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Volume III
July 12, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

One Ingredient Your Pantry Shouldn't Be Without!

By Alice Osborne

How about seltzer? This unassuming liquid is one ingredient your pantry shouldn't be without. Back in March a great site, Care2, sent this information and I've been trying these ideas out (wanted to test them before I passed the advice along), and sure enough, they work wonderfully well!

Following are reasons why you want seltzer water around. (BTW: You can substitute Club Soda in these ideas, but just know they aren't the same thing. While both are bubbly, seltzer is nothing more than carbonated water, while club soda has a few added mineral-like ingredients.)

First of all, you can clean with seltzer:

  • Clean Porcelain & Stainless Steel. Seltzer is the perfect cleaning agent for porcelain. Clean away with a soft cloth and wipe dry to prevent water stains.
  • Clean Cast Iron. Pour some seltzer on your cast iron and let it sit for a while. The carbonation helps remove the rust.
  • Clean Surfaces. Apply seltzer to countertops and other surfaces and gently scrub with a soft cloth. No harsh chemicals needed!
  • Clean Your Car's Windshield. Sometimes windshield wipers just aren't enough. Always be prepared with a spray bottle of seltzer to keep your car's windshield clean.
  • Clean Precious Gems. Sparkle up your gems by cleaning them with seltzer. Let them soak in a glass of the stuff overnight.
  • Remove Urine Stains. Accidents do happen. Blot up as much of the urine as possible with a paper towel, pour some seltzer/club soda on the stain, and then blot again. Not only will it help remove the stain, but it'll also help remove the odor.
  • Remove Clothing Stains. Pour seltzer on clothing stains; let sit a few minutes and then gently scrub.

And you can cook with it:

  • Make Fluffier Pancakes. Skip the milk or water when you're making pancakes, and use seltzer instead. Why? The carbonation makes the pancakes lighter and airier.
  • Make Tempura Batter. Make takeout at home with the help of some seltzer.
  • Perfect Your Matzoh Balls. Just as seltzer will make pancakes fluffier, it'll do the same for matzoh balls.
  • Make Your Scrambled Eggs Fluffier. You may think a few splashes of milk will make scrambled eggs fluffy, but it can also be achieved with seltzer--who knew?!

And you can use it for hair and health care:

  • Restore Dyed Hair. Did a trip to the pool damage your dyed hair? Quickly rinse with seltzer to return it to its previous luster.
  • Soothe Your Stomach. Sipping on seltzer is a great way to soothe an upset stomach. Add a few dashes of bitters if you like!

Finally, a few miscellaneous uses:

  • Feed Your Plants. Give your plants a mineral boost - but make sure that it's flat seltzer.
  • Free a Rusty Screw. Can't remove a screw because it's rusted over? Remedy that by pouring some seltzer and letting it sit for about 5 minutes. The carbonation will eat away the rust. Handy news for the guy that likes to restore old autos, etc.!
  • Preserve Newspaper Clippings. Unless preserved, newspapers tend to yellow and fade over time. If you have a clipping you'd like to save, mix one capful of milk of magnesia into one quart of seltzer. Let this sit overnight and then, the next day, soak the clipping in the mixture for about an hour. Blot dry.


Alice Osborne
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006

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