As preppers we tend to accumulate stuff.
This, for obvious reasons, is a good thing, but on the other hand, our pantries, closets and other storage places tend to fill up. In many ways prepping and hoarding can be a fine line (except our stuff is much cooler.
At any rate, to save space, it’s a good idea to store things that can serve multiple purposes. One of those things that is a great candidate for multi-purpose use is Baking Soda.
Not only does baking soda have an unlimited shelf life, but it kicks butt in the number and variety of uses that are great for preppers.
Here are uses of baking soda specifically for preppers:
Toothpaste and Tooth Whitener
As an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes, just dip your wet toothbrush into baking soda and brush. Not only does it do a fine job of cleaning, but it will freshen your mouth, neutralize odors (not just cover them up) and whiten your teeth. Try it for just a week and you’ll see…
Oral Appliance Soak
For us older preppers (or those of us who didn’t take care of our teeth at a young age), baking soda is fantastic for soaking dentures and other mouth gear. Just add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a small glass or bowl filled with warm water and drop your “appliance” in the solution. The baking soda solution loosens food particles and neutralizes odors.
Facial Scrub and Body Exfoliant
By making a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, you can have an effective facial scrub and body exfoliant. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.
Baking soda dabbed under your pits makes a great deodorant and avoids some of the cancer causing ingredients found in traditional deodorants.
For you ladies (and some guys) that will be using hair styling products after the SHTF, baking soda when mixed with your shampoo does a great job at removing the residue that those products leave behind.
Bath or Foot Soak
Tired after a long day of hunting or scavenging for supplies in the post-apocalyptic world? Just add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath which will neutralize the acids on your skin, wash away oil and perspiration, and leave your skin rejuvenated and soft.
Sanitation and Cleaning
Handwash Dishes and Pots & Pans
Just add 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda with your dish detergent to the dish water and it’ll help to cut loose all the caked on rabbit and pigeon parts.
Clean Coffee and Tea Pots
Baking soda does a fine job at removing coffee and tea stains and getting rid of bitter off-tastes. Just wash your mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. If the stains are still there, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.
Cleaning Your Off-Grid Stoves and Solar Ovens
Got a rocket stove or solar oven that needs a good cleaning? Baking soda is non-toxic, gentle and environmentally safe. Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven or all over the stove. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge or rag, and rinse.
SHTF living can cause a lot of dirt and grime to build up on your floors. Just mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water, mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
Furniture can also be cleaned with the same solution as described above for floors.
Strengthen Your Liquid Laundry Detergent
If the post-collapse lifestyle is really getting your clothes dirty, give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make your liquid detergent work harder. Since the the pH balance is now better, the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher and brighter.
A Gentle Baby Clothes and Cloth Diaper Cleaner
Baby’s skin is quite a bit more sensitive than ours and requires the most gentle of cleansers. Baking soda is not only gentle but can help remove tough stains. Just add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a warm bucket of water with natural soap. Let the clothes or natural diapers soak overnight and wash as normal.
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay and the zombies away.
Remove Odor From Carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight, or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest (if you’ve still got power).
Remove Oil and Grease Stains
Since you’ll be servicing a lot of your small engines when the SHTF, use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
Keeping Battery Terminals Clean
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, farm equipment, etc. because its a mild alkali. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal (be sure to disconnect the battery first). After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion.
Clean Your Bug-Out Vehicles
Use baking soda to clean your bug-out vehicle lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks (not that that really matters post-apocalypse). A simple solution is mixing 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, zombie parts, bugs and tar. For stubborn stains, use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush.
Cold/Flu Preventative and Cure
Studies have shown that when taken internally, baking soda can help maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. This is likely the basic premise behind its recommended uses against both colds and influenza symptoms. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:
- Day 1 Take six doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
- Day 2 Take four doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
- Day 3 Take two doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone.
- Day 1 Take six doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
I have personally recommended this to many including family members and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda would immediately neutralize stomach acid. Dosing is typically 1-2 teaspoons in a full glass of water.
If you’ve ever read the baking soda boxes, you may have noticed that it can be substituted and used as an effective antacid for heartburn and acid indigestion. Just read the box for detailed instructions on how to use it in this way.
Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.
Minor burns and Sunburn remedy
Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
- Enhanced sports performance Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” – or taking baking soda capsules before races to enhance performance,3 a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. While I don’t suggest you try this at home, it’s another example of baking soda benefits.
Insect Bites & Poison Ivy Remedy
A paste made from water and baking soda makes for an effective salve onto itchy skin caused by insect bites or poison ivy (and other plant irritants).
Used internally and externally, baking soda has been a great help for those suffering with acne.
1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of water and kept it in my mouth as long as possible. Repeat 3 times within 1 hour.
Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus
Cure for Cancer?
According to Dr. Mark Sircus (from Winning the War on Cancer), “Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is the time honored method to ‘speed up’ the return of the body’s bicarbonate levels to normal. Bicarbonate is inorganic, very alkaline and like other mineral type substances, supports an extensive list of biological functions. Sodium bicarbonate happens to be one of our most useful medicines because bicarbonate physiology is fundamental to life and health.”
Miscellaneous Prepper Uses
Clean and Freshen Your Hunting/Scavenging Gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly hunting/scavenging equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into your boots and other clothes to help them become scent free — very important when hunting scent-aware animals.
Also, take your hunting clothes and place them in a plastic tote with sprinkled soda layered between the clothes. Then place an open box of baking soda in the tote and seal it up. By storing your hunting clothes in this manner it makes for an effective scent control method without paying the crazy prices of commercial scent control.
Scent Control for Hunting
By taking a “soda shower” (mix a few tablespoons with some liquid non-scent soap) prior to your hunt, you can effectively descent your body.
And while out in the field, carry around a tied up sock filled with baking soda and “dust” yourself over your clothes, body and in your hair for a very effective scent control method.
Shine Up Your Silver Before Barter
Looking to barter some of your silver for supplies in a post-collapse society? Be sure it looks as attractive as possible by making your silver super shiny. Just take 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Throwing baking soda (as opposed to water which will make it worse) on a minor grease or electrical kitchen fires is a very effective way of extinguishing it. Why? It gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames.
Post-Collapse Septic Care
Got a septic system? Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely (much needed when the septic man is no longer available). One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.
Making Baking Powder
Have a sweet tooth post collapse? By adding 2 parts of cream of tartar (also has practically unlimited shelf life) with one part baking soda, you can make baking powder — a necessary ingredient in muffins and cakes. Baking powder (since it’s mixed already with cream of tartar) absorbs moisture and will expire long before baking soda or cream of tartar alone. For more info check out a recent article: How to Make Baking Powder
Baking soda is not only fantastic for your in-home storage but it’s a must-have for bugging out. It’s a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher, medical aid and many other uses listed here.
Where to Get Large Amounts of Baking Soda
Instead of the small 1 lb boxes found in grocery stores, you can get larger 5 lb bags at Costco and Sam’s Club. Even better, check out Amazon for there 14 lb bags (click on the image to be redirected.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.