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155 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2001
I never really used baking soda, until I've read how every day things could be harmful, from soap to household cleaners. This book is so informative, who knew that you could use baking soda as deoderant or that it could be a fabric softner, and a drain cleaner?
I've tried many of the suggestions on this book and they work, they really work! Baking soda is not only for baking but for cleaning so many things. Baking soda works great as a fabric softener, I've tried it and my clothes came out very soft and much cleaner!
Very informative, this book is small about 100 something pages, but filled with so many tips, its worth the money. Using baking soda as a cleaner is frugal and much more better for your health and the environment.
Many household cleaners now contain chemicals that are toxic to the body; and baking soda is very environmental friendly, frugal, and fun to use, and it really works as a cleaner.
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 1999
I absolutely loved this book! I am searching for ways to live frugally while also saving time and this book offers many, many useful tips on ways to use Baking Soda for products I usually spent a fortune on. My favorite is the recipe for automatic dishwasher soap. I went from spending approximately .08 a load when detergent was on sale cheap to less than a penny a load. This is the kind of information I need. If you are wanting to cut costs in running your house, the savings from cleaning solutions alone will pay for the book several times over!
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
Remember when Arm & Hammer was high on our grocery list?

Down memory lane with all the old household advise for using Baking Soda in cooking, laundry, gardening, dental care, grooming, pet care and a few new ones, for use in our vehicle, while camping, and as play projects. I'm reminded again, there really is no need to spend so many dollars on oil based products with 'grab me' names and colorful packaging. Just keep on hand Baking Soda, vinegar, ammonia, lemon juice, peroxide and clorax - can do it all.

The book is well laid out with a cartoon on the first page of each section. Easy to read big print, lots of bullets, a dark font heading for each area of tips... from making your own low acid coffee to, making dirty windows sparkle or, clean your suade skirt.

This is one book I wish each chapter included a pull-out laminated chart that I could slip into places like the laundry, medicine cabinet or kitchen drawer.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 26, 2008
Vicki Lansky's one-woman tribute to sodium bicarbonate boggles the mind. In her own mother's words, "Who would believe she could have come up with all these uses?"

Everyone knows you can cook with baking soda: it makes bread rise. It's a natural antacid. Dentists say you can brush your teeth with it. And it's quite common for to see an open box in the fridge for food odor absorption.

But did you know that fridge box is only good for 3 months? After that, its freshening properties are used up. Get another box. What to do with the used-up, old box? Well, Lansky's got ideas for that, such as sprinkling the powder around the soil of tomato plants to lower their acidity and discourage pests. I haven't tried this one, yet.

So, okay, I'm game. I tried a few of these `uses' and hard a darned good time doing it. My fiance thinks I'm nuts for getting so excited over baking soda, but likes that the product is undeniably cheap.

Playing with powder
Here are the ideas from the book that I tried, and how it all went.

* Laundry Booster - On the book's recommendation, I added a ½ cup to my washer load, along with my detergent. Not only did my colors and whites come out brighter, but even my workout clothes smelled nice when I took them out. Lanksy notes this boosting effect only works with liquid laundry detergents, however. I suspect the deodorizing effect works with either kind.

* Garbage Disposal Maintenance - When I noticed a stink arising from the disposal afer a weekend away, I immediately poured a ½ cup down the drain, followed by vinegar. It bubbled and frothed and took the nasty scent away. I didn't even need to run water after it.

* Garbage Can Odors - This one's easy - sprinkle over wet, nasty garbage to remove the odor. My take is that you need too much soda to really get the odor out. It's better to just take out the garbage. But I did find that sprinkling a little soda in the garbage can bottom, between changing the bags, was helpful.

* Carpet Cleaner - Sprinkle over the carpet and let sit overnight. Use a cheese shaker or flour sifter to spread it evenly - otherwise it either clumps, or all comes out at once. Vacuum in the morning. This old technique still works great. As the proud owner of two dogs, I can verify how well baking soda works to dissolve canine odor.

* Tarnished Silver - I tried two baking soda techniques for cleaning silver and was pleasantly surprised with both.

In the past, I used harsh-smelling chemical products, the kind that's impregnated in a wad of wool, to scrub, scrub, scrub my silver. The process was always messy and stinky. On really old, dirty, heirloom silver, it didn't even work at all, besides stripping away my silver plate to reveal the copper beneath.

Blech. These methods are MUCH better:

1. Baking soda and water, mixed into a paste, cleans the tarnish right away. Spread the goop all over your silver item, let it sit for ten minutes, then rub with your fingers (or an old toothbrush) until dirty baking soda paste falls away. Rinse, buff - and if necessary - repeat. This method cleaning and safely bids the grime begone from my stemware and plates.

2. The other method is great for utensils. Fill a plastic bucket, or your sink with hot water. Add a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle your silver with baking soda, drop into hot water, and let sit 15 minutes. Take out the silver and buff with a soft cloth. My silver turned clean and shiny with very little effort!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2007
I put baking soda into pans and in the sink and the bathtub and put on my heavy duty Mexican gloves and scrub away. The baking soda turns brown as it absorbs the dirtiness of the sink and the pans. In the tub, I push the powder up the sides of the tub and it gets caught on any soap scum. This is the only way to get smooth surface clean tubs. I used to enjoy cleaning sinks and tubs with comet when I was a toddler but Comet is not healthy and as I got older, I became very frustrated with expensive and stinky cleaners that didn't remove all the gunk. Was I not applying enough elbow grease? Am I just incompetent? Only recently have I been purchasing bulk bags of baking soda and enjoying cleaning the sink and tub again.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2000
This book gives fabulous tips on cleaning with baking soda! I must reference this book weekly. It is exciting to use these tips - they're cost efficient and inexpensive. Highly recommended!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2006
I've been a baking soda fan for a while now, but this book made me love it even more. It's a staple in this house...never without it. As the owner of five dogs, you better bet I put its deodorizing properties to good use! But, thanks largely to this book, I now realize how much more it can do. I clean my oven with it, I clean my drains with it, I use it in the garden. Ah the power of baking soda.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2006
Get rid of the musty odor in carpets, scrub your pots, etc etc etc. There really are 500 ways to make life more pleasant without the added scents that are added to carpet cleaner and other household products. So if no smell is better than a cover up smell, try this book! Living in the Northwest where it rains and rains and then the rugs pick up a bad smell, I sprinkled baking soda, let it sit overnight (well, really a couple of days) and vacuumed it up and hooray! No more smell! Great for cleaning too. Fun to read.
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63 of 79 people found the following review helpful
This is a rather curious little book of uses for baking soda. This would be a great book to keep in the kitchen for reference as it has an easy index guide to look up specific uses for cooking or basic cleaning. After having read it all the way through, I was surprised to see that some readers had rated it so high. The main problem is, most of the ideas that I or an average person may use are already common knowledge. While some are nifty, there are some far out and lesser know uses that appear very tedious and down right dangerous. For example there is one use that describes mixing baking soda with straight bleach of all things. I don't like mixing anything with bleach and would never do this. There is also a recipe for tooth whitener that involves mixing baking soda with lemon juice. Most people know that pure lemon juice can be harmful to tooth enamel and I would never do that either. To further torment my instinctual sense of self preservation, the author rather cryptically admits that she has not tried all these "fabulous" uses and to proceed with caution. Don't get your hopes up with this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 16, 2009
If you don't have this incredibly helpful book--maybe two or three around the house and workshop--someone should thump you upside the head. Baking soda is natural, inexpensive, and so easy to use. "Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of" will tell you how.

You know about baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors and down the drain with vinegar followed by a hot water rinse to keep drains flowing freely. How about sprinkling some in your suitcases when you next store them to eliminate that musty odor that grows in the dark of your absence. Or sprinkle it on your closet floor the day before you vacuum.

Soak dirty mops and rags in a solution of baking soda and water after you finish mopping and make that final rinse. Rinse and let dry.

Make the dirtiest windows sparkle by washing them with a wet sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Rinse with a clean sponge and dry.

Leave 1 cup ammonia in a cold, closed oven overnight. In the morning remove the ammonia, sprinkle the oven with baking soda and wipe down with damp paper towels. Most of the residue will come off.

Give chocolate cake a darker texture by adding 1 teaspoon baking soda with the other dry ingredients.

Remove tape residue from windows and woodwork by using a baking soda paste.

Keep a small box or shaker box of baking soda in your car to sprinkle on your hands after you pump gas. Wipe them clean with a damp paper towel found right there at the pump. No more smelly gas on your hands!

There, I've listed ten fabulous, fun, and frugal uses of baking soda. The book will give you 495 more.

Oh, do you know that virtually all of the baking soda in America comes from Green River, Wyoming, from the mined mineral, trona? It is also manufactured in one natural factory--your body! It keeps our saliva from dissolving our teeth and neutralizes stomach acids. It also carries carbon dioxide from body tissues to the lungs where it is exhaled. An amazing thing is baking soda.
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