Sodium Bicarbonate ("Baking Soda") has a long and established history. In 3500 BC, Egyptians used Natron, which was primarily made of Sodium Carbonate. This was used as a cleaning agent as well as to make mummies. Sodium Bicarbonate also called Soda Ash was first produced in 1791 by a French chemist Nicolas Leblanc. In 1843 Alfred Bird refined Soda Ash to and makes the first version of baking powder. In 1846 Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight both New Englanders made a product that would become a household name, Bicarbonate of Soda and later became ARM & HAMER™ Baking Soda.
Baking soda has since been used as a leavening agent in cooking, a mild disinfectant and deodorant, an antacid, a skin balm to treat itching, in toothpaste, cleaning agent and as a cattle feed supplement. It is benign if ingested, inhaled, or if it comes into contact with skin and for over 30 years, Sodium Bicarbonate has been used in soda blasting. Soda blasting began in 1986. For its 100th anniversary the Statue of Liberty underwent an enormous restoration project. During the restoration, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. maker of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda was contacted by the engineers looking for a way to remove the final two interior coating of coal tar without damaging Lady Liberty’s delicate copper skin. Through trial and error the engineers tested many different blasting abrasives and discovered that Sodium Bicarbonate had extraordinary cleaning and coating removal properties all while not causing any surface damage. Over 100 tons of Baking Soda was used to clean Lady Liberty and following this success, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. launched the first Sodium Bicarbonate blasting abrasive, ARMEX™.