Baking soda, in all of its wonderful glory, is an absolute “must have” in every SHTF BOB, BOV or bug-out anything. From insect bites to hygienic uses, baking soda is like a cure all for whatever could be ailing you. I have compiled a list of 27 ways that baking soda can be used in a SHTF situation.
1. Insect Bites
Typical insect bites are not exactly dangerous or life-threatening, but after continuous scratching they can become worrisome and irritating. By applying a simple water and baking soda paste, you will find soothing relief from the itch that mosquitos and other bugs give you.
2. Freshen Mouth
Let’s be honest. Not everyone will remember to pack plenty of toothbrushes and toothpaste, so baking soda is a great alternative. Even using your damp finger to scrub baking soda around your mouth will kill germs and bacteria, and it will help keep your teeth white. This may sound trivial, but suffering from an abscess tooth while fighting off a herd of zombies does not sound like a good idea to me!
3. Soothes Feet
You will be on your feet more than you are used to. Whether you are walking, running, hunting or scouting, you will likely have some very sore feet. Soaking your feet in warm water with about ¼ cup of baking soda will actually soothe your feet and help heal those blisters that have started forming.
4. Clean Batteries
Okay, this one is common sense, but it still needs to be included. A baking soda scrub will neutralize the battery acid corrosion. The important thing to remember is to disconnect the battery from all terminals before applying the paste, and always use a cloth (or like item) to scrub the acid away.
5. Extinguish Fires
Much like sand, when you throw baking soda over the fire it will put the fire out. This will come in handy when you are trying to quickly put out a fire and get out of dodge when there is a threat nearby.
6. Relief for Sunburns
This method will not keep your skin from blistering, but by applying a paste of water and baking soda to the sore areas, the mixture will soothe your pain. It is recommended that you only use your precious baking soda on severe sunburns because you do not want to use it all up on something so minor.
7. Check Soil Acidity for your Vegetable Garden
In all honesty, you should have some way to start growing your own food (if you have not started already), and baking soda can be a great help for your garden. If you mix ¼ cup baking soda with two cups of water and add one cup of soil, you will see the water bubble if the soil is acidic enough for a garden.
8. Poison Ivy Relief
Okay, so poison ivy is mostly just an inconvenience. While this is true, there are some people who are highly allergic to it, and others who will have to care for infants, so having poison ivy relief can be extremely convenient. The soda helps to dry out the poisonous oils when a soda paste is applied to affected areas of the skin.
9. Melt Ice
If you live and plan to stay in the south, this might not mean much to you, but the northern hemisphere tends to get plenty of freezes in the winter months. The scavenging for food, you might have to run up and down stairs. You can spread baking soda over an icy surface to quickly melt the ice for easier and safer transport of goods.
10. Keep Animals out of your Garden
If you sprinkle a thick circle of baking soda around your garden, you will be able to keep rodents, deer and other animals away from your much needed food source.
11. Jelly Fish Stings
If you are caught in or around the ocean, you may end up getting stung by jelly fish. While urine is a great way to soothe jelly fish stings, you may be more inclined to put a baking soda paste on the affected area than you are to having your child or spouse spray you down.
12. Diaper Rash Relief
Not everyone has children, I get it… BUT for someone who does, this is something to keep in mind. Mixing a thick baking soda paste and applying it to a diaper rash can soothe almost any diaper rash.
13. Relieve Heartburn
Simply mix a tablespoon (approximate measures are fine) of baking soda with a glass of water, drink it down and you have given yourself the equal to a tablet of other fizzy heartburn relief medications.
14. Repels Household Bugs
Not everyone can live comfortably with cockroaches and ants, so this is something that you should keep in mind. If you sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda around a room, these bothersome bugs should keep away.
15. Removes Sweat Stains
Okay, so you don’t have a washing machine, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to keep clean. If you scrub the soiled area with baking soda, you will notice that the stain has either reduced or gone completely away.
16. Removes Oil and Grease Stains
Again, this is trivial in a SHTF scenario, but it is something to keep in mind if you happen to meet your dream guy or gal and plan a scavenging date. Keeping clean is actually more important that most people would like to believe.
17. Exfoliates Skin
You can use a baking soda paste to remove dry skin. Some people suffer from eczema or psoriasis, and this could really come in useful for them.
18. Removes Insecticides
If there was not a nuclear war, you will likely be safe to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. If this is the case, rinsing them with water and baking soda will rid them of the insecticides and other poisons that could be harmful.
19. Brush Pet Teeth
Just like humans, pet teeth are important to keep healthy. If it is your dog, he may be helping you hunt. With bad teeth, your hunting pal could become an unwanted burden rather than a tool for survival.
20. Relieve Body Odor
In the off-chance that you do find some running water and do not have soap, you can use baking soda as a body wash. If you have it handy, use it! Just because society has crumbled does not mean that you can throw away all forms of hygiene.
21. Cleans and Protects Hair
Again, hygiene is still kind of important. If you use baking soda as a shampoo, you will reduce grime and build-up while protecting your hair from unnecessary breakage.
22. Sweeten Tomatoes
When growing your vegetable garden, you can sprinkle baking soda on the top soil every few days. If you do this, your tomatoes will be sweeter and juicier.
23. Stuffy Noses
A stuffy nose can actually lead to some very hard times. Baking soda can be used to help relieve stuffy noses in the off-chance that you find or have a battery-operated vaporizer handy.
24. Remove Gassy Substances from Beans
Gas cramps suck! That’s all that can be said about that. If you are caught in a shoot-out, running from a threat or worse you do not want to be doubled over with stomach pains. Sprinkle some baking soda in that bean mixture, and you should be good to go.
25. Deodorize Pet Hair
You will likely be sleeping and eating with your pets. If you do not want that un-Godly pet smell, you can sprinkle some baking soda on their fur to rid it of odor.
26. No Weeds
When you finally settle into a new place, you will probably want to keep the weeds away for your much needed garden. Sprinkling baking soda on the area can help keep them from growing.
27. Repel Rain on your Windshield
If your wipers are bad and you have fuel in your care, you can sprinkle baking soda on your windshield to help keep the raindrops from forming and distorting your view.
As you can see, there are many uses for baking soda. If you are in a SHTF situation, you will want to conserve your supply, but that does not mean that you completely ignore cleanliness and hygiene. In this situation, doctors will be few and far between, so you will have to keep yourself healthy. Being dirty and unkempt can hinder your efforts.