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55 Special Uses For Baking Soda You Never Knew

55 Special Uses For Baking Soda You Never Knew

Baking soda can be used for more things than you think aside from baking. This natural product, also known as sodium bicarbonate, doesn’t only make your cakes taste better, but it also improves your life in the most toxic-free and eco-friendly way (other friendly multi-purpose products include lemons and olive oil). This super-cheap wonder product helps regulate and neutralize pH, which means a substance is never too acidic or too alkaline.

Here are 55 special reasons why baking soda is the bomb when it comes to … well, everything!

Body

1. Make a toothpaste. Dip your toothbrush into some baking soda like they did in the olden days to whiten your teeth and freshen your breath.

2. Use as a deodorant. Lightly pat baking soda under your arms to chill out body odor.

3. Use as a mouthwash. Neutralize the odor in your mouth by putting one teaspoon of baking soda in a small glass. Swirl around your mouth, spit it out and rinse.

4. Use as an exfoliant. When used as an exfoliant, baking soda can gently remove dead skin cells when mixed with three parts baking soda and one part water. Rub in a circular motion and rinse off.

5. Treat insect bites. If you make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it onto your skin, you can ease an itchy mosquito bite.

6. Use as a shampoo. It might affect the pH of your scalp, but using baking soda as a shampoo topped off with apple cider vinegar is a good alternative to shampoo.

7. Add to your bath for a spa treatment. Add baking soda or bath salts to your bath for a DIY spa treatment.

8. Relieve diaper rash. An itchy baby bum can use two tablespoons of baking soda in bathwater to relieve a red rash.

9. Use as an antacid. Baking soda can relieve heartburn, stomach upset and acid indigestion. Half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water should do the trick.

10. Soothe your feet. Pamper your feet by soaking them in a warm basin of water with three tablespoons of baking soda.

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Cleaning

11. Unclog your sink. One cup of baking soda plus one cup of vinegar will help unclog your drains at home.

12. Clean baby clothes gently. For a non-harsh cleanser, add half a cup of baking soda to chemical-free liquid laundry detergent and wash clothes.

13. Keep your combs and brushes clean. Keep your combs and brushes clean by removing the natural oil build-up by soaking them in a small basin of warm water with one teaspoon of baking soda. Rinse and let dry. This will brighten up your dull hair.

14. Keep your oral appliances clean. Mouthpieces like retainers and dentures need odor neutralization, so add two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved in a cup of warm water to keep them clean.

15. Polish silver. Brighten your silver with a baking soda and water paste. Rub onto silver with a clean cloth, rinse, and dry.

16. Brighten your floors. Get rid of grime easily by using half a cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse clean for a shiny new floor. This also helps scuff marks.

17. Cut oil and grease. Baking soda makes oil easier to clean when you add a heaping scoop to your regular dish soap. Let soak for a while.

18. Clean dishwashers. Deodorize and cleanse your dishwasher by putting baking soda in the wash cycle.

19. Clean patio furniture. Sprinkle baking soda under chair cushions to freshen your patio furniture.

20. Clean batteries. Make a baking soda paste and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from a battery. Be careful because batteries contain acids. Disconnect the battery terminal before cleaning and reconnect afterwards. To prevent corrosion, wipe with petroleum jelly.

21. Clean cars. Use baking soda and warm water applied on a soft cloth, sponge or brush to remove road dirt and bugs.

22. Remove oil and grease stains. Light spills can be cleaned by sprinkling baking soda on the spot and scrubbing with a wet brush.

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23. Clean the microwave. Add baking soda to a sponge and clean the insides of your microwave and reduce odors.

24. Clean the oven. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom surface of your oven and spray with water to dampen the soda. Let sit overnight and scrub in the morning, rinsing thoroughly.

25. Soak cloth diapers. Dissolve half a cup of baking soda in 8 cups of water to soak cloth diapers.

26. Clean crayons from the wall. A wet cloth with baking soda will remove crayon marks from a wall.

27. Make a simple soft surface scrub. Sprinkle baking soda lightly on a damp sponge and scrub your bathtubs, tiles and sinks. Rinse and wipe dry.

28. Discourage weeds. For a natural way to get rid of weeds, sprinkle baking soda between the cracks of your walkway.

29. Clean pots and pans. Remove baking residue by shaking a generous amount of soda onto pots and pans. Add hot water and dish detergent, soak for 15 minutes and wash.

30. Clean furniture. Add baking soda to a damp clean sponge and rub furniture lightly. Wipe off with a dry cloth.

31. Clean vinyl shower curtains. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp brush and scrub the curtains, rinse clean and hang to dry.

32. Boost your laundry detergent. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your liquid detergent to get your clothes brighter.

33. Fill holes in a wall. Mix white toothpaste and baking soda to fill holes in a plastered wall and allow the mix to dry.

34. Extinguish small fires. Turn off the gas or electricity if it’s safe, stand back, and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the blame to help put a fire out.

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Deodorizing

35. Air freshener. You won’t need chemicals and toxins around anymore when you add one tablespoon of baking soda to distilled water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Find out more here.

36. Deodorize the refrigerator. Place an open box of baking soda to deodorize your refrigerator.

37. Freshen your rugs. Sprinkle baking soda on a carpet, wait 15 minutes or overnight, and vacuum up for rug that looks and smells brand new.

38. Deodorize garbage cans. Sprinkling baking soda on the bottom of your rubbish bin will keep unfortunate smells away.

39. Freshen sports gear. Sprinkle baking soda into gym and golf bags to reduce the smell.

40. Freshen your closet. Place a box of baking soda in your closet to freshen your wardrobe. Add a few drops of lavender oil to ward off moths.

41. Remove toilet odors. Add one cup of baking soda to the toilet and let sit for one hour before you flush.

42. Deodorize the kitty litter box. Cover the bottom of the box with baking soda and add litter on top.

43. Freshen stuffed animals. Cuddle your toys clean by sprinkling baking soda onto plush toys. Wait 15 minutes before brushing off.

44. Freshen your fireplace. Reduce the odor of soot by cleaning the ashes out of your fireplace and placing a bowl of baking soda inside.

45. Deodorize your wooden cutting board. Sprinkle baking soda on your boards, scrub and rinse.

46. Remove the odor from vacuum cleaner. By vacuuming baking soda into the body of the vacuum cleaner, you are helping to deodorize the equipment.

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47. Deodorize sneakers.  Shake baking soda into unused sneakers to keep them fresh until wearing them again.

48. Deodorize pet bedding. Sprinkle baking soda liberally onto pet bedding, wait 15 minutes or more and vacuum.

Food and plants

49. Keep flowers fresher longer. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a vase of flowers to keep them living longer.

50. Deodorize lunch boxes. Placing a spill-proof box of baking soda in a lunch box between uses helps absorb odors.

51. Neutralize beans. Bloated by beans? Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda in water while soaking dry beans.

52. Wash your produce. Scrub baking soda under water to your fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides and residue.

53. Make a fluffier omelette. Half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs will yield a fluffier omelette.

54. Make tea taste better. A pinch of baking soda in a gallon of freshly brewed tea will remove bitterness and cloudiness.

55. Keep ants away. Mix baking soda and salt 50/50 and sprinkle the mixture when the ants come marching in.

 

So there’re all the special uses for baking soda! Want to take your product knowledge one step further? Here are 12 Special Uses for Beer You Never Knew.

More by this author

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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