Baking Soda: The Safe Alternative To Bleach

Baking soda aka. 'Sodium bicarbonate'. Chances are high that it's in your refrigerator placed way in the back in a yellow box with the flap open to absorb odors but do you know the history on this simple but naturally occurring compound? Read on to find out more...

Using  bicarbonate  of  soda against microbes and stains is nothing new. The Egyptians  used it in  3000 BC for its deodorizing  properties. It is antiseptic, antifungal and a mild exfoliant. It is just as safe to use on your  face or teeth as it is on your bathtub.

Why Baking Soda Works

Baking soda, a white solid powder, comes from natural mineral springs. Mined from  a  mineral  called  'Nahcolite', the name is derived from its chemical formula (NaHCO3)  it has been used in many ways since ancient times. Egyptians mined this mineral salt and used it to make soap for cleaning, glass for ornamental use and as a leavening agent in bread. Today, it can still be found in approximately fifteen percent of all ornamental glass manufactured.

Baking soda is a very useful green cleaning agent. It is a moderate alkali with a pH of 10.3, so it neutralizes the acidic substances found in most household food stains and odoriferous deposits. Baking soda cleans, deodorizes, scours and softens water. It also neutralizes many acidic stains such as juice, sauce, wine and many other food stains naturally!

There are many ways to use baking soda for natural house cleaning. When baking soda is mixed with vinegar, it reacts and bubbles, creating carbonic acid. This is useful in cleaning since this mild acid boosts the action of the vinegar and enhances the scrubbing effect of the baking soda. For tough stains, add a little Kosher salt for a safe but effective abrasive.

The cost of cleaning your home does not have to be expensive. Baking soda only costs a couple of cents per use. It also reduces long term health concerns for your family and helps the environment with reduction of pollution from chemical use. As you know from our 'Natural Cleaning For Healthier Home' page that seventy percent of asthma sufferers also have allergies and/or chemical sensitivities. Natural home cleaning should be part of the regiment to help reduce the symptoms. By reducing synthetic products used in the home, you will reduce some of the triggers that cause asthma and allergy attacks.

Our Long Island cleaning service uses baking soda in each and every one of our houses. If you'd like to try our green cleaning recipes, please visit our 'baking soda recipes' page coming soon.

Fun Facts About Baking Soda

Did You Know?

  • Made By Humans- Sodium bicarbonate is produced inside the human body! Our bodies use it to help maintain the correct pH levels in the blood stream. It also neutralizes stomach acids and coronary plaque. Additionally, it carries carbon dioxide from bodily tissue to the lungs.
  • Baking Soda Volcano! Mold a volcano shape around an empty bottle made from 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil and 2 cups warm water. The mixture should be smooth and firm. Add more warm water if needed. Stand the soda bottle in the baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Don't cover the opening or drop dough in it. Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food color. Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle contents. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the contents. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. Watch the eruption!
  • William Wrigley's Fortune- In 1891 William Wrigley Jr. started selling his father's soap. To provide people with a reason to buy his soap, he started giving out a can of baking soda along with it. When the baking soda proved to be more popular than the soap, he decided to switch to selling baking soda full time. History has a funny way of repeating itself. Someone suggested that Wrigley give away a couple of packs of bubble gum with each baking soda purchase. Eventually the bubble gum became so popular, Wrigley switched to bubble gum full time and Wrigley's Gum was started!
  • Current Research Shows- 100 years ago, my grandmother once told me, her family brushed their teeth with baking soda. Current scientific research shows that the alkalinity and abrasiveness of baking soda is a perfect match for our teeth. It's no wonder so many companies are incorporating it into the toothpaste products we buy today!