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Green Cleaning 201 - Baking Soda

By Diane Bass, Assistant Marketing Manager

In our last issue I focused on vinegar, one of Reenie Rogers’ MS, RYT, green cleaning essentials. This week I’ll cover baking soda and it’s many uses. Baking soda is essential for any green cleaning kit. In fact, according to Noël-Marie Taylor, blogger for www.thenewhomemaker.com, there are at least, “27 ways to clean with baking soda.”

It works as a perfect alternative to Borax, a common ingredient in commercial cleaning scrubs and detergents. Borax (also know as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate) can be irritating to when touched, inhaled or ingested. “According to EPA's safety review of these pesticides, chronic exposure to high doses of borax or boric acid causes testicular atrophy in male mice, rats and dogs. Animal studies reviewed by the EPA indicate that while the female reproductive system is less sensitive to borax, exposure to it can also lead to reduced ovulation and fertility. Borax and boric acid can cross the placenta, affecting fetal skeletal development and birth weight in animal studies of high-dose exposures.”
(www.enviroblog.org/2011/02/borax-not-the-green-alternative-its-cracked-up-to-be.html)

Unfortunately, as these are new findings, Borax is included in a large number of the green cleaning formulas I’ve found online. If you are searching for more recipes to make on your own remember that baking soda can be used in place of Borax to avoid these risks.

A commonly known use for baking soda is deodorizing; simply place a box in your refrigerator, freezer or cupboard to soak up unpleasant smells
(www.thenewhomemaker.com/cleanorg/soda.html).

Rogers suggests baking soda to clean toilets, tubs, and sinks. Combine baking soda, water and a small amount of dish soap (check the label to be sure your dish soap is environmentally friendly), for a quick soft scrub cleaner. Mix together until the texture becomes similar to cake frosting.

“To remove stubborn stains from most surfaces,” Taylor recommends a, “baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.”
(www.thenewhomemaker.com/cleanorg/soda.html)

Coming up in our next eNewsletter, Green Cleaning: Master Class. Also, don’t miss Reenie’s upcoming seminar, “Getting Rid of Plastics“ on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

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