- To remove small food particles and "bleach" stained straws. We drink fruit smoothies and veggie/fruit juices everyday in our house. The straws on Sage's smoothie cups easily fill up with seeds or become stained. Either I couldn't find a brush narrow enough to push through the straw, or I didn't want to spend the money. Regardless, I discovered this: place the straws flat, side-by-side, in the bottom of a glass bowl and cover with water. Sprinkle 2-3 T. of baking soda into the water or on the straws. Put bowl in microwave for 5 minutes. Boiling water "activates" the baking soda, and together they boil out the food particles and staining residues. Let cool 5-10 minutes, then place bowl in the sink. Pour white vinegar over the top. It will fizz, further cleaning and removing food.
- To whiten and brighten teeth. You probably already know about this use. Brushing teeth with a teaspoon of baking soda twice a day removes stains caused by coffee and other foods.
- To sub as deodorant. Pat under arms like a powder to absorb odors. Works well but you might have to reapply a couple of times a day.
- As a facial scrub to deter blackheads. I thought this might be too caustic for my skin, but when baking soda is added with warm water (not boiling), it becomes surprisingly pasty and gentle. I use it every morning and evening, now. My skin looks cleaner, clearer and much younger.
- To treat mosquito and other insect bites. Safe enough to use on babies. When we first moved to the Texas Coast, Sage was only 6 mos. I didn't want to use insect repellents or any synthetic chemicals AT ALL on her delicate skin. (Still don't like to have contact with the stuff, actually.) I used natural products and just generally kept her inside during peak mosquito infestations (e.g., after a heavy rain, at sunrise or sunset.) A couple of times, however, a very determined little bug made his way inside and bit her while she slept. I made a paste of baking soda and water and dabbed it on bites on her face and neck. But for bites from the neck down, I added a teaspoon to her bathwater. They healed so fast!
I use baking soda in nearly all my cleaning "concoctions" and most of my homemade personal care products. I buy a 4-lb box (avg. $2.50) every 2-3 weeks. I save a fortune and have the peace of mind knowing I'm doing my part to clean up the planet while keeping my family clean and healthy.