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Weird Facts about Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda

  • Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as bicarbonate of soda, was originally used as an ingredient in cake batter to make cakes rise; hence the combination of the words baking and soda.
  • The Arm & Hammer symbol was first used in the early 1860s by James A. Church, who ran a spice and mustard business called Vulcan Spice Mills. When Church joined his father in the baking soda business in 1867, he brought with him the trademark depicting the muscular arm of Vulcan, god of fire, with steel hammer in hand about to descend on an anvil.
  • In 1846, John Dwight started making baking soda in the kitchen of his Massachusetts home. In 1847, he formed John Dwight and Company with his brother-in-law, Dr. Austin Church, introducing Cow Brand as the trademark for Dwight’s Saleratus (aerated salt, as baking soda was then called). Church formed Church & Company to produce the baking soda, identifying his brand as Arm & Hammer. In 1896, the descendants of the founders of these two companies consolidated their interests under the name Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
  • The Arm & Hammer logo ranks among the nation’s most recognized product symbols.
  • Baking soda has an almost unlimited shelf life.
  • Baking soda was used to clean the Statue of Liberty for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration.
  • A box of baking soda can be found in nine out of ten refrigerators. According to the Los Angeles Times, "More refrigerators are likely to have baking soda than working light bulbs."
  • Baking soda is the main ingredient in Alka-Seltzer.
  • Baking soda was promoted as a key ingredient in twenty-five percent of all toothpastes sold in 1994.
  • When mixed in cake batter and heated, baking soda releases a carbon dioxide gas that causes the cake to rise.
  • Baking soda chemically neutralizes odors by turning into a sodium salt and giving off water and carbon dioxide.
  • Baking soda cleanses by neutralizing fatty acids found in most dirt and grease.
  • Arm & Hammer Baking Soda has been used to reduce air pollution in factory smoke stacks. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, when pulverized to an appropriate particle size, is, like other sodium sorbents, one of the most effective collectors of sulfur dioxide. Injecting Arm & Hammer brand sorbent grade sodium bicarbonate directly into the flue gas ducts of coal-fired boiler systems, desulfurizes flue gas. The baking soda reacts with sulfur dioxide to form sodium sulfate, and the cleaned flue gas exits through the stack.
  • Arm & Hammer Baking Soda has been used to increase the effectiveness of sewage treatment plants. Baking soda helps maintain proper pH and alkalinity in biological digesters, fostering trouble-free operation of both anaerobic and aerobic treatment plants. Used in maintenance doses, baking soda boosts sludge compaction, alkalinity, and methane gas production while reducing biological oxygen demand and controlling sulfide odors. Plus, it’s environmentally safe.
  • Baking soda can restore lakes damaged by acid rain. In 1985, Cornell professor James Bisongi, Jr., restored Wolf Pond, a virtually dead fifty-acre lake in the Adirondacks, by adding nearly twenty tons of baking soda to the water to dramatically reduce the acidity.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Navy’s Civil Engineering Lab have jointly developed an inexpensive method using baking soda to decontaminate soil laced with halogenated organic chemicals. The halogenated contaminates are decomposed by excavating, crushing, and screening the soil, mixing in baking soda at ten percent of its weight, and then heating to 630°F for one hour. The treated soil can then be returned to its original location.
  • Arm & Hammer Baking Soda has been used to increase the butterfat content of cow and goat milk. High grain diets typically increase acid formation in the ruminant animals, interfering with the bacteria that aid digestion. Adding baking soda to cow and goat feed increases the pH in the animals’ rumina, lowering the acidity, making for a more favorable environment for the microbacteria that aid digestion, elevating the rate of feed intake, and increasing milk production and the butterfat content of the milk.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Arm & Hammer" is a registered trademark of Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
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