An Ode to Baking Soda: And Other Miracle Household Products

I'm pretty much convinced that a box of baking soda will solve any problem that you could possibly have around the house.

Dec 9, 2011 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

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I'm pretty much convinced that a box of baking soda will solve any problem that you could possibly have around the house. Out of toothpaste? Baking soda on your toothbrush. Stains on your bathroom sink? Baking soda that shit. You look like crap today? Throw baking soda on the mirror. There, now you can't see yourself.

For 47 cents a box, baking soda can replace about 15 products in your house. I don't just mean that it works in a pinch. I'm saying stop buying 409 and use baking soda from now until the day you die.

So committed am I to baking soda that I've started to explore what else in my house can solve all my problems. Turns out I have been living in an oasis of cleaning and beauty products this whole time!

Here is what I learned in step one of my experiment which I call, "Household Products 101: The Basics:"

Olive Oil

Stop buying make up remover right now. Put this on your eyes and wipe it off with a cotton ball. Presto Chango! Clean. You can also use olive oil to shave your legs instead of shaving cream plus it's a great moisturizer and exfoliator. Just mix a little bit of sugar or sea salt in with the olive oil and then rub that crap all over your wintery, pale, dry skin.

Vaseline

Another great eye makeup remover if you prefer something with more substance. I like to leave it on my lashes because it makes them shiny and awesome. It's also great to moisturize your feet. Rub it on, put on socks and go to bed. When you wake up your feet will be little clouds.

Hydrogen Peroxide

The best lesson I learned from Hydrogen Peroxide is that if you dye your hair a bit too dark, you can lighten the color by putting a cap full of the stuff in your shampoo.

Speaking of lightening, put some on a q-tip and paint your teeth. Do this once a day for three days, then do it once a month or so. I just saved you $30 on Crest White strips.

Also, let's just say your period came early and you need a stain remover. There is absolutely nothing better to get stains out of the seat of your jeans. Hydrogen Peroxide looks at your bottle of Shout in the laundry room and laughs at it.

Powders

This is such an easy one. Put baby powder in your hair, brush it out and then boom, your hair is no longer greasy. You can avoid showering for days! Fine, you may already know about that one but did you know that if you're a brunette, unsweetened cocoa powder works just as well and doesn't give that you that weird-ghost-halo effect? Try it out.

I tried Hershey's and it had a reddish tint to it so that's a bonus if you're auburn (not great if your hair is cooler brown like mine.) Be prepared to want to eat chocolate all day because you can smell it every time you move.

White Vinegar

Hot damn, this can disinfect and clean pretty much anything. I used it to clean mold off my shower tiles. The mold grew back but I'm pretty sure it's some sort of black death mold and is slowly killing me so that doesn't count!

This worked to get it off temporarily and should work with other people's normal mold and mildew. Buy a lot of it. Clean everything. If you need some sudsing bubbles, you can add a little bit of baking soda.

As I'm sure you remember from science fairs across the nation, it will start to bubble up fast in a lava-like way so be gentle with it.

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And of course: Baking Soda

I use it to clean my teeth, defunk my armpits, wash my dishes, clean my stove and get rid of stains on any sort of metal, porcelain, ceramic or vinyl. It's also great for polishing silver. Hahahaha. I have never polished silver in my life but I've heard it works so I'm including it.

This is also one of the best face exfoliators I've ever used. It's like micro-micro-dermabrasion.

Second Phase "Household Products 201: Mixing Things:"

Once I was done with all of these basics, I started to look into recipes that were a bit more high tech in the hopes that I could take this even further. That is when I discovered the most amazing hand, body, face, whatever scrub of all time on this blog.

I could not believe how smooth and soft my skin felt.

1 cup of fine sugar

5 tbsps of ground coffee

As much oil as you want

I used french vanilla coffee because it smelled the best. All you have to do is mix the coffee and the sugar and then add as much olive oil as you want to keep it moist and moisturizing. I don't love a lot of oiliness so I made it pretty dry. That's it. Done.

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You're welcome: I just made your entire house smell like the most delicious Starbucks in the world.

So that's as far as I've gotten, but I know I'm only scratching the surface here. What awesome household products have you started using in a way inconsistent with the label?

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