Baking soda, a mainstay of many baking recipes, has colonized the territory far beyond the coking radius. It is found in refrigerators, in cleaning kits, concealed under the sink and in the list of ingredients for deodorants and natural toothpaste. And if we have been talking about it for several years, we have been using it for millennia: in 3500 BCE, the Egyptians used it as a cleaning agent and to dry the body in the process of mummification.
What makes baking soda so special that we can eat it, but also use it to fight rust and rot? The answer lies in its unique chemical properties.
What is baking soda, by the way?
Baking soda, or as scientists call it, sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3, or sodium hydrogen carbonate, is actually a salt. Go ahead, taste it; you will find that it tastes like a softer version of the salt in your salt shaker.
Like all salts, sodium bicarbonate is a neutral compound formed of an ion or cation, positively charged and anion, or anion, negatively charged. But if baking soda is ionic neutral, its pH is higher than neutral. This means that it is slightly basic (the opposite of acid), which is essential to understand why it is such a good cleanser.
The science behind the operation of a baking soda
It absorbs odors.
Unlike air fresheners or candles, which simply mask odors, baking soda actually absorbs the foul-smelling molecules that could make your kitchen less healthy. (That’s why people leave boxes of baking soda in their refrigerator). This is because most odors are acidic and because baking soda is basic, it reacts with acids in the air to neutralize them.
Tip: Over time, baking soda may become less reactive to acids, so it will only work if you do not forget to mix it periodically and replace the box.
He reacts with vinegar.
The acid-base reaction is also the reason why baking soda and vinegar are detonating cleaning partners (no pun intended). The volcano of baking soda and vinegar may be a classic at the science fair, but this same explosive chemical reaction can work wonders in your kitchen or bathroom. Pouring baking soda and vinegar into a sink can unclog it; brush a baking soda paste inside your dirty oven and sprinkle some vinegar off the grease and make it vulnerable to the passage of the sponge.
It is slightly abrasive.
For some things, baking soda works better than conventional soap. Although both are basic (non-acidic), the soap contains fat molecules that make it less hard. Baking soda, on the other hand, is abrasive, which allows it to dislodge particles and eliminate stains on a number of surfaces.
It gives off the gas.
Believe me, it’s a good thing. This gas is carbon dioxide, the same as the one you exhale. When the baking soda is heated to more than 150 ° C, it releases this gas. This makes baking soda an excellent fire extinguisher (and the only way to extinguish a grease fire) because the supply of carbon dioxide cuts off the oxygen that fueled the fire.
This same reaction makes baking soda an excellent non-toxic means of pest control (when ingested by cockroaches or ants, the gas accumulates inside their hard body and causes the failure of their organs) and that’s also why your quick bread and cookies are rising.
At the writing of Remedies Grandma, we are convinced of the effectiveness of baking soda, in many occasions of everyday life. A true gift of nature, which does not cost much, while being natural, non-toxic and makes us famous services. This is certainly the reason for its success at a time when we want to live as green as possible without spending unnecessarily.