Sodium Bicarbonate

More and more of us are moving towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Therefore, we hear more and more about baking soda, this white powder, natural and ecological with various uses. In the kitchen, in the household, in medicine, in cosmetics or even in painting, it is found everywhere.

Baking soda comes as a very fine white powder that is odorless and soluble in water. To obtain it, there are two methods. On the one hand, bicarbonate is found naturally because it corresponds to nahcolite, a mineral species. However, this form is quite rare and non-existent in Europe, it is rather found in the United States. It is possible to import it, but the carbon footprint generated by the transport is not worth it. Instead, manufacturers have established a process for synthesizing the called Solvay process. Baking soda is obtained from natural products: salt (sodium chloride), chalk (calcium carbonate) and ammonia. In reality, there is a slight difference between baking soda and sodium bicarbonate, the former being a byproduct of the manufacture of the latter.

The properties of baking soda are numerous, let's start with its cosmetic use. 

  • The baking soda protects the enamel on the teeth and polishes them very gently to make them whiter. All you need to do is sprinkle baking soda on your toothbrush with or without toothpaste and brush them as usual. To enhance the whiteness effect you can add a drop of lemon essential oil. However, do not do this treatment more than once a week, as it may have the opposite effect and damage your teeth.
  • You can use it as a mouthwash to fight bad breath and relieve minor mouth problems. In a glass of water, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda, with or without essential oils. For good breath, clove, peppermint or lemon are recommended.
  • To make a scrub, mix water or vegetable oil with baking soda to form a smooth paste. Then gently massage your previously cleansed face to remove dead cells.
  • Apply a small amount of baking soda under your armpits to absorb moisture, fight perspiration and eliminate bad odors.
  • If your bathwater is too hard, you can add the equivalent of half a glass of baking soda to soften it and come out with very soft skin.
  • To combat itching from insect bites, chickenpox pimples, you can apply a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water to the pimple.

There are also many household uses for sodium bicarbonate.

  • Bad odors are often caused by acidic or basic substances. However, bicarbonate has a buffering power which means that it rebalances everything. Thus, it fights against bad odors. To deodorize:
    • the refrigerator: place in a cup inside of it
    • the trash or the shoes: pour a small amount into the bottom
    • the sofa or a mattress: sprinkle over the entire surface, leave to act at least 30min then vacuum. It also helps fight allergies.
    • the pipes: pour a little into the pipe, leave to act and then run the water
    • and even the dog! Like dry shampoo, sprinkle it on your pet, massage well then brush.
  • To unclog and clean the pipes, pour baking soda and then white vinegar. Avoid mixing the two in advance, they will lose their effect. When the excitement is over, turn on the water.
  • Baking soda removes traces of limestone. To do this, pour a small amount on the sponge or directly on the surface to be cleaned.
  • To remove burn marks on your dishes, simply soak baking soda and hot water in the pan, on the baking tray, or on another surface. Or, form a paste with the baking soda and water, let sit and then clean.

Finally, baking soda can be used in cooking for medication.

  • On vegetables, baking soda does two things. Before cooking, he cleans them thoroughly to remove all impurities. While cooking, it retains the color of the vegetables.
  • Bicarbonate is an excellent leavening agent. It reacts with heat, beyond 70°C there is a production of gaseous CO2. So to make soft and airy cakes, you can add a small amount of baking soda to the dough.
  • Finally, against stomach pains, add a teaspoon to a glass of water and drink the preparation. The taste is unpleasant but it is effective. However, be sure to consume it only occasionally and be careful of your environment because baking soda releases CO2 when it comes into contact with the acidity of your stomach, so it can cause belching.

Now that you know all the secrets of baking soda, how are you going to use it?

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