Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Internet DIY info

Sometimes I have to wonder about the DIY stuff found on the internet. There are times when I have to set back and say “What the heck are they thinking?”

You know how the internet search engines will give you search results plus what other stuff it thinks might interest you? Ok.  I was traveling around the internet in search of something when I came across a DIY for making homemade washing soda. The homemade washing soda could then be used to make DIY laundry detergent.  I was curious so I started reading.  Basically what the instructions said (on more than one site) is to subject the baking soda to heat which takes the water out of it and magically turns baking soda into washing soda.

Most instructions said to bake it and one site said it could be made on top of the stove. What they all said is that by applying heat to the baking soda you get washing soda.

Does that make sense to you?  It doesn’t make sense to me at all. Maybe I’m wrong and some science major will tell me.  Here’s what I know.

Baking soda and washing soda

Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate.  The cautions on the side of the box say it should not be taken internally or gotten into the eyes.  In my opinion washing soda is dangerous stuff.  I rarely use it.  When I do use washing soda I always use gloves because it’s very harsh on skin.  Washing soda is the stuff used by fabric dyers to break down the fibers in cloth so it accepts dye better.  If its used in this way just think what its doing to your laundry if you use it regularly.

Baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate.  There are no cautions on the side of the box.  It’s used in just about everything.  Heck its the solid equivalent of vinegar.  Both are very versatile and very useful. Baking soda is used to clean your teeth or deodorize your underarms.  It’s used as an antacid for a stomach.  It’s used for unclogging a drain naturally. It’s used as a laundry water softener.  It’s used to put out grease fires.   It’s used as a polish and a cleanser. Its used as shampoo.  There are hundreds of uses for baking soda.  Why heck, baking soda is even used to make really fluffy biscuits. 😉

Now here’s my confusion.  If the only thing separating baking soda from becoming washing soda is applied heat; how is it we use baking soda for cooking with no ill effects?  OR have I been slowly poisoning myself every time I put a teaspoon of baking soda in my cooking and baking all these years?  Are my fluffy biscuits really just small doses of poison when they come out of the oven?

Grandma Mama was very smart and extremely frugal.  She was born in the late 1800s.  Grandma Mama never knew anything other than DIY because that was life back then.  She taught me a lot of her ways.  I don’t remember her ever making her own washing soda by cooking baking soda.  I can just hear her now.  Laughing at such a notion of baking her baking soda so it could be used to wash clothes.  She used it just the way it was in her laundry to soften the water and remove any odors.

I’m all for using the internet for teaching and learning.  I simply want people to use common sense when using the information found.  All one has to do is start writing a blog and suddenly you are an expert at whatever the subject of the blog. Checking facts for accuracy is not a requirement for writing a blog.  Neither is being honest.  So as you travel around the world of blogs please be skeptical of the information you find.  Even when reading this blog. Use common sense.  I could be wrong and just don’t realize it.


4 comments on “Internet DIY info

  1. MsNaUnd
    March 10, 2015

    Well, it seems that it is true, that sodium bicarbonate can be turned into washing soda. You need to heat it up at 60 celsius degrees and then you get carbon dioxide, water and …sodium carbonate. I found this information in a french website.
    I haven’t tried it myself, though. You would absolutely need pure sodium bicarbonate at the start (baking powder would not do, as it also contains cream of tartar).
    In Switzerland washing soda is much cheaper than sodium bicarbonate. It is true that it is harsh on the skin, but it does wonders with the laundry as it softens the water. It cleans pretty well. I use it a lot. I also add some when I dye a cloth. I have soaked dirty clothes in washing soda overnight with no adverse effect. And if washing soda is harsh (it creates redness), it doesn’t burn the skin (unlike lye).

    Baking soda is not at all toxic.You are not poisoning yourself. When sodium bicarbonate is heated, it doesn’t stay sodium bicarbonate. A chemical reaction occurs and it is then split into water, carbon dioxide + sodium carbonate. So there is a complete reorganisation of the molecules. I don’t know whether making this experiment at home is safe or not. I would strongly recommend using protective glasses, gloves etc.

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2015 by in CLEANING, JUST THINKING and tagged , , , , , .

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