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The Wonders of Baking Soda

Baking soda is an essential part of any home remedy kit. It can be used to ease heartburn, as a salve for insect bites, a soak for itchy skin and even to help cure urinary tract infections.

This baking soda remedy for heartburn is used by my dad, who has suffered with uncomfortable indigestion for years. Until he discovered this remedy, he took either prescription medicine or daily doses of over-the-counter stuff. Now, he needs to treat his heartburn only once or twice a week.

Heartburn Remedy

Dissolve a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add a 1/2 cup of cold water. Then add a 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir the mixture, then drink the whole thing quickly, while it’s fizzing.

Insect Bites & Itchy Skin Remedy

For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itchies, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

Remedy for Urinary Tract Infection

Cranberry juice is a great natural treatment for urinary tract infection, but if you buy it in the grocery store, it can be loaded with sugar. Here’s an alternative, less sugary treatment for urinary tract infection using baking soda. At first symptoms, mix a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into an 8-ounce glass of water. Drink the remedy once per day.

Note: If you have high blood pressure, do NOT ingest baking soda remedies before consulting your health care practitioner. For any health issue of concern, discuss with your doctor.

 

Here are 10 uses of baking soda for cleaning in the home:

A commonly available mineral full of many cleaning attributes, baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline (it’s pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water, and absorbs odors from the air.

1. Drain cleaner: Pour one cup down the drain followed by three cups of boiling water.

2. Chemical smells out of clothes: Soak clothes for two to three hours or overnight, in one cup of baking soda. Agitate the machine occasionally. Repeat if necessary. Wash as usual. (This method is great for removing the new smell out of clothes.)

3. Cat urine: Alternate sprinkling baking soda, which will neutralize acid odors, with white distilled vinegar.

4. Dog odors and urine: Sprinkle with baking soda. Let set for a few hours before sweeping up.

5. Silver polish: Make a paste of baking soda and water, scoop some onto a clean, soft rag, and polish the silver. Rinse and polish dry.

6. Soft scrubber: Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl and add enough liquid soap or detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop onto a sponge and clean the bathtub or tiles. Rinse.

7. Scouring powder: Simply sprinkle baking soda into a sink and scrub.

8. Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Squirt with enough water that the baking soda is damp. Let set overnight, making sure the baking soda is damp before you go to bed. In the morning, simply scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge. Rinse.

9. Refrigerator deodorizer: Place an open box in the back of the fridge. It will “absorb” odors, which means that it will draw odors to the baking soda molecules.

10. Cutting board deodorizer: Sprinkle the cutting board with baking soda, scrub, rinse.

 

7 Ways to Make Your Living Space Smell Nice

Rather than spraying chemical-laden air fresheners, choose one of these seven natural ways to make your living space smell a little nicer.

1. Invest in houseplants. Have your favorite plants and herbs growing in your kitchen, living room and bathroom in small pots. The presence of green plants will help reduce indoor air pollution and keep clean air circulating in your space.

2. Save your citrus fruit skins. Save the peels of oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus- fruits. You can place them in boiling water to have a fresh scent in the kitchen, or run them in your garbage disposal with boiling water. Lastly, put some citrus skins in your vacuum bag the next time you vacuum your carpet.

3. Dilute essential oil with water in a spray bottle. You can spray your furniture and carpet to make the whole room smell a specific scent. To diversify, you can have different scents for different areas of your home. For example: lavender for the living room, sandalwood for your bedroom and peppermint for the bathroom.

4. Place bowls of white vinegar in corners of the room. The vinegar will neutralize and absorb any offending odors.

5. Place fabric softener in your shoes and closet. It will take away any stale clothing smells. For another closet air freshener, place a cedar block at the bottom of your closet. Use sandpaper for a new layer once a year.

6. Light soy candles instead of regular candles. Soy candles are longer-lasting, better for the environment and have a more robust smell. (They are also safer than carcinogen-emitting candles – made from petroleum.)

7. Bake bread or cook your own meals. Few things are as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread or the herbs of a home-cooked dinner.

 

How to Make Safe Candles Yourself

by Annie B. Bond

Candles are a wonderful enhancement to ambiance and mood, yet they can contribute to air pollution, sometimes significantly if synthetic perfumes are used.

Learn how to make our own stunningly beautiful candles using sustainable, less toxic ingredients.
1. One of the highest goals of making your own less-toxic candles is to make them free of petroleum products, such as paraffin and synthetic fragrance.

2. You can now buy vegetable wax (usually soy) in craft stores such as Michaels. One brand offers microwaveable soy wax and the process was very, very easy. No fuss, no mess.

3. Beeswax is another pure wax choice, although expensive. I personally just love the smell of pure beeswax candles, and we make candles with 100 percent of this wax for very special occasions. Beeswax needs to be melted in a double boiler.

4. For myself, I prefer unscented candles, but my daughter is looking to add scent to her candles, and many of you might like aromatherapy.

We used only perfectly pure essential oils bought at natural food stores, and only about 5 drops for 2 cups of dried wax flakes. Add the essential oils after the wax has melted and has been removed from the heat source. Stir thoroughly.

Many so-called aromatherapy candles are very soft due to overuse of fragrance, and often these candles cause serious problems with candle soot. Making your own helps you control how much fragrance/essential oil you include.

5. Use wicks without lead. We chose wicks without any metal inside, but there are now lead-free wicks available in craft stores. Wanting to be safe not sorry, we bought metal-free wicks. They have been fine.

Tick Removal

GOOD TO KNOW! Tick Removal: A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her simple instructions. “I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. “Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. Please pass on.