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Slow life in the French country

The thousand and one powers of bicarbonate of soda

For me, having the healthiest life possible encompasses all aspects of our lives. In addition to eating properly and getting fresh air every day, it also involves the products we consume and use in our daily lives.
I remember realizing, a few years ago, while talking to my grandmother about “what it was like when she was little,”
that to lead a “healthier” and more environmentally-friendly life, all we had to do was go back to what the “elders” did.
The elders had this knowledge of nature and its benefits and lived much more in harmony with it than we do today, simply because they knew, instinctively, that they needed it.


To become aware of this is to become aware of all its importance. It is also to become aware of all that it brings to us. Someone once said to me: « God made the world well; everything that we need he put into nature. » No matter the name each of us gives « God», it is still true.


Respecting and protecting the nature that surrounds us, living in harmony with it, seems to me to be a matter of course. It starts with small gestures of daily life. For that I discovered a very good ally: the bicarbonate of soda.
Nicknamed « the all-purpose powder », the uses of bicarbonate of soda are infinite, or almost.
In this article, I have gathered all the possible uses of bicarbonate of soda I knew or could find in order to help us use it in our daily life.
This list, although quite large, is certainly not exhaustive.

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« The all-purpose powder »


Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda is a crystalline, white, odorless powder, obtained by a process combining two natural mineral raw materials: salt and limestone. It is also known as sodium bicarbonate. Its anti-acid, effervescent, and soft, abrasive properties allow it to be considered as a “miracle” product, thanks to its multiple applications. Totally natural, bicarbonate of soda is a product that is both ecological and economical. Non-toxic, non-flammable, and biodegradable, it conveniently replaces many anti-limescale products, laundry detergents, deodorants, and cleaning products … all of which are expensive and polluting.


The different types of bicarbonate of soda:


To begin with, an important note: you must not confuse bicarbonate of soda with sodium carbonate which cannot be used in the same way.

▪ THE BAKING SODA FOOD
This can be consumed by humans. It is processed to a level of purity that guarantees a healthy use for the human body. This bicarbonate is also the most versatile of all: it can be used for health, cooking, household tasks, animals, and gardening.
OFFICIAL (or “medicinal” or “pharmaceutical”) BICARBONATE OF SODA
Considered the purest of the bicarbonates, it is also the most expensive. Its use is strictly medical.
TECHNICAL BICARBONATE OF SODA
More abrasive than the previous two, it cannot be used for human consumption. Its use is limited to household tasks. Be careful to use gloves if you use it.

Conservation :

Baking soda has an almost unlimited shelf life. It is recommended to keep it in its original packaging, away from heat and humidity, and out of reach of children.


The uses of bicarbonate of soda:


1° Health*
– To treat mouth ulcers: Make a mouthwash by diluting 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a ½ cup of water. Rinse well.
– To relieve heartburn: Drink 1 teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of water.
– To relax, in a foot bath: Dilute ½ cup of baking soda for 1L of warm water.


2° Hygiene
– To have good breath: Gargle 1 teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of cold water.
– To whiten the teeth: Mix baking soda with a little water on the toothbrush to obtain a paste. Brush your teeth with it.
Note: Limit its use to 1 time per week maximum to not damage the enamel of the teeth. Avoid if you have fragile teeth or fragile gums.

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3° Cooking
– Baking soda replaces baking powder: Count 1 teaspoon for 500g flour.
– To clean fruits and vegetables: Use bicarbonated water by diluting ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for 2L of water.
– To clean stainless steel without scratching it: Scrub with a paste made of 3 parts bicarbonate and one part water, applied to a sponge. Rinse, blot, and wipe dry.
– Baking soda preserves the color of vegetables during cooking. Indeed, bicarbonate prevents chlorophyll and carotenoids from oxidizing.


4° Housekeeping

Deodorant
Bicarbonate of soda can deodorize fabric sofas, carpets, and rugs, and it can revive their colors. To do this, simply sprinkle baking soda evenly over them. Let the product work for 15 minutes up to 24 hours in case of persistent odors. Then, vacuum up any remaining product.
It also eliminates odors in enclosed spaces: Place the equivalent of half a cup (150 g) of bicarbonate of soda in the confined space. Replace every 3 months.


All Purpose Detergent
To make an all-purpose detergent: Mix ½ glass of pure soap (shavings, grated, or liquid) with 4L of hot water. Allow to dissolve. Add ¼ glass of white vinegar or 20 drops of essential oil or lemon juice. Then, add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Mix. Wait for effervescence to subside. Use with a spray bottle.

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Laundry machine
– To clean the iron soleplate: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda directly on the iron and scrub with a damp cloth.
– Bicarbonate of soda increases the effectiveness of the ecological detergent and preserves the shine of the laundry machine: Add 1 tablespoon (25 g) of bicarbonate of soda to the wash cycle.
– It also neutralizes persistent and unpleasant odors from fabrics: Add 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to the rinse cycle.
– It prevents the formation of scale in the washing machine: For this, apply half a cup (150 g) of bicarbonate to an empty wash about once a month.


Bathroom
– Bicarbonate of soda can be used as a scouring agent in the bathroom: Put it directly on a damp sponge and scrub surfaces such as the sink, washbasin, etc.
– To clean tiles: Pour bicarbonate of soda on a used toothbrush and scrub between the tiles to clean them.
– To remove scale from faucets and toilets: Scrub with a paste made of 3 parts bicarbonate of soda and 1 part hot water, using a cloth or brush to remove the most stubborn traces (the addition of lemon can further the result).
– To wash the shower stall door: Use a damp sponge sprinkled with bicarbonate of soda. Rinse with warm water, and dry.
– To remove mold and mildew: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on mold and mildew and leave for a few minutes. Scrub with a sponge, rinse, and dry.
– To clean the bathtub: Sprinkle abundantly with bicarbonate. Then, scrub the surfaces with a soft, damp sponge. Rinse and dry.
– To deodorize and avoid persistent odors from sinks, bathtubs, and shower trays: Pour half a cup of bicarbonate into the siphon. Run hot water through it.


Kitchen
– To clean pans and dishes: Remove encrusted deposits by sprinkling the bicarbonate of soda directly on the dirtiest surfaces, then add hot water. Leave for at least 15 minutes, clean, and rinse.
– To clean silverware: Soak it in hot water with a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. Scrub and rinse.
– To make silver shine: Scrub it with a cloth soaked with bicarbonate of soda, and then brush thoroughly.
– To clean the oven: Mix ½ glass of bicarbonate of soda with ¼ glass of hot water and a few drops of organic lemon essential oil. Apply the mixture to the walls, let dry for 6 to 12 hours, then rinse with a damp sponge.
– For the dishwasher: It is possible to replace the rinsing liquid with bicarbonate of soda. It is also possible to mix half with the dishwashing liquid (50/50).
– To remove traces of food or limescale from sinks and faucets: Scrub them with a sponge on which you have applied a mixture of 3/4 bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 water, rinse, and wipe off.
– To clean the walls of the refrigerator or freezer: Use 1L of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda
– To remove stains or mold marks: Prepare a paste made of 3 parts of bicarbonate of soda to 1 part of water, apply to a sponge, and scrub.

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Garden
– Make a fungicide: Mix 4 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda in 4L of water. Spray this mixture on fruits. Repeat this operation once a week for 2 months and after each rain.
– To slow down the regrowth of unwanted weeds: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda between the stones or slabs of the garden or patio.
– To repel pests and protect plants: Mix 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour two teaspoons of this mixture into 30 cl of water and wet the plants with a spray bottle, avoiding putting it directly on the the flowers. Repeat the operation every 3 weeks.
– Against mildew: Spray the following mixture on the contaminated leaves: 1 teaspoon of baking soda + 1 teaspoon of liquid Marseille soap per liter of water. This preventive and curative treatment with bicarbonate of soda can be used to treat the vegetable as well as to look after a vegetable garden, fruit trees, rose trees, and flowers.
– Cut flowers: Bicarbonate of soda is also used to extend the life of flowers in vases. To preserve cut flowers longer, put a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in the vase.
– Clean the barbecue and remove food residue and burnt grease from the plates and grills: Scrub with a bicarbonate paste (1 part water and 3 parts bicarbonate of soda) on a sponge or a hard bristle brush in case of stubborn deposits. Then rinse and dry.
– Remove deposits and stains from plastic garden furniture (seats, tables…): Clean them with hot water and bicarbonate (2 tablespoons per liter of water). Scrub, then rinse.


Some limits:


The use of baking soda has some limitations.
It is not compatible with all materials, for example: aluminum, waxed surfaces, ceramic plates, marble, quartz, and fragile fabrics such as wool and silk.

Be careful not to mix bicarbonate of soda with vinegar in a closed bottle! The formation of foam and CO2 increases the
pressure and makes the cap pop. Avoid getting baking soda in your eyes.
Baking soda is not recommended for pregnant women, for people suffering from heart failure, for people with high blood pressure (because of its salt content), and for children under the age of 6 years old.
In excess, baking soda can be counterproductive.

* it is not advice from a health expert

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