5 Creative Uses for: Baking Soda

| Tue Sep. 8, 2009 4:34 PM EDT

The following conversation happens a lot in my house:

Me: I'm making cookies. Do we have baking soda?

Roommates: Uh...maybe?

The outcome is always the same. I'm too lazy to go on an archaeological dig through our bursting cupboards, so I spend a buck or so on another Arm & Hammer. And the orange boxes multiply. AltUse.com readers clearly have this problem, and they've figured out how to put all that sodium bicarbonate to use:

1. Fix a bad battery connection: Create a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water and brush onto corroded battery posts and cable connectors. Rinse and dry. Coat with petroleum jelly to keep terminals trouble free.

2. Soothe a sunburn: Mix some baking soda with water and apply to your burn. Quite cooling.

3. Clean your oven: Sprinkle soda on the bottom of your oven until it's about 1/4 inch thick, then mist with a spray bottle until damp and let sit. Mist again a few hours later. Once it has dried a second time, scrape out. Wipe clean with a wet sponge.

4. Keep fruit flies off plants: Create a solution of four teaspoons baking soda and one gallon of water. Spray on plants when fruit first appears. Spray once a week for two months, and after each rain. Can also be used on rosebushes against black spot fungus.

5. Remove car oil stains from concrete: Wet the stain, then sprinkle soda. Scrub.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.