A home without a couple of boxes of baking soda is like a baseball team without a great relief pitcher. You may win more than you lose, but you will never be the champion you could be. That’s because to become a champion in your home, you need that little extra something to call upon when the game is on the line. Baking soda can be called in for relief under so many pressure situations that not investing in a few boxes to keep handy makes about as much sense as trading your best relief pitcher for backup first baseman.
Aging Wooden Shingles
Wooden shingles, also known as shakes, can be made to look gray and weathered by using baking soda, water and time. That’s time, not thyme. Use about a pound of baking soda for every half gallon of water and mix thoroughly. Either dip the wooden shakes into this solution or spread it evenly across the shingle; whatever is most efficient. Let the shakes air dry and before the day is out even brand new shakes you just brought home from the store that morning should have the weathered gray appearance of aging over time.
Doggie Shampoo Enhancer
You can improve the results of washing your dog with your regular shampoo by adding a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into the water when you are washing your pet. The baking soda will enhance the sheen of your dog’s coat while the shampoo continues its job of keeping his fur clean.
After a certain amount of time, your garbage disposer can start to take on the rank odor of all that food that has been poured down the drain. Keep your kitchen smelling better by regularly pouring about a fourth of a cup of baking soda down the disposer followed by hot water. This maintenance will keep the stench of all that garbage from building up and rising to your nostrils.
Canker Sore Relief
A mixture of warm water and baking soda applied to canker sores can reduce the time you have to deal with this annoyance. Lightly mix in the baking soda rather than creating a thick paste. A few applications each day should have most canker sores disappearing from view quicker than if you left them untreated.
Keep the electricity flowing to your car unabated by immediately addressing the problem of corrosion. Create a solution of about 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water and then dip a toothbrush into the mix before scrubbing the corrosion away from the battery terminals. Rinse clean and dry the terminals before reattachment. For safety’s sake, it is advisable to wear goggles and wear gloves whenever you deal with a car battery.
Fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom are much less likely to suffer abrasions if you use baking soda to clean them than some commercial cleaning powders. You can feel free to attack faucets much more vigorously when using baking soda than when using some of those harsher chemical-based scouring powders.
Itchy Plant Relief
Itchy rashes caused by contact with poison ivy, sumac and oak can all be dealt with by making a paste of water and baking soda. Mix in just enough baking soda to create a thin paste that can be applied to the affected parts of the skin that making scratching nearly impossible to resist. The baking soda paste will offer relief from the misery of itching and stop your from scratching and thereby spreading the poison even further. What baking soda won’t do is reduce the length of time the rash occurs.
Sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet before you start to vacuum. The baking soda won’t perfume the room the way that scented carpet deodorizer does, but it will be every bit as effective as removing unpleasant odors as the commercial deodorizers.
Create a much thicker paste from mixing baking soda and water than you would create for treating canker sores if you want to clean away blotches on wallpaper. When plain old soap and water won’t clean up smudges on your wallpaper, try calling on this baking soda paste to do the job. One word of warning: test the paste on a discrete area first just in case the application itself should create a stain.
Shower Door Tracks
The mold, grime, dirt and greasy buildup of soap that accumulates inside the grooves of your shower door track can be cleaned very effectively and with a minimum of work on your part by relying on baking soda. Begin by sprinkling a layer of baking soda into the groove and then add enough water to get things bubbling. After a few minutes, rinse the track clean. If the groove remains dirty, it’s time to start over and this time attack the dirtiest areas with a toothbrush.
Whiten White Paint
Any furniture inside or outside the house that has been painted white can be treated with baking soda and warm water. Not only will a solution of a tablespoon of baking soda for each quart of water clean away stains, but the baking soda will help return the white paint closer to its former brilliance.
If you want the create the same effect of raindrops beading up on the windshield of your car that you get from Rain-X, all you need is baking soda and a damp cloth. Reduce the negative effect on clear vision when driving in rain by sprinkling the baking soda onto the moistened cloth and then rubbing the cloth over the exterior of your windshield. Just like Rain-X, this will have the effect of rain beading up and rolling away. If your windshield wipers have gotten old and do more to damage to the situation than good, this use of baking soda is an especially good idea.