Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline, but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). It’s a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many natural mineral springs.
Because it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda. The term baking soda is more common in the United States, whilst bicarbonate of soda is more common in Australia and Britain. In many northern/central European countries the term used is Natron and can often be found near baking powder in stores. In colloquial usage, the names sodium bicarbonate and bicarbonate of soda are often truncated; forms such as sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, bicarbonate, and bicarb are common. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus (meaning “aerated salt”), was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. It is also known as food additive number E500.
1) In fact baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is just too useful to be true. It is an alkaline substance that helps regulate pH, making something either an acid or a base. When baking soda gets mixed with an acid, it automatically alters the pH level, which leads to a quick pain relief or covers bad smells.
2) Baking soda is well known as a paste for whitening teeth. In fact, it is a widely known secret that many toothpaste manufacturers use baking soda as a primary ingredient. It follows therefore that you can feel free to use baking soda as a natural toothpaste to polish your teeth and get wonderful whitening results.
3) Baking soda will also clean a kitchen sink product. Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface, let it fester for 5 min then scrub it with a sponge. Add lemon juice to the mix for a fresher smell!
4) Baking soda’s mild abrasive capacities make it a useful all-purpose cleaner. Two cups of baking soda mixed with several drops of essential oil can be used clean the entire house.
5) Tarnished jewellery, especially silver jewellery can benefit from baking soda! Take an aluminium foil-lined bowl, fill it with hot water and add baking soda. Then, soak your silver jewellery and leave until the tarnish transfers from the silver to the water. Remove the jewellery and wipe it with a soft lint-free cloth, to remove the remains of the tarnish. This also works for decorative silver.
6) Another use for baking soda is stain removal. For example, it can work miracles on carpet. First, sprinkle a little of baking soda on top of the stain, let it sit for a few minutes until it dries then finally vacuum the stain away!
7) In addition to being a mild abrasive, baking soda can be a very strong deodorizer. An open box of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator will effectively neutralize odours, as well as absorb bad scents and freshen up the air!
8) Putting half-a-cup of baking soda in with the detergent in the washing machine will freshen up towels and get rid of smelly odours.
9) Baking soda can absorb excess oil in your hair, making it an effective and natural dry shampoo. Mix a pinch of baking soda with hot water and then, sprinkle it over your scalp. When dry brush out naturally.
10) Baking soda is also great for a calming bath. It can relieve muscle pain, ease tension whilst exfoliating and softening the skin as you enjoy a wonderful and relaxing bath. An inordinate amount of salt in the body’s tissues can lead to swollen legs. Baking soda can be used to relieve this. 1½ tsp of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water then used to soak a pair of cotton socks worn for several hours then removed and the legs wrapped in plastic food wrap will produce