There are 100’s of uses for baking soda and more specific uses for the traveler. Better yet, baking soda can be found on any continent eliminating the need to carry a sack of toiletries. Some of my uses:
- Toothpaste and mouth wash – Moisten your tooth-brush and dip it in baking soda. Brush, rinse, and then gargle with water. It tastes like crap, but you’ll have a nice smile in minutes, provided you have a couple of teeth.
- Anti-acid – Never knowing when you will get heart burn or indigestion, a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water is the cure. Do not exceed 3-4 tsp. per day. A necessity in Hong Kong after eating squab (fried pigeon).
- Cure for muscle pain – After a day of exploring Aztec ruins, muscles can get very sore. This is, in large part, due to lactate building up in the muscle. Baking soda is a base and counteracts lactic acid relieving muscle soreness. It is also good for relieving the cramps of dehydration. If you are a healthy adult, do not exceed 3-4 tsp. a day.
- Insect bites – Make a paste with water and apply to insect bites for quick relief of pain.
- Clean brushes and combs – A couple of teaspoons mixed in a 12 ounce glass of water cleans and disinfects. You don’t want a head full of scabies from that perfectly good comb you found on the sidewalk. If you do get them, use Permethrin cream (5% elimite) to treat.
- Cleaning cook and camp ware – Baking soda and water scrub and scorer pots, pans, and skillets with or without detergent. This is most effective if you’re upstream from sewage draining into the water.
- Hand washing – Water and baking soda cleans germs, dirt, and oil. Upstream-see previous warning.
- Cleans fruits and vegetables – Put salads, fruits, and vegetables in a bowl of water with 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Slosh around, drain, and rinse.