Thursday, June 20, 2013

Desert Island Thrifty Survival Product #1: Baking Soda,The All-Purpose Cleanser


Baking soda is my premier all-purpose body and home cleaner. If I was on a deserted island (or the Zombie Apocalypse started, pick your scenario) and could only choose 2-3 items so serve as my all-purpose everything baking soda definitely makes the cut. Here's a few of my favorite Baking Soda uses:

1. Whitening Toothpaste: Pour some baking soda into a small bowl or jar, mix in peppermint essential oil if desired. Dip your wet toothbrush into the soda. Gently brush, avoiding your gums.

2. Fridge/Home Deodorizer: Put an open box in the fridge to help absorb unwanted odor.

3. Body Deodorant: Dust some under your pits for deodorant or put some in your shoes to stay fresh.

4. Face/Body wash & Exfoliator: Moisten a small amount baking soda and use it to wash and exfoliate.

5. Shampoo: Moisten a handful or as much as needed and rub it into your scalp to get it squeaky clean.

6. Thrifter's Cleanser:  A paste of water and baking soda is an excellent cleanser for hard-to-clean thrifted finds.

Why Baking Soda? The alcohols and sulfates in conventional soap and shampoo dry out your hair and skin,  making your dependent on the line of moisturizers the brand puts out. It's a vicious cycle. Using baking soda,  home made recipes, and all natural products don't just save you hundreds of dollars- they're more effective! The slight abrasiveness is what makes it an amazing cleanser and even teeth whitener, it scrubs off surface stains. If you've got some baking soda in the house, give it a try. You may be surprised.

PS: I'd use aluminum free baking soda for any body care experimenting. I like Bob's Red Mill Premium Baking Soda.

What's your favorite baking soda use? Got any frugal DIY hygiene or home cleaning recipes to share?
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22 comments:

  1. It's a great cleaner for ceramic stove tops! Clean stove stop like you would with cleanser. For any old or stubborn stains, sprinkle and cover with a damp cloth. Let it soak for an hour and wipe clean.

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    1. Oh this is brilliant, gotta try this!

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    2. I use it for my stove too. It's a glass top so I sprinkle baking soda on top, then microwave water and vinegar for 5 minutes. I pour it directly on the baking soda, then cover it with hot wet kitchen towels and let it sit. In the meantime, microwaving the water and vinegar loosens the goo in my microwave, so I easily wipe it out. Then I just scrub the stove top for a bit and wipe it clean. Sparkle sparkle!

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    3. Haha, thanks for the useful info Melissa. I'm nerdily excited to try all of this and make the apartment sparkle!

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  2. Great tips! I'm definitely going to try the baking soda paste for cleaning!

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    1. It's excellent! I did forget to add to spot check first, especially with valuable thrift finds. Need to update.

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  3. So cheap. So versatile.

    Rock on baking soda.

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  4. It's a good deodorizer for thrifted items, too.

    I had some 1960s estate sale magnets that were musty and smelled of grandma's basement. I filled the kitchen sink with warm water and some baking soda before dumping the plastic magnets in there. I let them soak for about 10-15 minutes and there is no more odor.

    Also, it's excellent in vegan baked goods.

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    1. Oh, thanks for another awesome tip. Gonna have to do a follow-up of reader's suggestions for sure.

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  5. Where do you find aluminum free baking soda? Health food stores or would places like Wal Mart have it? I still want to try it for shampoo/face exfoliator.

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    1. You can get it on Amazon, definitely at Whole Foods and likely at other health food stores. Walmart and/or Target MAY have it since they seem to be having more natural options lately:

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VLV2V0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004VLV2V0&linkCode=as2&tag=thrcor-20

      Amazon is a great place to shop for any bulk pantry hippie stuff. :D

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    2. Actually, I feel compelled to point this out. All baking soda is 100% aluminum-free. You can look at the product ingredients list and it should say nothing but sodium bicarbonate.

      Baking POWDER on the other hand often has alum or aluminum in it as a drying agent. That is because baking powder has both the acid and the base needed to cause a reaction while baking, so wetting it down before it's in a tasty baked treat will make it not effective. If you want aluminum-free baking powder, you can make your own with baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch (cornstarch is the drying agent in this case).

      Bob's Red Mill started putting "aluminum free" on their baking soda and set off a big marketing trend. Sodium bicarbonate is the only ingredient in baking soda and it's a single molecule that doesn't contain any aluminum.

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    3. More info, that also explains why you might want to still use the natural brands of baking soda: http://www.crunchybetty.com/the-great-baking-soda-anti-hoax

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    4. Hmm...makes sense. Thanks for the tip, I didn't know the details but I guessed the "natural" hippie brand vs. the regular stuff would have something to do with either how it was harvested or packaged. Thanks for sharing that awesome, informative article.

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  6. I use the regular kind because you can buy it in bulk easier. It goes in the babies bath if he has baboon butt, in my shampoo a few times a week, and every other day I add it to my face wash. I love baking soda!

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    1. The regular kind is definitely easier, more accessible, and better than most stuff you'll buy. The box pictured in this post was fifty cents (buy one get one free) from a dollar store. I've had it for years it seems! A little bit goes a long way.

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    2. The regular kind is also aluminum free. See my post above.

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    3. Thanks again for the research, that'll learn me to google more before posting ;) haha

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  7. Glad you mentioned only using baking soda on your teeth and not your gums (although we should be brushing our gums too, to keep them healthy). The first and only time I used toothpaste that had baking soda in it, it caused my gums to bleed. I apparently apply a lot of force on my toothbrush!

    As mentioned previously, my favorite thing to use baking soda (and vinegar) for is clearing out my drains on a monthly basis. Keeps those pipes from clogging!

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    1. I need to try this one, no matter how careful we are we have problems from time to time with the drains. I think of baking soda as an occasional whitening toothpaste rather than a daily toothpaste, I use it on my gums and it's fine but I realize other people are more sensitive so I don't recommend it for everyone!

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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