This article by our friend Andrew J. Jackson at Prepography.com
‘The Art & Study of Self-Reliance’
Today we add another article in our Top 10 series…this time it’s the Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Baking Soda
What is Baking Soda?
Baking Sodais composed of pure sodium bicarbonate. This common leavening agent is added to baked goods which causes them to rise due to the production of carbon dioxide bubbles. Baking Soda reacts chemically to help neutralize and regulate pH in substances that are to alkaline or acidic. Baking Soda differs from Baking Powder in that Baking Powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, an acidifying agent and a drying agent.
Sodium bicarbonate, also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate is a naturally occurring compound but can also be produced using the solvay process.
Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Baking Soda
- Odor Neutralization: There’s a reason your mama kept an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator…it absorbs and neutralizes odors by neutralizing the pH of odor producing nastiness. It can do the same thing when sprinkled on odor producing garbage, spills or even carpets (let stand for at least 15 minutes). It can also be used to remove an odor from a container…use with hot water and leave the water and Baking Soda mixture in the container overnight. Add to animal litter or bedding to reduce odor.
- Personal Hygiene: Apply directly under arms or mix with warm water and apply with a cloth after bathing to reduce body odor smells during the day. Mix with hydrogen peroxide or use directly as a toothpaste substitute. Wash your hands with Baking Soda to remove odors.
- Medicinal: Soothe heartburn with a teaspoon of Baking Soda added to six ounces of water. Mix into a paste with water to soothe skin if mildly sunburned, bitten by insects or suffering from poison ivy. It can also be added to bathwater to soothe mild rashes. A paste made from Baking Soda will reportedly extract splinters. Mix with water and gargle to soothe canker sores (reportedly freshens mouth as well).
- Extinguish Fires: You can extinguish small fires by dumping the Baking Soda on the fire…this even works with grease fires.
- Cleaning Surfaces: Sprinkle some on the item you wish to clean and wipe with a damp cloth before rinsing with clean water. Will also clean silver, chrome, and cast iron when mixed into a paste (3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part warm water)…use a soft cloth. Will help remove burned on food from pots…sprinkle with Baking Soda, add hot water and let soak overnight. It will also remove mildew (scrub with hot or warm water and a cloth).
- Laundry: Can be added to laundry detergent to extend its use and freshen garments or pretreat stains (when mixed with water to make a paste).
- Garden and Homestead: Reportedly repels rabbits, ants and cockroaches as well as sweetens tomatoes (add as soil amendment for tomatoes).
- Automotive & Machinery: Mix a little Baking Soda with Water and add to corroded battery terminals…soon you’ll be able to wash the corrosion away.
- Cooking (other than baking): In addition to baking you can use it to ‘tame the game…’ soak your wild game or fish in a Baking Soda solution to tone down the taste. A teaspoon added to egg dishes (1 per 3 eggs) will make the eggs fluffier.
- Making Leavened Bread and Cakes: Didn’t think I was going to leave this one off did you?
Baking Soda will last a long time if stored in an airtight container and is cheap (about a half dollar per pound in large bags) and easy to buy in bulk online, at feed stores (likely not food grade) or at the big box stores. If you want to see if your Baking Soda has expired (it doesn’t expire so much as loose its potency over time) you can do so by combining 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda with 3 teaspoons of vinegar…if it bubbles you’re still in business.
What other preparedness uses are there? Use the comments to add your own thoughts.