Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baking Soda

   There are few people who don't have a box of baking soda stuck in a kitchen cabinet. It lasts forever and doesn't spoil or lose its strength. It has hundreds of uses besides being the leavening agent for buttermilk biscuits or adding an extra puff to banana bread.
   To keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and clean puncture the lid of a small jar, fill the jar with soda and place it in the back of the fridge. After a few months refresh and pour the used soda down the drain. It will collect grease and help prevent clogs. This give you two uses from the same cup of soda.

   While we're on plumbing if you're home is on a septic tank a cup of soda down the drain once a week will neutralize ph and encourage the growth of helpful bacteria to reduce waste.
   Wash down your shower with a solution of baking soda to remove dulling soap scum.
   Baking soda makes an excellent substance to clean and whiten your teeth. It doesn't taste as good as the flavored paste, but it works.
   Grease fire while cooking. Throw a fist full of baking soda on it. The soda when heated gives off carbon dioxide which smothers the fire and stops further combustion. Never throw water on a grease fire.
   Is your face red from long exposure to the sun? Rise with a soothing solution of baking soda. Adding 1/2 cup to warm bath water will give a soft refreshing bath.
   When doing your laundry use a little less detergent and make up the difference with baking soda. You will have cleaner and softer clothes plus be helping the environment.
   Not kidding, nearly forty years after manufacturers began removing heavy phosphates from laundry detergents the residue still shows up. I have some recent photographs taken in a state park of a sylvan stream until it reached the dam of a grist mill. The water was sudsy as it flowed over the dam. The contamination was coming from somewhere up stream.
   Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent. It removes the stains from coffee & tea cups, glass percolators, the grout between tiles, and counter tops including fiberglass without scratching.
   Who hasn't been called away while cooking and had something burn on the bottom of the pan?  Coat the burn stuff with a paste of baking soda and let it sit overnight. It will be easier to clean.
   Greenish acid corrosion collecting on the terminals of a car battery. Make a past of soda and water, apply to the terminals, let it stand for about five minutes, and wipe them off with a clean cloth. This helps the battery last longer and supply stronger starting power.
   Does your stomach give you fits after eating greasy foods? Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a small glass of water and drink. Those who suffer from high blood pressure should not make a habit of this because baking soda does contain a high amount of sodium. A better solution is to avoid greasy foods.
   So far I know of no study that has indicated baking soda is harmful to consume or use. It's just old fashioned, Arm & Hammer has used the same yellow box and logo for my life time. Wal Mart advertises a four pound box for two bucks on Google. This is where I obtained the illustration.
   Our great-grand parents and grandparents used it. They knew something we'd be better off remembering.

Nash Black, author of Games of Death.

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