Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2019
I buy this brand of baking soda because it is free of impurities and very easy to find online or in grocery stores. If there is some other brand on the market, I've never noticed it.
I buy baking soda in bulk because I use it for many purposes at my house, other than the classic one as a rising agent in baking. These uses include:
It is a time-tested, effective, inexpensive remedy for nausea, indigestion and intestinal gas. I use 1/4 teaspoon stirred into 1/4 cup of water. This beats any of the over-the-counter drugs for these purposes by a mile and unlike them, is inexpensive and safe. (If you want an additional, safe remedy for nausea, try peppermint tea or ginger tea.)
It is an excellent substitute for shampoo. It leaves the hair very clean with none of the soap-scum film that shampoo creates on the hair and skin--and on shower walls. To balance the pH of the hair and scalp, I spray white vinegar on my hair, massage it into my scalp and rinse. Soap and baking soda are very alkaline, and the hair and skin are naturally slightly acidic, around 5 pH. The vinegar helps keep the skin of the scalp from itching by bringing the pH into a natural, acidic state. Note that you will NOT end up smelling like vinegar! The smell dissipates rapidly.
It is a terrific, non-toxic household cleaning agent and substitute for laundry detergent. Depending on the cleaning job, I either use the baking soda straight or diluted in water. I use 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar for a full load of laundry.
It is effective for deodorizing waste baskets and garbage disposals. Just sprinkle some in the bottom of garbage cans. Pour about 1/2 cup into your garbage disposal and then run it with a low amount of water. Or let the baking soda set in the disposal overnight. (An additional way to deodorize garbage disposals is to grind up citrus rinds.)
It works very well for cleaning and polishing stainless steel sinks. I scrub with baking soda, rinse, then spray white vinegar on the sink, rinse, and wipe the sink dry with a soft cloth to remove the last of the baking soda residue and add additional shine. This process also simultaneously disinfects the sinks, which it is important to do daily to avoid food poisoning. It also keeps you, your children and pets from breathing in the toxic fumes of chemical disinfectants such as Lysol. (For additional, non-toxic disinfecting, research has shown that following vinegar with a sprayed application of hydrogen peroxide kills as many or more microorganisms as commercial, toxic disinfectants.)
It is great for cleaning bathroom sinks, shower and toilet. It works particularly well on marble sinks, polishing the marble without scratching it. It also drastically reduces the slimy, black mold that builds up in sink drains due to the fat in soap (which offers a feast for fungus). This slime will, over time, stop up the sink, especially if you aren't careful about not letting hair go down the drain. For this reason, I began years ago substituting baking soda for hand soap in my bathrooms. Since I started doing that, I never get stopped up bathroom sinks, whereas in our soap-using days, I had to clean out black slime buildup in the drains every few months. (By the way, by removing the sink stopper and utilizing an old toothbrush and baking soda, you can quickly and effectively remove the slime instead of poisoning yourself breathing in toxic fumes and polluting the local water supply with harsh chemicals like Liquid-Plumr!)
I wash and disinfect produce with a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar diluted in water, afterwards rinsing the produce with clear water. This is very important given that it is not just meat that can be infected with Staph and E.coli. Vegetables can be, too.
A paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda removes from clothing all kinds of difficult stains, ranging from blood to ink to rust, without damaging the color of the garment. Spread the paste on the spot, scrub a bit with an old toothbrush or other soft brush, then let it sit for a few hours, making sure to put it on top of a white washcloth or towel to protect other fabric or surfaces (probably not necessary, but I do that to be extra careful). Rinse off the paste, and repeat as needed. This paste also works well to remove stains from tile grout without discoloring the grout or tile. Once again, using this non-toxic alternative allows you to avoid breathing in, or getting on your skin, the toxic chemicals of conventional products for these purposes.
Baking soda is an effective tooth powder and breath freshener. Surprisingly, its not as abrasive as commercial toothpaste while working great to whiten teeth by removing stains. The Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) of baking soda is only 7, while many commercial toothpastes have an RDA as high as 180-200. (RDA ranges are: 0-70 = low abrasive, 70-100 = medium abrasive, 100-150 = highly abrasive, 150-250 = very abrasive and very harmful.) If you want to test for yourself how effective baking soda can be removing stains from your teeth, especially the really bad stains from coffee, try using it to polish coffee stains from your coffee mug or the glass carafe of your coffee maker.