Info and history of baking soda

A Little History
In ancient times, the Egyptians used natron. Natron is a mineral composed of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate. They obtained the natron from the evaporation of salt lakes and used it to rub the body as soap and to make ointments. Natron was also used to preserve mummies.
1791: Nicolas Leblanc, French chemist, first develops sodium bicarbonate as it exists today.
1846: Dr. Austin Church and his son-in-law John Dwight founded the Church and Dwight company near New York, which used the first industrial refining of sodium carbonate to obtain sodium bicarbonate from Trona.
1863: Ernest Solvay launches his first carbonate and then sodium bicarbonate plant in Belgium, using a new process that combines two natural mineral raw materials: geological salt (called rock salt) and calcium carbonate (chalk or limestone). This process is still the most used in the world and the only one used in Europe.


What is baking soda?
The sodium bicarbonate has the formula NaHCO 3. It is presented as a white powder. We can find it under different names such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate in industrial pastries. It is also called Vichy salt because it is the main mineral in Vichy water.


The benefits of baking soda
• It does not cause allergies
• It is edible (baking soda only)
• It is non-toxic
• It is biodegradable
• It contains no preservative
• It is economical

How to use baking soda?
You understand that bicarbonate is a versatile product and that makes it part of his interest. It is still necessary to have an idea of ​​the different ways to use it. Baking soda can be used in 5 different ways: powder, paste, solution, spray and mixed.


Baking soda powder
This is what it looks like at first. In this case, it should be "sprinkled", that is, pour small amounts and distribute it as evenly as possible. Baking powder is used when a "contact" action must take place:
• To absorb odors (contact between the baking soda granules and the ambient air).
• To clean surfaces (it is often necessary to wet the support - sponge or cloth - to allow the baking soda to adhere).
• To combat allergens on mattresses, rugs, carpets.
• When mixed with other powders: for the preparation of pastries, in mixture with, for example, flour.


Baking soda paste
A paste is obtained by mixing approximately 3 volumes of bicarbonate and 1 volume of water. This leaves most of the grains present, but they remain connected by "saturated" water in which a small portion of the bicarbonate will be dissolved. It is the ideal form for "applying baking soda":
• On surfaces to be cleaned.
• On the skin (food grade bicarbonate).
• In fact in any situation where it is necessary to adhere the bicarbonate to a surface.
Here is an example of using baking soda in different forms: cleaning silverware without rubbing by diluting to start, then in powder or paste form with optional rubbing for finishing.

Baking Soda Solution
Dissolving baking soda in water is very simple. The warmer the water and the 'purer' the water, the greater the maximum amount of diluted bicarbonate. In theory, you can dilute up to 87 grams of bicarbonate per liter in completely pure water at 20 ° C (this is the theoretical solubility limit of bicarbonate). Since our tap water is generally very calcareous, in practice it can no longer be considered "pure" water and is generally distributed at a temperature between 10 and 15 ° C, and we can only dissolve forty or fifty grams bicarbonate per liter (about 3 tablespoons). It is largely sufficient for almost all applications of bicarbonate of soda in solution:
• In the kitchen (when diluted in milk, when cleaning or cooking vegetables, etc.)
• For all cleaning and soaking applications (e.g. laundry).
• But also for body care in the bath.


Baking soda spray
It is enough to dissolve the bicarbonate in the tank of a small sprayer (make sure that it did not contain any hazardous substance before). Spraying can be very practical!


Mixed baking soda
For example, the bicarbonate can be combined with vinegar (it will then react by "foaming"), with oil, with clay, with liquid soap. The areas of application then become almost endless.


The Properties of Baking Soda
Baking soda comes in three main grades: technical, food and pharmaceutical. Even if we find them under the same name as sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda), they have different purity criteria. Technical baking soda should only be used for household use. The soft drink is identified by the FCC code. It is the most versatile because it can be used for home maintenance and body care, for animals and also in the garden.

Bicarbonate is available in different particle sizes (size of the granules of which it is composed): a very fine particle size (extra fine bicarbonate) is suitable for body care and for making your own cosmetics and deodorant, for example, while a large particle size (large baking soda) is more convenient for rubbing powder on a sponge or brush. There is also an intermediate particle size (fine particle size) that is the most versatile.

©  NA ten Hoeve 08\08\2008

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