Bicarbonate of soda one of the most versatile household products used for centuries. This chemical compound is commonly known as baking soda. The scientific name is referred to as sodium hydrogen carbonate. The chemical compound formula is NaHCO3. This substance is a white solid that is crystalline in texture and more often is made into a fine powder. Aside from baking soda this compound has also been called by other names such as cooking soda, bread soda, bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarb, bicarb, sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. Bicarbonate of soda has a slight salty and alkaline taste and is also odorless.
Today, December 30 is the unofficial food holiday celebrating “National Bicarbonate of Soda Day” or “National Baking Soda Day”. Bicarbonate is commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. When added to cake, bread, muffin and pancake batters, a chemical reaction occurs, causing carbon dioxide to be released allowing the baked items to rise into beautiful confections and breads.
Aside from baking this compound has also been beneficial for treating heartburn, polishing silverware and used by ancient Egyptians for painting. Many children over the years have used this product to create an erupting volcano in science classes. It is helpful to clean household surfaces, cups stained from tea and coffee, teapots and when placed in the refrigerator acts as a deodorizer.
Other uses for baking soda or bicarbonate of soda:
- When added to bath water it helps to relieve itchy skin and relieve the pain of sunburn.
- If used in connection with white vinegar and hot water it can open up a clogged drain.
- By sprinkling a little into rubber gloves it will keep them smelling good, make it easier to slip you hands into the gloves next time and keep the interior of the gloves dry when not in use.
- Provides traction on ice covered steps while melting the ice more naturally than rock salt, sand or kitty litter. It won’t damage shoes, boots, indoor or outdoor surfaces either.
- Create a paste of baking soda and water to remove stains on plastic containers caused by tomato sauce.
- Years ago baking soda was used as an antacid to treat indigestions and heartburn.
- A paste of baking soda and water applied to a burn or insect bite will offer relief.
- A thick paste of baking soda and water rubbed into clothing and left to sit for an hour before laundering will remove perspiration stains.
- When three tablespoons are added to a bowl of cool water it aids in removing pesticides, dirt and wax that may be covering fresh vegetables and fruits.
Baking soda is the most used chemical compound in the history of mankind, so encourage family and friends to use it more often in their daily lives. Join in with millions of people today to celebrate “National Bicarbonate of Soda Day” by cleaning something in your home. Better yet, bake something delicious to share with the whole family.