Let Baking Soda help you go green in 2012!

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Did you know that baking soda (AKA sodium bicarbonate) is so useful that someone decided to give it it’s own holiday? Honestly, December 30, 2011 is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day! This oh so handy grocery item is used in baking, cooking, de-odorizing, cleaning, polishing, and tons of other ways.

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This simple looking pantry item actually has quite a rich history. Ancient Egyptians used natural deposits of sodium bicarbonate as a type of soap. In 1791  French chemist Nicolas Leblanc created sodium bicarbonate powder in the lab and voila…instant success! Factories started churning this stuff out in mass quantities for bakers in 1846 and the Arm & Hammer brand was born. The molecular formula for sodium bicarbonate is CHNa03. Remember that…it may come in handy for your next game of Trivial Pursuit!

Baking soda is cheap and easy to find in just about every grocery store around. It can be used to replace many of the harsh cleaning products you may be using in your home. And it isn’t just for cleaning, either! A sprinkle of baking soda and some essential oils make a great addition to your evening bath! Want a few suggestions on how sodium bicarbonate can help you go green in 2012? Keep reading!

1. Clean and deodorize baby toys safely. Use 4 TBSP in 1 gallon of water and use to wipe down toys.
2. Add to your drains regularly to help keep your septic system flowing freely.
3. Sprinkle lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub sinks, showers, tubs, and counters. Rinse with plain water.
4,  Sprinkle a little bit in the bottom of your trash can to absorb odors.
5. Make homemade modeling clay that hardens after drying.
6. Scrub outdoor grill grate with a wire brush and a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to one part warm water) to remove burnt on foods.
7. Use as an antacid to battle indigestion. As with any medical treatment, consult your doctor first.
8. Use it to help clean your teeth. Mix baking soda with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.
9. Use as a natural skin exfoliator. 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and rub gently on skin, then rinse.
10. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak your feet. It will help soften the skin, deodorize, and wash away perspiration.

There are so many uses for baking soda in our everyday lives that the list would be too long to include here! There are even studies researching it’s therapeutic effects on certain cancers, although this is still rather controversial.

No matter what you need cleaned or deodorized this year, why not consider skipping the harsh chemicals and grab a few boxes of baking soda instead. You will reduce your family’s exposure to dangerous cleansers and do your part to keep our water supply safe as well!

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