August 8, 2007 in Features

Hints from Heloise

The Spokesman-Review

Dear Heloise: Here is a use for baking soda that I have not seen written up lately – as a fire extinguisher, especially good for oil or grease fires (small kitchen ones – Heloise). Sprinkle soda on the fire, and it will soon go out. As a chemist, I have known of this use for quite a while.– James R. Slagle, Lubbock, Texas

It’s a good idea to keep a box of baking soda in a cabinet near the stove and oven just in case there’s a flare-up. But be sure to TURN OFF THE HEAT, stand away and gently toss a handful or two at the BASE of the flames, not over the top. If it’s a deep-fat fryer, don’t try this, because the fire could spread. Turn off the heat and cover the fryer with a large metal lid. If it gets out of hand, don’t wait – call 911 ASAP!

FYI: Keep a box of baking soda in the garage. If there is a fresh oil stain, sprinkle baking soda over the spot to absorb the mess. Heloise

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