While preparing for a talk I am doing tonight at Collegiate Cleaning, Protect Your Health, Home, and Pets from Hidden Toxins, I realized that even though I know that baking soda is an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic choice for use in cleaning virtually everything, I didn’t really know how it was made or where it came from.
I know that baking sodium is also known as sodium bicarbonate. I know that it neutralizes acid. What I learned (thankfully) was that although it can be produced by artificial means, it exists in natural form, (Yay!) and is called nahcolite.
So anyway, back to using baking soda in your home…
The fine, gritty texture of baking soda makes it an excellent, gentle abrasive cleaner. It is inexpensive, fragrance-free, and safe for nearly all surfaces.
In addition to household cleaning uses, it can also be used in place of toothpaste or sprinkled around the exterior entrances and foundations of homes, to inhibit ants and other insects from crawling in.
Mixed with water, it will soothe sunburn pain and the itch of poison ivy. Made into a paste with water, it will ease the pain of bee stings. It can also be taken as an antacid. Note: Check with your doctor if you are taking prescription medications for acid-reflux.
Lately a great deal of attention has been put on “aluminum-free” baking soda. Turns out baking soda does NOT contain aluminum (regardless of whether it says aluminum-free or not on the packaging).
The difference between buying good old Arm & Hammer baking soda, which you can get very inexpensively, and buying brands like Bob’s Red Mill or Frontier, is that Arm & Hammer (and other similar brands) use a chemical process to produce baking soda while the other brands mentioned procure their sodium bicarbonate directly from the ground, in its natural state.
To sum it up, regular old baking soda is safe, effective and economical for cleaning your home. If you want to pay the extra bucks for the naturally mined baking soda, I suggest making use of it for medicinal and personal care. For example, I make my shampoo and deodorant using it.
One last note, Baking soda should not be confused with baking powder, which has added acidifying and drying agents (typically cream of tartar and starch) and DOES contain aluminum.
If you want to learn more on avoiding toxins and cleaning your home naturally, I will be giving another Protect Your Health, Home, and Pets from Hidden Toxins talk in Pinellas Park on Saturday, September 22nd 11am-Noon at Pura Vida Wellness Spa.
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