The immediate image of sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, that enters most people’s minds is an innocuous box nonchalantly huddled in the back of the refrigerator. Surprisingly, this traditional baking and odor-neutralizing agent is also a powerful player in literally hundreds of industrial uses.
Thinking of its common uses, sodium bicarbonate, or NaHCO3, is used in the cooking industry since it reacts with leavening agents to create the gaseous carbon dioxide we are used to noting as air pockets or bubbles in breads, cakes, and other pastries. It is also used to tenderize meats and in breaded items to ensure a crispy crust when the batter is baked or fried. For baking needs, sodium bicarbonate #1 can be found in grocery stores as well as Florida chemical distributors’ warehouses. In the latter of the two common uses, sodium bicarbonate has many industrial uses, including manufacture of textiles; dyeing and print operations since it elevates the dye bath alkalinity; rubber and plastics industries as a blowing agent to mold any rubber or plastic object once carbon dioxide is released; purification and catalyzing in the manufacture of complex plastics and polymers; wool and silk applications by neutralizing lactic acid in fabrics; leather industry to neutralize acids in the dyeing process; in dry chemical-based fire extinguishers to douse grease or electrical fires; for pool and spa maintenance by regulating the pH and disinfecting the water; as an anti-pollutant since it has the capability of controlling biological oxygen demand, maintaining wastewater alkalinity, and controlling odors by neutralizing sulfur dioxide; and in laboratories throughout the world as an amphoteric component with its power to neutralize either acids and bases.
The medical community also utilizes sodium bicarbonate USP #1 (a fine powder food-grade version of NaHCO3) in the dental industry to whiten teeth and stimulate gums as well as to clean oral appliances such as dentures and retainers. Dentists also use sodium bicarbonate as a rinse and gentle abrasive to keep their patients’ teeth and gums healthy, to neutralize halitosis, and to reduce infections. Many toothpastes and mouthwashes also contain food-grade sodium bicarbonate for this invigorating abrasiveness. Doctors regularly prescribe sodium bicarbonate as an antacid for its ability to neutralize the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It is also used to treat aspirin overdoses since aspirin is an acid-based compound, sodium bicarbonate USP #1 is used to reduce acid in the blood and/or urine, to remove subcutaneous splinters, and to treat mild cases of poison ivy or other substances containing urushiol. Florida chemical distributors offer sodium bicarbonate in a number of forms, depending on your usage needs.
The myriad uses of food-grade sodium bicarbonate are too many to number. Chances are that you have used it or encountered it in some form at least once this week already. To purchase sodium bicarbonate #1, contact Bell Chem, a Florida chemical distributor. Learn more about this great product on our website, or call us at (407) 339-BELL today.