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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.

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12:26AM PDT on Jun 27, 2015

I had a kitchen fire when a wok full of oil overheated. So the truth is,as a first time homeowner, I put out an oil fire the best way I knew how.I threw the contents of a box of baking soda on it and it worked.Fire was out before the fire dept arrived. Oh yes-I had another backup box in the kitchen. The small box was enough.

11:51PM PDT on Jun 26, 2015


12:02PM PDT on Jun 22, 2015

love baking soda for my teeth!

1:07PM PDT on Jun 21, 2015


12:46AM PDT on Jun 16, 2015

Will keep this in mind.

6:39AM PDT on Jun 13, 2015

Shouldn't using it as a toothpaste (mixed with salt and possibly an etheral oil) also be on this list because it's abrasive for the enamel layer on your teeth?

1:50AM PDT on Jun 12, 2015

I've got a recipe for a cleanser using 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of hot water. It's meant to replace a brand that has been advertised on tv and sells for $40.00 for a concentrate that makes 48 applications.

8:47AM PDT on Jun 6, 2015


11:39AM PDT on Jun 2, 2015

Baking soda will get rid of cancer...cancer is a fungus...mayo clinic now has done studies and have info on mother in law worked with dying cancer night her patient had a bowel movement...She said it was white...and stunk like nothing has had known before...It was taken to the lab for test...cancer. The patient was well and left the hospital with her husbond a few days later after being on her deathbed. FULLY RECOVERED. Use in your shoes and undergarments to kill odors...use in your carpets and mattress. Fill your pillow with it...1 tsp. a day cause it might do some good. I use it instead of toothpaste...when I have discomfort in my belly I drink in water...makes me burp..I love when that happens...sometimes it makes me fart.

5:01AM PDT on May 26, 2015


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