Monday, August 6, 2012

Mommy's Little Helper

 I read something recently, can't remember exactly what it was, that said that doctors used to prescribe women Valium for their "nerves" or to help them cope with the stress of being housewives. Um... really? I thought this was nuts for a whole slew of reasons. So I googled it. Sure enough, in the 60's, SAHM's were poppin pills left and right. So.... what in the world am I supposed to take for my nerves? Seriously. These women couldn't handle being housewives? What? Did they think it was a lot to deal with? Tough to do? Huh. Who'd have known?

Anyway, I've found another little helper. It's one that's not new and is all over the place and it even says on the box that it's got a whole bunch of different functions and purposes but I didn't discover any more than like two until recently.

Baking Soda. Yup. Boring as it may sound. And I know that I may have just lost some of you reading. Seriously though, if some one knew of something fantastic, I'd hope they'd share the news. Just like Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. If you've never tried them (and you can use the "off" brand and they work just as well), you're not living. Holy Clean Walls, Batman! Yeah. But back to the baking soda.

I think that I first started seeing things about it on Pinterest (another form of Mommy's Little Helper). So I decided to break out a box (or 4) and put it to use. In the last week, here's how I've used it and how it's helped rock my world:

1) Mosquito itch reliever. Mix a little with some water and just a touch of Windex (yeah, you read right). Enough to make it a thick paste. Then just put a little on the mosquito bite. My daughter got bit up really bad the other day. She had at least 15 bites on her arms and legs. And she seemed to think that telling me over and over how bad they itched, that I would be able to make it stop. We've tried benedryhl and hydrocortizone cream before but neither worked for her. But this did. And I'm not gonna lie, the peace and quite that followed, the lack of whining and complaining about how bad they itched, was music to my ears. Try it!

2) I have tiles on the floor in my bathroom. Somehow, I neglected them badly over time and the grout between the tiles had gotten really dirty. Scrubbing with other cleaners didn't help. I mixed some baking soda with water and hydrogen peroxide, grabbed a toothbrush, got on my hands and knees and went to town. 20 minutes later, the grout was white again and it looked like I had brand new floors.

3) Anti-boy-potty-training-smell-thing... I don't even know what to call it. All I know is that my almost 3 year old son is thrilled to be potty trained. And he's thrilled that he can "pee like a big boy"... meaning, he stands up to do it. Only problem is that if he stands on the stool, he overshoots but if he's standing on the floor, he's too short to get it in properly. So a lot of pee ends up on the floor, and the toilet, and in weirder places. The bathroom has been reeking of urine and it seemed like no matter how much I cleaned or what I used, I just couldn't get the smell to go away. Until today. A friend pinned a recipe for this very problem that worked like a charm. Mix the baking soda with water and lemon juice. So I did. And I got back down on my hands and knees with the toothbrush and scrubbed the floors. And the toilet. And the floor boards. And there's no more pee smell. I can not express how happy this made me. That bathroom has been stinking so bad that it's made me borderline insane. Who wants a room of their home smelling like a public restroom? I sure don't. And now I don't have to.

4) Hand softener. After using all this baking soda, I noticed that my hands felt much softer. So I decided to test it. I mixed enough of it with water to make a thick paste and then just grabbed a bit and gave myself a hand massage. I couldn't believe how much softer my hands were afterwards. I'm gonna try in on my feet later. I can't wait to have baby soft feet.

I also sprinkle it on my dog's beds and in their crates to help maintain the dog smell. I used to keep it in my freezer but I never really understood why. I know it's a great deodorizer but my freezers have never smelled weird in the first place so who knows... Also, Arm & Hammer, one of the most popular brands of baking soda, makes this amazing carpet deodorizer (we call it "carpet sprinkle" in our house). You can buy it in a whole bunch of different scents or you can buy it in what I'm assuming is basically a fancy packaged version of regular baking soda. Since I've been using it (when I vacuum), my carpets have smelled so good. You wouldn't know I have three dogs and three kids.

I know that baking soda has a billion more uses (cooking, cleaning, deodorizing and what not) but these are my most recent tried and true. I think that when I go shopping again in a few days, I'm going to get a whole bunch more and tackle some more projects with it. I hear you can polish silver, make home made tooth paste, remove coffee stains and even, with the help of boiling vinegar, unclog your drains.

Who needs Valium when you've got a box of baking soda? Well...

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