The holy grail of the preparedness industry is “multi-purpose.” It’s especially true for the items you put in your bug-out bag, due to limited space.
But it’s also true at home as we try to save money for important things. Using the same item for a number of purposes cuts down on spending, as well as clutter.
Baking soda, a white, crystalline compound, chemically known as bicarbonate of soda, might not have quite as many uses as duct tape – then again, what does? – but there are plenty of ways you can utilize it. You may already have some in your refrigerator.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the uses you can get out of this inexpensive item:
- Clean your refrigerator. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to a quart of warm or hot water and use the resulting solution as a cleaning agent.
- Eliminate smells. Unpleasant odors will disappear when you sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your toaster oven, rubber gloves and other items.
- Unclog a drain. Pour a cup of baking soda into your clogged drain, then add one cup of vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then pour a quart of boiling water down the drain.
- Stain removal. That same paste can be used to tackle tough stains from clothing, china and plastic.
- Food washer. If your fruits and vegetables could have pesticides or dirt on them, wash them in a bowl of cool water containing several tablespoons of baking soda.
- Bug repellent. Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of basement windows in order to keep bugs from making themselves at home in your house.
- Gain traction. Sprinkling baking soda on your porch and front steps in cold weather can help melt ice that might form. It won’t damage cement or shoes.
- Pain relief. Soothe the discomfort from an insect bite or burn by making a paste with baking soda and water, then applying it to the spot. You can also add it to your bathwater to relieve sunburned or itchy skin.
- Brush your teeth. People say it’s more effective for cleaning and whitening teeth than toothpaste, and you don’t get the negative side effect of fluoride.
- Resist sweets. If you can’t stop eating sweets, try this when you have a craving: dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Rinse your mouth with it and then spit it out.