Well, I’m up earlier than I should be, given the hour I went to bed and also given my childlessness. (I try to cherish these sweet years that allow me to sleep if I want to sleep, as long as I’m willing to let the dog have an accident and the chickens complain at me loudly through the windows and the garden get baked in the August sun.)
Since one of the reasons I’m up is baking-soda-centric, I thought I’d hand out a little prose ode to baking soda. I love the stuff. I use baking soda for heheheheverything. It’s cheap, it’s abrasive, it’s odor-absorbing, it maintains its pH, it’s a leavening agent – it’s nature’s miracle. Following are five ways I’ve employed this superhero of the under-sink realm, just this week!
1. Jewelry cleaner
These are my wedding rings prior to cleaning them with a solution of baking soda and hot water. I just boiled a cup of water, mixed it with one teaspoon of baking soda, let them sit for five minutes, and then gave them a little scrub with a toothbrush for good measure. Here’s the after picture – I tried to take it in the same light, but it did end up being a closer photo:
So sparkly! It may be hard to tell from the photo, but they look brand new, which is nice after a five-year stint on my finger. Joe’s is not pictured because, well, apparently tungsten is a metal that doesn’t really get dirty, and the soak didn’t make a difference.
2. Homemade “Soft Scrub”
Have you guys ever used that cleaner? Soft Scrub is a cleaning MACHINE. Back in the day, I used it when my guy friends were moving out of apartments they had rented and needed help cleaning (which was always), because it picked up years of uncleaned who-knows-what with just a squeeze of the bottle and a swipe of the rag. Grimy sink? No problem. Toilet bowl stains? Can do. Cat-In-The-Hat-like ring around the tub? Handled.
The downside is that it contains bleach and lots of unpronounceable ingredients that I am uncomfortable having on my skin. I’m not a chemist so I don’t know about how different solutions may react to produce something toxic, nor am I very meticulous, so I want to make sure that what’s in my house is okay to be absorbed or ingested.
Fortunately, this three-ingredient version from Live Renewed whips up quick as a flash, and works absolutely as well. Baking soda for the win! You can add essential oils like tea tree oil, too, for good smells and more anti-bacterial oomph.
3. Homemade deodorant
I’m one of those, it’s true. If I can make it in under five minutes with ingredients I already have laying around, I am doing it. Over the past year or so, I have overcome the self-pressure of thinking everything in my life has to be homemade, and am a lot more internally healthy for it. The truth is, though, I enjoy making things from scratch and I do not enjoy the ingredients in regular deodorant – nor do I enjoy paying $7 for a stick of the “natural” stuff.
My current favorite recipe – again, three ingredients, plus essential oils if you want it scented – is from the Crunchy Betty blog, though there are variations all over the internet. Baking soda, organic corn starch or arrowroot powder, and coconut oil. It takes two minutes to whip together, and lasts a month or more for two people.
4. Tooth powder
This is a new one for me. I had not yet ventured into the world of homemade toothpaste, but this week’s recipe from Mommypotamus inspired me. Here it is.
Again, the ingredients (baking soda being a primary) are ones I already had around the house, with the exception of activated charcoal. That was 10 bucks for a big ol’ bottle in the vitamin aisle, and was definitely the only disconcerting part of the experience. Charcoal is black. It’s weird to look in the mirror while brushing your teeth and see a horror movie coming out of your mouth. Really, it”s just black foam, and it rinses right off. It pulls those tooth stains right out, though, along with helping to balance the pH of your mouth and aiding in the remineralization process. I am looking forward to some naturally whitened teeth.
5. Heartburn remedy
Ahhhhh, the reason I was up early this morning. Last night, Joseph and I had big fun with our friend Matt. It began as a mild-mannered game night, but of course I had to make everyone try my new favorite margarita recipe. And a gin and tonic is just delicious any time. And we were hungry, so this week’s batch of spicy chipotle salsa was opened.
And then I got heartburn.
And then we went to happy hour at my new favorite place for margherita pizzas.
And then I went promptly to bed.
If anyone would like a recipe for pretty awful heartburn, see above. Fortunately, in extreme cases like this (extreme for me is heartburn that wakes you up the next morning), I present once again: baking soda.
That distillery glass pictured contains a half-teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water, and now my chest cavity is no longer feeling like premature death. I wouldn’t use this all the time – if I had trouble with regular heartburn (I used to, it got better with a real food diet) I would look into a more sustainable remedy. You don’t want to be constantly messing with your pH balance, you want to find the root. Or at least, I did. It sure did come in handy today, though.
Now, go have some fun with that orange box in your cabinet!