used baking soda either in the kitchen or when doing other house chores. However, apart from baking, it also has various additional benefits and uses including;
Treating of Heartburns
Heartburn, also called acid reflux, is a painful, burning sensation that rise from the upper part of the stomach and can spread up to the throat. This is caused by the refluxing of the acid from the stomach up to the esophagus. When you experience heartburn, mix a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with water and drink to neutralize stomach acids. However, continuous sodium bicarbonate intake may lead to metabolic alkalosis and heart problems. There are several causes of acid reflux, including stress, overeating, and eating of spicy or greasy food.
Are you overwhelmed with your bad mouth breath? Worry no more, here is a solution that will bring back your smile. Adding baking soda as a mouthwash to your daily oral care routine can improve your dental hygiene as it helps refresh breath, whiten teeth, and offer antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, it boosts the pH of the saliva which inhibits bacterial growth. For instances, mix a ½ teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of warm water and swish.
Improve Work Out Performance
Baking soda is a common supplement with the athletes. Taking it in right quantities helps stay longer at peaks specifically when on anaerobic exercises or high intensity training and sprinting. While exercising, the muscle cells produce lactic acid that causes the burning sensation. Furthermore, the acid produced lowers the pH in the cells leading to fatigue. Take 300 mg of baking soda per liter of water, 1-2 hours before exercising for optimal results.
Relieve Itchy Skin and Sun Burns
Have an itchy skin or sunburns? Baking soda neutralizes the toxin responsible for itching. For itchy skin, mix at most 2 cups of baking soda in water and apply its paste on the affected area.
Neutralizes The Fridge Odor
Fridge odor is caused by overstaying food. Unfortunately, even after a thorough cleaning the odor may still remain. With baking soda, you can clean and neutralize the fridge odor simultaneously. It’s advised to place a cup full of baking soda in the back of the fridge to soak the odor.
Used in Laundry
Sodium bicarbonate is a soluble salt that helps remove dirt and stains. Its alkaline property helps neutralize the acids from the stains and dirt. Add ½ a cup of baking soda to your usual laundry detergents for effectiveness. Additionally, it softens the water, leading to less usage of detergents hence saving your coins.
Baking soda not only removes solid stains but also kitchen odor. The product’s adaptability makes fall in the list of the best kitchen cleaners. You can use sodium bicarbonate in the kitchen to clean stained coffee cups and marbles, ovens, kitchen tile, grease stains, clogged drainage, and microwaves.
Clean Vegetables and Fruits
Ever got worried of how best to remove pesticide on your veggies and fruits? The idea of peeling fruits may not be the best as vital nutrients like vitamins, fiber, and minerals present in the skin may be removed. Fortunately, soaking them in a solution of water and baking soda for about 12- 15 minutes can help eliminate pesticides.
There are some fire extinguishers that use baking soda. This category of fire extinguishers is called dry chemical. They are used to put off fire caused by grease, electricity, and oil. The reaction between the baking soda and the fire produces carbon iv oxide which extinguishes fire. However, baking soda fire extinguishers are can only manage low-intensity fires.
Weeds are unwanted plants. Most weeds have long roots making it hard to be uprooted. People opt to use chemical weed killers. Alternatively, sodium bicarbonate can be used to kill weeds as it is less costly and the safe. Sodium in the baking soda develops a harsh environment that limits the thriving of the weed. However, avoid using baking soda in flowerbeds and gardens as it can easily kill other plants.
Human sweat does not produce odor. Sweat mainly obtains its smell after a breakdown process by a bacterium in the armpits. Additionally, the sweat is converted to an acidic product which brings the odor. Baking soda absorbs the odor by making sweat less acidic.
Ever late or wanted to give your hair a wash break? Baking soda gives you a simple and quick beauty hack because it can be used as dry shampoo. For instance, baking soda can be mixed with corn starch and massaged in the scalp and root hairs for at least 10 minutes before brushing. This enables it to absorb the oil, grease, and refreshed the hair.
The Side Effects
Despite having most benefits, baking soda has also its harmful side. For instance, long-term application to teeth destroys the enamel. Also, when used as antacid it may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, gas, nausea, seizures, and kidney failure. Baking soda may result in stomach rupture when consumed before eating a large meal.
The Bottom Line
As discussed in the blog, it’s clear baking soda has many uses and benefits apart from cooking due to its versatility. However, its toxicity is brought by long-term usage and excessive consumption. Alcoholics are at a higher risk of getting health problems as sodium increases dehydration in the body and worsen other symptoms. Always seek medical help if you experience inconveniences.