Most of us have, at any given time, at least one box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in our pantry just waiting to be used, and sure, you’ve probably used it a few times if you are the occasional baker. Or maybe you bake all the time and baking soda is a staple in your pantry that keeps getting used up. Whatever it may be, all of us are familiar with and have used baking soda. But what is baking soda? Is it only for consumption? Is it only edible? Can it be used for other purposes? What does it do? What can it do? Well, these are all the questions any curious kid would have. And as they say, you must never let the kid in you die, so here are some interesting and quirky facts, information tidbits, and uses of baking soda.
What is Baking Soda?
Scientifically known as Sodium Bicarbonate, Baking Soda is a very versatile chemical compound. Don’t worry; this won’t turn into a chemistry class! Going by the name of it alone, one can tell that baking soda is a type of salt that’s composed of sodium and bicarbonate ions. So, why know all this? Well, how different is cooking from chemistry anyway? Baking, in fact, is a classic example of a chemical experimenting. But, undoubtedly, baking soda is an indispensable addition to any kitchen counter or pantry. Taste wise, it’s salty but mostly alkaline and is an active component in everything baking. It works as a leavening or raising agent, and reacts with acidic components in the batters to create carbon dioxide, to help the batter expand and become light and gives the characteristic grainy structure that’s seen in everything from bread to cakes to fried goods.
Besides baking, baking soda is also used in a lot of eastern cuisines in order to tenderize the meat and make it softer. You probably already do this, but putting a baking soda packet in the fridge, helps absorb nasty odors, therefore, making your fridge smell a lot better and keep food fresher for longer.
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What Makes It Magical?
As early as 1930’s, Baking Soda was declared as a certified medical agent. Meaning that it isn’t just your most important baking ingredient, it’s a lot more. Besides health, it’s also a great way to get all those over the tops spa treatments priced outrageously, at the convenience of your own home all free of cost. But if you don’t already know the health, beauty, cooking, and other miscellaneous uses of baking soda, here’s your guide to everything about it and how you can use it to make your life a whole lot easier. But the best part of it all is that it’s dirt cheap! Baking soda is one of the most affordable ingredients out there and with so many multi-faceted uses; it’s definitely worth the investment.
So, you’re already aware of the cooking uses of baking soda as a leavening agent but there too, it comes in two kinds; Single acting and Double acting. Single-acting soda makes carbon dioxide bubbles as soon as it’s mixed with anything acidic and is added right before the baking or cooking process takes place, whereas the Double-acting baking soda works in two parts. It releases a little amount of carbon dioxide when it’s added to the mixture, but increases the output a lot more once cooking starts. Depending on what you’re cooking/ baking, and how long it takes, you should pick one that works best.
Other Uses of Baking Soda:
Now, coming to the more interesting part! Here are a few uses of baking soda in your day to day life that you should definitely give a try out for. Since it’s a relatively safe mixture, there’s no serious damage that you might incur. At most, slight irritation and at least, the trick doesn’t work out, so these are all worth a try!
Starting with the obvious and most important of them all, the health benefits of baking soda are endless. But some of the most common uses (and slightly weird ones) include;
Of course, it’s in our blood to go running to the kitchen for all our beauty needs, and baking soda is your next big savior. As with everything from the world of DIY, these might not work for everyone and may even cause irritation to others, due to sensitive skin or allergies. It’s always a good idea to opt for a patch test and should it not cause any irritation, you can continue with it. Here are a few ways in which baking soda can up your beauty level!
Perhaps nothing is more interesting than the range of items in and around your house alone that baking soda can clean and disinfect. It seems almost unfair to use it as anything else but a cleaning agent; here are a few tricks you can use around the house to keep it squeaky clean and smelling fresh.
These are some of the various uses of baking soda! You can diversify this to a host of other uses! Pop in your soft toys with some baking soda to get them fresher and cleaner and maybe even clean up your dryer sheets! Just remember to not use it past its expiry date! This is one product you probably don’t want to use after its best before date!
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