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6 Ways Not to Use Baking Soda

6 Ways Not to Use Baking Soda

By Adam Verwymeren, Networx

Baking soda is a great and versatile tool around the home, and there are dozens of ways it can be put to use. It can cut grease, absorb odors and clean body parts, among its many other applications.

However, as handy as it is, this wonder substance does have its limitations. Here are a few ways not to use baking soda.

Antacid: Suffering from heartburn? Baking soda is a highly effective antacid. However, sodium bicarbonate is, well, sodium. So if your doctor has told you to cut down on the salt, donít reach for this household cure for indigestion. Ask your doctor to recommend a safer alternative.

Cleaning Aluminum: While a quick scrubs with a bit of baking soda is a great way to clean your pots and pans, you should never use it on aluminum cookware. The alkaline sodium bicarbonate reacts with the aluminum and can cause your pots and pans to discolor.

Fridge Freshener: Because it reacts with odor-causing acids, baking soda will make your fridge smell a little fresher. But only a little. The problem is that that tiny box has an even tinier opening, which offers up only a few square inches of surface area for smell-causing compounds to react with. For baking soda to be a truly effective odor-fighting substance, youíd have to place large trays of it in the bottom of your fridge. If youíre in the market for a cheap fridge-freshening substance, try activated charcoal, an incredibly porous substance that offers maximum surface area to grab hold of those smelly molecules.

Grease Fires: Enough baking soda on a grease fire will smother the flames. But even if you happen to keep mountains of the stuff next to your stove, itís nearly impossible to maintain a safe distance from the fire while shoveling this powdery substance onto the flames. Youíre more likely to end up with a grease fire and a blinding cloud of airborne baking soda. So skip this makeshift solution and invest in a good fire extinguisher before an accident happens.

Acne: Baking soda is a powerful cleanser, and proponents use it for everything from deodorant to hair care. But because it is an alkaline substance, some people suggest that you shouldnít use it as a cure for acne. Baking soda neutralizes the bodyís natural acids, which help keep acne bacteria in check. Apply a little of it to your face, and youíre giving pimples free reign to breakout across your brow.

Baking Powder: They might look the same, but baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable. Both can produce carbon dioxide in the right conditions, giving pancakes and biscuits a light, airy texture. However, baking soda reacts with acids already found in foods, like buttermilk or yogurt. Baking powder, on the other hand, has a powdered acid in it, so it is self-leavening. Use the wrong one and your baked goods arenít going to have the right amount of rise and will have an off taste.

Adam Verymeren is a San-Francisco based gardening and home writer.

Related:
Cleaning House the Vegan Way
8 Ways Not to Use Vinegar
4 Effective and Natural DIY Drain Cleaners

Read more: Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Surprising uses for ...,

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

467 comments

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7:51AM PDT on Aug 4, 2015

What not to do, and why, is very valuable information. We could use more articles like this.

8:26AM PDT on Aug 1, 2015

Well, OK and thank you, I guess. Most of this is self-evident (like using bicarb to put out a grease fire), and anyone who puts in a serious amount of time in the kitchen knows enough to look at a conversion table before substituting baking soda for baking powder...

5:03AM PDT on Jul 31, 2015

Shared, thanks.

5:02AM PDT on Jul 31, 2015

Shared, thanks.

12:43AM PDT on Jul 25, 2015

Thanks

8:44AM PDT on Jul 16, 2015

Thanks.

3:37AM PDT on Jul 14, 2015

I knew not to use it in place of baking powder if a recipe calls for baking powder. Many recipes just call for baking soda and I knew it was when there was an acid but it's great to know the WHY! Thanks.

8:11AM PDT on Jul 10, 2015

"Fridge Freshener: Because it reacts with odor-causing acids, baking soda will make your fridge smell a little fresher. But only a little. The problem is that that tiny box has an even tinier opening, which offers up only a few square inches of surface area for smell-causing compounds to react with. For baking soda to be a truly effective odor-fighting substance, you’d have to place large trays of it in the bottom of your fridge." THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING FOR YEARS, AND IT WORKS. NOT IN A "LARGE TRAY', EXACTLY, BUT IN AN OPEN PLASTIC DISH.

5:38PM PDT on Jul 9, 2015

Thanks Editors for sharing Mr. Verwymeren's very informative article.

5:07PM PDT on Jul 9, 2015

Thanks. First time I have seen a "how NOT to use" something article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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