OK, it’s been a while but how about some great tips to soften the blow? My first one will be about that wonder of all wonders – baking soda. Just about all my friends know I’m crazy about the stuff, and have found a million uses for it. I won’t post all 1 million, but here are some that I use on a regular basis and swear by:
1. Scouring powder substitute: I almost never use scouring powder, since baking soda can handle 99% of my “scouring needs”! (On those rare occasions were it doesn’t work, I use Bon Ami. Please do NOT use Comet or Ajax- they can be toxic and corrosive. )
2. Tooth and Gum Health: Together with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda is a safe “toothpaste” that not only costs pennies, but the addition of peroxide helps with gum care! I am not claiming it’s an absolute on this, but I’ve found it has (for me) also helped whiten my teeth. (Note: Be sure to store hydrogen peroxide in a dark bottle, since light or sunlight degrades it.)
3. Stain cleaner: Making a paste of baking soda and a bit of water will give you a very useful and effective cleaning paste for things like coffee pots, stains on porcelain or china, even glasses and counter tops! Let the mixture sit a few minutes (I’ve left it overnight, just to be sure), and wash out normally. For pennies – literally – you have replaced all those fancy cleaners, and helped the environment, too. Baking soda is safe to put down drains; not so with those chemical cleaners.
4. Laundry Helper: Baking soda and “washing soda” are similar, but not the same thing. I’m not talking washing soda here (another time), but adding a little baking soda to your laundry will help whiten and brighten it, without staining colors, like bleach does. It also seems to help rinse out the laundry soap more efficiently.
5. Nail brightener: OK, I admit I found this out by accident, while washing some tough stains on a porcelain bowl in the sink. Baking soda will whiten your fingernails!! It also softens your hands. I keep a shaker of it by the dish soap, and use it to wipe down my counters and clean out the sink after draining the water. Just doing that even whitens my nails, so enjoy the side effects of soft hands and bright white nails while getting your dishes done!
These are just the tips about baking soda I use on a frequent basis. There are so many more, but I bet you have some of your own to submit, so let us know. Wj