Monday, July 26, 2010

Pantry Potpourri: Baking Soda

Pantry Potpourri:

The Benefits of Baking Soda

Chances are, you've got a box or two of Baking Soda lying around your pantry just waiting for addition to your favorite cake or cookie recipe. Baking Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate as it's also named, is most commonly used as a levening agent in doughs and batters. But Baking Soda's usefulness doesn't stop there! There are hundreds of uses for this bubbly powder all around the home.

Deodorize your Fridge: If you want foods to stay fresh and eliminate overpowering food odors put a newly opened box of Baking Soda in your refrigerator every 30-40 days. There are even specially designed packages of vented Baking Soda for double the baking soda exposure and thus double the freshening results.

Liquid Laundry Booster:
Add 1/2 cup of Baking Soda to each load of laundry when using liquid laundry detergent to balance the ph and get your clothes cleaner, fresher and brighter.

Carpet Freshener: Did you know that one of the main ingredients in carpet deodorizers is often Baking Soda? If you don't want to pay for all the frills of floor powders, simply sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let stand for 10 minutes and then vacuum up the leftover residue. You'll get the same results or even better than name brand carpet deodorizers by using pure Baking Soda without all the added scented "fluff".

Shoe Deodorizer: Just sprinkle a little Baking Soda in shoes, boots or slippers to absorb odor causing moisture. Remember to tap out any extra baking soda before wearing again.

Chlorine Bleach Booster: Add 1/2 cup of Baking Soda with a 1/2 cup of bleach (instead of the usual 1 cup of bleach) will boost the brightening power of your bleach and help reduce smelly chemical odors too! www.arm&

Bee Sting Soother: Soothe the inflammation and pain of bee stings with a paste of Baking Soda and water and leave it on the affected area for 15-20 minutes.

Hand Cleanser: If you've got onion, fish or other strong odors embedded in your hands from food prep, rub a paste of Baking Soda and water between your hands and eliminate all the smelly traces.

Cleaning Grills: Sprinkle barbeque grills with dry Baking Soda on a damp brush, scrub and rinse clean. For tough, greasy stains, scrub with a wire brush and a Baking Soda paste (3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part warm water). www.arm&

Towel, Washrag Cleaner: Can't get the chlorine or sour odors out of towels or kitchen sink cloths? Add 1/2 cup of Baking Soda to the laundry rinse cycle to easily eliminate odors.

Garbage Can Deodorizer: Sprinkle Baking Soda in the bottom of your garbage can and in between garbage layers to minimize odor build up.

Polish Silver: Rub a Baking Soda cleaning paste made with 3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part water onto dulled silver with a clean cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry. This mixture will also remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors.

Fire Eliminator: You probably already know this tip, but it's definitely worth mentioning. Baking Soda can actually work as an excellent fire extinguisher. For small fires, unplug affected appliances or turn off gas/electricity if safe to do so and throw handfuls of Baking Soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire. Make sure to also call 911 just to be safe.

Modeling Clay: For a great homemade modeling clay that hardens after drying, try Arm & Hammer Play Clay. Use it to make decorations, ornaments, jewelry, magnets, boxes, and more!

2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup corn starch
1-1/4 cups cold water (can add food coloring to color clay)

Stir together Baking Soda and Corn Starch in saucepan. Add water (and food coloring if desired) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches consistency of moist mashed potatoes (approximately 10-15 minutes).
Remove mixture to plate and cover with a damp cloth.

When Play Clay is cool to the touch, pat until smooth. Air dry clay shapes on a wire rack (eight hours to overnight). Or, pre-heat oven to lowest setting. Turn off, then place finished shapes on a cookie sheet in over for 10-15 minutes. Protect finished projects with clear nail polish or clear acrylic spray paint (follow manufacturer's directions). Store any unused Play Clay in the refrigerator for up to one week -

Baking Soda isn't just for cooking! It really is a household workhorse and can be used almost anywhere to freshen, brighten and clean. For more ideas on how to utilize your pantry staples visit, your #1 source for savings.

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