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Friday FeatureHealthMUSINGS

Friday Feature: Baking Soda

By March 11, 2011June 20th, 20222 Comments

Buy one, get one free. Get two for one. Fifty percent off sale. However it’s termed, I think we all like a deal where we get more when we only spend for one. What bothers me, though, is when I can’t use the second item or don’t want it. I usually have that problem with clothes at a discount store where the inventory is already limited. I have a hard time finding another item to complete my deal. I’m so glad this is not the case with several natural, non-toxic household products I use. I get more than a ‘two for one’ with most of them, and for a recovering strong black woman trying not to have a specific something for everything, that’s definitely a break that I more than welcome.

Baking soda
The advertisement on the box doesn’t exaggerate. There is a bunch of ways to use baking soda. Of course I use baking soda to clean my teeth if I run out of toothpaste and have used some with water the rare times I get heartburn, but following are the ways I use baking soda on a regular basis:

  • Cleaning fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • I wet fruit then rub a little baking soda on each piece. For soft produce and items that have a lot of ground in dirt, like beets, I soak them in a half sink-full of cold water with about a tablespoon of baking soda for about ½ hour. This is my preferred way to clean my mustard, turnip and collard greens. I rinse with cool water after rubbing and soaking.

  • Cleaning sinks and tubs.
  • After the boxes I use to deodorize the refrigerator and freezer need to be changed, I use these old boxes as cleansers for my bathroom and kitchen. This is the ultimate two for one!

  • Tenderizing greens.
  • Sometimes I just can’t find the small (young) collard green leaves, only the large ones, which are almost always tough. If cooking them a little longer than usual doesn’t work or I don’t have time to cook them for extra time, I put a pinch or two of baking soda in the pot toward the end of the cooking cycle. They easily go from tough to tender in a matter of minutes. I also use this method with other tough greens.

  • Cleaning my locks.
  • When I wore my hair straight and had product build up on my strands and my regular shampoo wouldn’t work, I would just switch to a different shampoo. That doesn’t always work with my dreadlocks. A natural hair care specialist gave me the tip of cleaning my locks with baking soda and this has worked well for me: I pour the desired amount of baking soda in a dish with enough water to make a paste. I then take the paste and rub it vigorously on a group of locks, particularly the ones where I can clearly see product and dirt build up. I rinse with warm water and my hair is literally squeaky clean. The baking soda can be drying so I make sure to follow up with a hot oil treatment.

    I hope these tips are as helpful for you as they are for me. Besides for baking, what are some ways that you use baking soda?

    Copyright 2011 by Rhonda J. Smith


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