Fortunately knock on wood I have never experienced a stove fire. Yet I have always kept a box of baking soda in the cupboard above the stove, just in case. And while it’s true that baking soda has been used for many years to stave off fires, I was surprised to learn that it has also been used in mattresses. So when I asked the president of Lifekind, Walt Bader, his opinion on this subject, I got quite an explanation — and, I must say, a major education.
According to Walt:
“There are some mattress manufacturers that say baking soda is safe because we bake with it, brush our teeth with it, and, in the form of carbon dioxide, even put it in beverages. So how can it not be safe?
“Technically, we don’t breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2), we excrete it in our breath as a waste product. Re-breathing into a plastic bag can cause carbon dioxide poisoning. At higher levels you can experience panic, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, unconsciousness, or even death. And even though we’re talking about CO2, not baking soda, when baking soda is involved in a fire, it produces…guess what? Carbon dioxide. And it is absolutely possible to experience anoxia (total depletion in the level of oxygen) or asphyxiation from breathing CO2, which is created when harmless baking soda reacts to the heat of a fire.
“CO2 can kill you. In a fire environment, I am less concerned with CO2 reducing levels of oxygen than I am with the fact that it regulates breathing function because of changes in pH in the sleeper’s blood.
“This is why we use the more expensive option of wool as the only flame retardant in our mattresses.”
Cleaning your house with natural products doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Most ingredients to make powerful, safe, effective cleaners can be found in the cabinets of most peoples homes. Here is a list of common household products and their uses.
Baking Soda – This can be sprinkled directly onto sinks and tubs before giving them a good scrub. Baking soda can also be used to deodorize sinks and garbage disposals. Pour ½ cup down the drain, trickle a bit of hot water to moisten, and let sit 2 hours, then flush with hot water. I like to put a lemon rind into the garbage disposal after this treatment. Turn on the disposal and it will smell lemony fresh!
Baking soda can also be added to laundry to deodorize and soften clothes. Add ¼ cup to wash cycle.
White Vinegar – Mix 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. in a spray bottle. Add 5 – 10 drops of your favorite essential oils and give it a shake – I personally like clove and lavender as these have powerful disinfecting properties. This concoction can be used to wipe down tables and counter tops, desks and doorknobs. Not to worry about the smell, it will evaporate and dissipate in a few minutes.
White Vinegar is a powerful disinfectant. It can also be poured directly onto mold or mildew in the shower. This will kill the spores.
Rubbing Alcohol –Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and tablespoon vinegar in a spray bottle to make an excellent glass cleaner. Also cleans chrome fixtures.
Vegetable oil and lemon juice – Mix 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts water into a bowl or spray bottle. Apply to wood furniture and polish off.
If none of these do the trick for you, don’t forget that we carry a full line of Naturally Safer cleaning products. Go check them out!