Published April 18, 2023
Use everyday household items and a bit of science know-how to make your life easier with these kid-friendly acid-base life hacks.
Tired of struggling with stubborn stains, bad smells, and other annoying problems around the house? Well you know what they say, "When life gives you lemons... do some science!" With these kid-friendly acid-base life hacks, you can learn how to use common household items like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice to make your life easier and awesomer. So find some lemons, grab the baking soda, and let's get started!
When you cut an apple or avocado, the exposed surface starts turning brown due to a chemical reaction between oxygen and the enzymes in the fruit. To prevent this, simply squeeze a little lemon juice over the cut surface. The citric acid in the lemon juice will denature the enzymes and slow down the browning process.
Lemon juice is acidic and can be used to remove stains from clothes or surfaces. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with water. The acid in the lemon juice helps to break down the stain and remove it from the surface.
Baking soda is a natural base and can be used to neutralize odors in shoes, refrigerators, or other smelly areas. Sprinkle some baking soda into the area and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming or wiping it away. The base properties of the baking soda help to neutralize the acidic compounds that cause the bad smell.
Mix lemon juice with baking soda to create your own invisible ink. Use a cotton swab or paintbrush to write a message with the mixture on a white piece of paper. Once the lemon juice dries, the message will be invisible. To reveal the message, heat the paper with a hair dryer or iron. The heat will cause a chemical reaction between the acid in the lemon juice and the base in the baking soda, revealing the message.
Add a half-cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing clothes to soften them. The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the minerals in the water, making the clothes feel softer. The vinegar also helps to remove any leftover detergent or soap residue, leaving the clothes feeling fresh and clean.
Mix baking soda with water to create a paste, then use a soft cloth to rub the paste onto tarnished silver or gold jewelry. The base properties of the baking soda help to break down the tarnish and restore the shine to the jewelry. Rinse the jewelry with water and dry it with a clean cloth.
Apply a small amount of toothpaste to an insect bite to relieve itching and inflammation. Toothpaste is basic and can neutralize the acidic venom or saliva left by the insect. The menthol in the toothpaste can also provide a cooling sensation that can relieve the itchiness of the bite.
Apply lemon juice to rust stains on metal surfaces and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it away. The acid in the lemon juice helps to break down the rust and make it easier to remove. This is a great way to remove rust from small metal items like keys or scissors.
Club soda is slightly acidic and can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, including glass, mirrors, and stainless steel. The bubbles in the club soda help to lift dirt and grime from the surface, making it easier to clean. Simply spray club soda onto the surface and wipe it away with a clean cloth.
Stainless steel appliances and surfaces can easily get smudged and stained with fingerprints, grease, and other marks. To clean them effectively without scratching the surface, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stainless steel. Use a soft cloth to rub the surface gently, then rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. The alkaline nature of baking soda helps break down grease and dirt, while the gentle abrasive action helps remove stains without damaging the surface.
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