We all have at least one box of baking soda in the house. You probably use if for such tasks as deodorizing your refrigerator and making biscuits.
If that’s all you’re using it for, you’re missing out! Baking soda is one of the best multi-purpose products that you can have.
Today we’re going to discuss some other uses of baking soda for survival.
Baking soda is something that you should be stockpiling in large amounts. You’ll need it for cooking and for many other uses. Since it’s so versatile, it will be one of the first things to disappear off the shelves if supply lines are disrupted to stores. Best to stock it now.
You’ve probably noticed that many commercial whitening types of toothpaste contain baking soda. The main reason is because of the mildly abrasive quality but it also eliminates bacteria that cause bad breath.
In an emergency, you can use straight baking soda, or you can find some good recipes using more palatable recipes in this article.
The best things about using baking soda for deodorant are that it’s effective and odorless. Just pat a little on under your arms and you’re good to go. You can also get fancy and use base products such as coconut oil and essential oils if scents aren’t an issue.
If you’d like a couple basic recipes, check out this article. You’ll also learn how to make soap and laundry detergent.
3. Make soap
There’s obviously not enough room in your bug-out bag for all of your cosmetic products, so baking soda is the way to go. Just make a paste using three parts baking soda to one part water, rub it onto your body, then rinse.
Just as with deodorant and toothpaste, you can get fancy with it, but in a survival situation, this will do just fine.
4. Take the itch out of bug bites
Just make a paste with a bit of water and rub it onto the bug bite. The itching will be relieved within a couple minutes.
5. Get rid of heartburn or upset stomach
Baking soda is great for getting rid of occasional heartburn or sour stomach but it’s not recommended for regular use because it can actually cause conditions such as acid reflux to worsen because it messes with your acid production.
6. Remove the oil from your hair
Baking soda absorbs both moisture and odor. In a survival situation when you don’t have access to abundant water (or just a day when you don’t feel like washing your hair!), sprinkle some baking soda at your roots, work it onto your scalp and through your hair, then brush it out.
7. Fungal infections
Baking soda has been shown to kill fungal infections but I personally have had better success when mixing it with equal parts apple cider vinegar. ACV is another of those items that you should be stockpiling, or you can learn how to make it here. If you don’t have vinegar, make a paste with water and baking soda and rub on the fungus.
Some examples of fungal infections that you may have to worry about are yeast infections (men and babies can get these, too!), athlete’s foot, and jock itch. Baking soda will soothe it, too.
8. Sooth burns
Baking soda is wonderful for soothing minor burns, windburn and sunburns. Just make a paste and rub it on. Again, apple cider vinegar is great for this, too.
9. Soothe irritated or rough skin
Baking soda is great for helping with diaper rash or irritated skin so toss a couple of tablespoons into baby’s bath or a 1/4 cup into yours. It also softens skin.
Dehydration is a huge concern in a survival situation. Usually water will do the trick but if you’ve been sweating excessively, you need to replace that salt and other electrolytes or else you can get extremely sick, or even die.
Baking soda consists of sodium and bicarbonate, so it’s helpful with hydration. Use 2 quarts water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda and on tsp salt substitute. You can throw some sugar or fruit juice in for flavor and glucose if you want, too.
Salt substitute is another great product to stockpile because it’s actually potassium chloride, and your body needs potassium to properly use salt.
11. General cleaning
If you decide to bug in, or just want a cheap, natural, effective cleaning product, baking soda will do the trick. Because it’s abrasive, it’s great for cleaning grout, tiles, sinks, ovens, stoves, and tubs. Just be sure to rinse it well.
12. Keep your latrine or septic tank working well
Baking soda helps balance the pH in your SHTF latrine or your septic tank, which helps the bacteria to break down the waste more effectively. It does, of course, also have a bit of deodorizing effect but not much in this situation.
13. Freshen bedding and carpets
Unless you’re an unusual prepper who doesn’t think about losing power, you probably aren’t stockpiling any of those powdered, scented carpet products. Here’s some news for you – most of those aren’t nearly as effective as plain old baking soda, and if you look, most of them CONTAIN baking soda.
Baking soda absorbs odors out of carpets, and it’s also great for freshening your bedding (camp or household). Just sprinkle it on your carpet or bedding, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum or sweep it away.
14. Keep your coolers from smelly funky
You know that weird musty smell that hits you in the face when you open a cooler that’s been closed for a while? Baking soda will help with that. Either pop a box in it when you store it, or sprinkle some in it 24 hours before you use it, then rinse it out.
15. Help your laundry detergent work better
Whether you’re using homemade detergent or a commercial product, adding some baking soda to the wash helps balance the pH. It makes your soap more effective.
In a SHTF scenario, you can actually use just baking soda to clean your clothes. Make a paste and rub it onto dirty or greasy spots, then use a bit more (a quarter cup or so) in your wash basin to clean and deodorize the rest of your clothes.
16. Make great coffee
Even if (or especially if) you’re in the woods in a survival situation, coffee is likely on your list of “really, really want to haves”. Sprinkling a little baking soda or a small pinch of salt over your grounds will remove that bitter taste. No need to wait til SHTF though – try it tomorrow morning!
17. Making baked goods
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have any baking powder, you can mix 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar.
18. Put out a fire
Unintentional fires are never good, survival situation or not. Keep a box of baking soda next to your stove or campfire to put out fires. Just sprinkle it on. It’s natural and unlike some products, it works on regular fires, grease fires and electrical fires.
19. Clean your iron skillets
It’s taken you forever to get your skillets seasoned and the last thing that you want to do is use harsh detergents or scrubbers to get food off of them. Baking soda is your friend here! Just empty your pan as well as you can and sprinkle some baking soda into it. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it out and rinse if you have access to water.
If the food is really stuck on, you can make a paste.
20. Repel rabbits and other garden pests
I’ve never tried this but I have friends who swear that sprinkling baking soda around their beds repels rabbits that want to munch on their veggies. They also swear that it sweetens their tomatoes, too.
21. Repel roaches and ants
Keeping some baking soda under your counters and in your cabinets can help keep these pests away.
22. Make a fun clay for the kids
Toys may be at a premium if SHTF and you’re going to want to keep the little ones occupied. Mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part corn starch then add enough water to make it a bit runny. Cook until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes, let it cool, and you’ve got entertainment for hours or until the clay dries. T
his also hardens when it’s molded and is great for making those keepsake handprint plates.
There are, of course, a hundred more uses of baking soda in everyday life but I wanted to target survival purposes. I’m sure, as versatile as it is, that I’ve missed many good uses, so if you know of any, please share them with us in the comments section below.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.