Baking soda has numerous culinary, beauty, medicinal and cleaning purposes. It can be used to cleanse hair, exfoliate skin, fluff omelettes and clean grills or litter boxes.
People often use baking soda to deodorize refrigerators or include in baked goods, but baking soda has practical uses in nearly every room in the home. Baking soda freshens rugs and carpets, brightens laundry, unclogs drains, removes residue from pots and pans, and illuminates dull floor finishes. It can also put out grease fires, melt driveway and sidewalk ice as well as rock salt, and stop weeds from growing.
As a beauty aid, baking soda can be used as a dry shampoo or volumizer, teeth whitener, gargling solution, chlorine remover for hair, nail lightener and skin brightener.
Mixing 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water creates an antacid to address issues with heartburn. Baking soda can also produce instant relief from bug bites, sunburn and poison ivy.
Baking soda is also known as the chemical compound sodium bicarbonate. It differs from baking powder in that it is a pure substance, while baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, powdered acid and cornstarch. Baking soda dates back to ancient Egypt, where Egyptians used natron for cleaning purposes, a substance consisting of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate decahydrate.