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Common Uses For Baking Soda You Must Know

More than just a baking ingredient, other common uses for baking soda will make you put it on your teeth, in your bathroom tiles, or in your clothes.

Known to chemists as the chemical compound sodium bicarbonate (molecular formula: NaHCO3), most regular people simply call it baking soda.

Baking soda is basically a leavening agent – something that makes doughs or breads rise – but it can also be a cleaning agent!

Amazing, huh?

By the way, before you proceed further, since baking has been mentioned, baking soda is different from baking powder. Still, both are used in baking.

Baking soda needs to be combined with something acidic (e.g., buttermilk or lemon juice) to make bread rise. With baking powder, it can make bread rise on its own. One reason is that baking powder contains some baking soda.

That’s why Healthline describes baking powder as a “complete leavening agent.”

Read further to know the common uses for baking soda aside from the usual baking stuff.

What Is Baking Soda Used For?

Folded clothes washed with baking soda in a laundromat
Folded clothes washed with baking soda in a laundromat

You already have been given hints on some of the common uses for baking soda.

(1) To relieve itching and insect bite sting

Add some water on baking soda to form a paste. Then apply the paste on the area of the skin where you got bitten. Doing so can lessen the itchiness and relieve the sting.

(2) To clean things and remove stains

Dissolve some baking soda on water and use the solution to clean pots, kettles, and pans.

Also, one of the common uses for baking soda is to remove bathroom stains on the wall and floor (particularly if they’re tiled), coffee stains, and stains that accumulated inside a microwave oven.

For better results, you may mix baking soda with apple cider vinegar. Leave the solution for 5-15 minutes (depending on the amount of stain build up) before wiping or scrubbing the stain off with a sponge.

For cleaner clothes, baking soda can work like bleach. Add one-third cup of it when you launder clothes.

(3) To remove odor

One of the common uses for baking soda is to act as a deodorizer.

Baking soda can make clothes smell better and can remove foul smell from a refrigerator (place an open container filled with baking soda inside).

Leave a sponge on water with dissolved baking soda overnight to make it clean and smell fresh.

(4) To remove crayon marks

Yes! You’ve read that right!

For moms who have children fond of drawing on the wall using crayons, here’s one of the common uses for baking soda.

Simply add enough water on baking soda to make a paste. Then use a brush (an old toothbrush will do) to remove the crayon marks.

(5) To support oral hygiene

Baking soda, according to health website WebMD, can keep our teeth, gums, and mouth healthy.

One of the common uses for baking soda is to help prevent tooth decay. So, try using a toothpaste that contains baking soda.

For fresh breath, gargle water with a half-teaspoon of baking soda.

WebMD also said that baking soda is used for indigestion, kidney disease, and in some cases of cancer treatment (chemotherapy).

What Should You Not Use Baking Soda For?

An antique silver sauce boat with intricate handle on a silver platter
An antique silver sauce boat with intricate handle on a silver platter

Though one of the common uses for baking soda is as a cleaning agent, people should be reminded not to use it to clean everything.

Several online sources including Reader’s Digest mentioned that baking soda should not be used to clean the following:

(1) aluminum cookware

(2) antique silver

(3) ceramic stove top

(4) glass

(5) gold-plated utensils and dinnerware

(6) marble

(7) wooden furniture

Moreover, WebMD warns people to avoid using shampoo that contains baking soda. Prolonged use can cause hair breakage or lead to tangled or frizzled hair.

Conclusion

Great Value baking soda and iodized salt and chunks of butter in a wide glass jug
Great Value baking soda and iodized salt and chunks of butter in a wide glass jug

The things mentioned by WebMD are already beyond the known common uses for baking soda, telling people how useful it can be.

Imagine, doctors have been using baking soda for chemotherapy?

The important thing here is to know the common uses for baking soda as well as to avoid using it where it shouldn’t be.

About The Authors

Rian Mcconnell

Rian Mcconnell - Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.

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