Buy less, live more: Baking soda in the garden and kitchen



Our favorite household product just keeps getting better.  We already know that we can clean just about anything with it, including ourselves.  If the inexpensive price of baking soda doesn’t convince you, then maybe some of these ideas will.  It’s time to explore more handy and fun ways to use baking soda, inside and outside of your home.

Garden and Lawn Outside of your house, baking soda can solve some of the peskiest problems.  Sweep some into the cracks on your sidewalk and drive way to help prevent weeds, or combine baking soda, water, and dish detergent in a spray bottle to prevent powdery mildews from forming on your plants.  If you are having trouble keeping the rabbits away from your veggie garden, sprinkle baking soda around the plants to keep them away from those yummy vegetables.  As many of you may already know, tomatoes are one of the easier plants to grow and maintain.  Adding baking soda to the soil at the base of your plant will sweeten them as they grow and work double time for you by keeping ants, roaches and rabbits away.  Baking soda will also help keep fresh cut flowers alive longer, so try adding it to the water in your vase.

Cooking and Baking Anyone who has made chocolate chip cookies from scratch has used baking soda to bake with, but what exactly does the baking soda do?  Baking soda in baked goods is very important.  It acts as a leavening agent to help the dough rise and to create a fluffy and cohesive batter, and also evens out the acidity of the batter.  Using baking soda to decrease the acidity of tomato based recipes also works very well; just add a dash to your recipe. It can also help fluff up your omelets and scrambled eggs; this recipe works best by adding a half a teaspoon for every three eggs.  This next tip may save you a trip to the store if you are out of baking powder; mix one part baking soda, one part cornstarch and two parts cream of tartar for an effective substitute. Add a little baking soda to the water next time you soak dried beans; it will make the beans more digestible.  The most important part of baking and cooking is kitchen safety.  Having baking soda readily available can help put out small fires, by tossing a handful on the flames.  Always have it handy, it could be a life saver.

Kitchen Maintenance Cooking fish can be a smelly process, but not when you have baking soda around.  Soaking fish fillets in a baking soda solution will get rid of the smell but be sure to let it sit in the fridge for an hour.  Keeping your drains odor free and clean is a simple process too.  Once a week, put four tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and rinse down with hot water.  When it’s time to clean that dirty oven, mix four tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water.  The mixture does wonder when cleaning the inside of ovens.  The mixture can also be used to clean your coffee maker.  Simply run the mixture through on its own as you would if you were brewing coffee.

Kid Friendly Projects Now it’s time to get the kids involved in your baking soda fun.  These next tips are quick recipes for fun to help keep kids occupied and happy.  Enjoyable and safe modeling clay can be made by mixing 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cornstarch, 1¼ cups of cold water and some food coloring.  Letting kids help with make the clay is a great way to teach younger kids how to follow directions and mix ingredients, and once the clay is done the kids will be amused for hours.  Kids will love all the amazing things you can do with baking soda, and you’ll enjoy a little free time while they play with their new modeling clay.

Science Experiments Now if you really want to amaze kids and are brave enough to get down and dirty with baking soda, then this next science experiment is just for you.  You remember the erupting volcano from elementary school science, right?  The recipe for that eruption is simple and you are guaranteed to wow the kids on this one.  To keep the cleanup effortless and quick, cover your counter tops or do this project outside.  Dissolve one (1) tablespoon of baking soda into two (2) tablespoons of water, then, into a separate cup, pour two tablespoons of vinegar.  When you and the kids are ready for the messy volcanic eruption, add the vinegar to the dissolved baking soda mixture, and ta-da!

So there you go, folks.  As you can see there really are so many wonderful and amazing uses for baking soda; the everyday uses are endless.  It is truly a marvelous and economical product, just waiting to be put to good use, and with these guides, you can start replacing some of the more expensive products in your house and cabinets with this cheap and effective alternative.  It’s time to buy less and live more, and baking soda will be there through it all.