I am the Gus Portokalos of Baking Soda

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is perhaps one of the best movies of all time. It’s a clever, loving classic ugly-duckling-beautiful-swan transformation story with a perfectly quirky happy ending. I could not be more excited for the Greekquel.

Gus, played by Michael Constantine, is the perfect movie father: he cares deeply about his family but pays no attention to their lives, which ensures his fatherly wisdom misses the mark every time. Nothing illustrates his charm better than his odd obsession with Windex. To Gus, Windex is the cure-all for everything. For me, the cure-all is baking soda.

If you have been around me for anytime longer than five minutes, you know that I don’t use shampoo. Instead, I wash my hair with baking soda and, over the half a year or so that I’ve been no-‘poo, I can confirm that it’s been a pretty positive lifestyle change. With the exception of trying to explain to the TSA why I’ve got a bottle of white powder in my carry on, the transition from shampoo to baking soda was a breeze. My hair feels softer, looks shinier, stays styled for longer, and doesn’t get greasy as quickly.

Why is this? Because baking soda, like shampoo, is slightly alkaline while your scalp is slightly acidic (I know, weird). Mix the two together and – bam – you get a neutral, balanced happy head.

You know what else baking soda is good for?

  • Deodorizing smelly stuff. Put a scoop in the washing machine when you wash your gym clothes. Tuck a cheesecloth bag of it in your shoes. Sprinkle some in the bottom of your dishwasher to clean it. Rub it into yo’ nastay pits as deodorant.
  • Putting out fires. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated, smothering the oxygen needed to sustain a fire. This is great for kitchen grease fires. Not that I have any experience with that.
  • Absorbing oils. Oil pan gasket leaking? Baking soda to absorb the grease on the garage floor. Drop a bottle of olive oil on the kitchen floor? Baking soda to expedite cleaning. Feel like your face is super greasy? Apply a paste of baking soda straight to the t-zone.
  • Cleaning anything. Baking soda is a fantastic exfoliant. Burned food stuck at the bottom of a pan? Soak overnight with baking soda. Teeth not sparkly white enough? Brush with baking soda. Grimy, moldy shower curtain? Soak in water and baking soda. Coffee pot need a cleaning? Brew you a cuppa baking soda.
  • Relieving itchy skin. A paste of baking soda helps relieve irritation from bug bites and chafing, while baking soda mouthwash can relieve canker sore pain.
  • Making pretzels. As I recently learned, pretzels get their delicious, brown crust from being boiled in baking soda prior to going in the oven.

Do you have any unique uses for baking soda around the house? Tell me! I must try it.


4 thoughts on “I am the Gus Portokalos of Baking Soda”

  1. OMG. Baking soda is the best. I used to dilute the baking soda to wash my hair. Do you just apply the power directly?!

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