Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, the same qualities that make baking soda a tenderizer and a leaven, also make it a great cleaning product. Baking soda is weakly alkaline. As such, it acts to neutralize acids and break down proteins.
Baking soda’s finely gritty texture makes it an excellent, gentle abrasive cleaner. It is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, fragrance-free, and safe for nearly all surfaces, making it ideal for household use. As a mild abrasive agent, baking soda can also be used in place of toothpaste.
Also, it is baking soda’s neutralizing action on acidic scent molecules that makes it an effective deodorizer. Added to the water when doing laundry, baking soda stabilizes the pH level, enhancing the detergent’s effectiveness. Baking soda may also be added to swimming pool water to balance the pH and keep the water clear.
As an acid neutralizer, baking soda is a great first-aid tool. Dissolved into a lukewarm bath, it will soothe the discomfort of sunburn and the itch of poison ivy. Made into a paste with cool water and applied directly to the skin, it will ease the pain of bee stings. One-half teaspoon baking soda mixed into 4 ounces (120 ml) of water can be taken as an antacid. Note: Those taking prescription medications or following a reduced-sodium diet should check with a physician before consuming baking soda.
Sprinkled around the exterior entrances to and foundations of homes, it may prohibit ants and other insects from crawling in, as it is irritating to their chitinous exoskeletons and they avoid it.