Category Archives: Personal Interest

6 Noteworthy Myths and Facts About Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Arm and Hammer corner the market on this simple little powder, originally popularized to simply leaven breads using chemicals instead of biological enzymes (yeasts). How Arm and Hammer got their simple alkaline salt into all kinds of other markets since the late 80’s is incredible. It is touted as many things, but how many of these things are stretches, and how many of them are actually practical? Some of the proposed uses I’m going over are pretty good and some of them are just ridiculous.

Nontoxic Deodorizing: One of the most common alternative uses for baking soda is using it for a deodorizer in your refrigerator, pantry, or closet.

Weak win

Baking soda has mild odor absorbing qualities. It can be slightly effective at absorbing simple alkaline and oil odors and neutralizing acidic odors over a (very) long period of time. The first problem is that sodium bicarbonate is an extremely mild alkali so it won’t pack much of a punch fighting acid based odors and this same mildness prevents it from quickly absorbing alkaline odors. The second problem is that once the exposed area is saturated, it doesn’t work any more. The third problem is that it has little to no effect on complex odors and those are the most problematic ones. If you have a stinky fridge or cupboard, just take the food out of it and clean the darn thing, baking soda isn’t going to cut it.

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