Five Fabulous Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda
These days there are a lot of good proprietory eco-cleaning products available. I’m always giving new products a go, generally I find them just as effective as their non-eco counterparts and they smell nice and are pleasant to use. But I am never without a box of bicarbonate of soda. (A bottle of distilled malt vinegar is never very far away either!)
Unlike ready-to-use products I find that simple bicarb is versatile and lends itself to a variety of cleaning tasks that no one single ready-made product can tackle. I like to think this homespun approach to cleaning cuts down on production and packaging and generally works out cheaper. It is definitely a must-have for fans of papier-mache volcanoes. So here is my list, by no means exhaustive, of five fabulous uses for bicarbonate of soda.
Use a box of bicarbonate of soda as a fridge deodorant. We all do it, either leave something in there to the point of mouldiness or forget to cover food items. (I have a bad habit of doing this with half used onions!) If your fridge has got a bit whiffy just leave an opened box of bicarb at the back of the fridge on one of the lower shelves. Bicarbonate is well known for its odour absorbing properties. If the smell was particularly offensive remove the box and dispose of after a couple of days. As a general deodorant you should be able to leave it in there for two to three weeks.
If you’ve been hulling and chopping strawberries this summer, your wooden chopping board will tell the tale. To get rid of these tell-tale stains rinse the board with water (do not dry) and scatter with a large spoon of bicarb. Almost immediately the stains will begin to change colour. Wash and scrub the board as usual afterwards and the marks will virtually disappear. This works because bicarbonate of soda has a high alkaline content and neutralises acids. Try it on other acid food stains as well.
Use bicarbonate of soda as a carpet freshener. I do this especially on all the areas that our dog Willow habitually occupies. Again you are capitalising on bicarb’s ability to absorb odour. Scatter the bicarb over your carpets. Leaving it there overnight is ideal but a couple of hours will do. Next sweep up the excess with dustpan and brush and then hoover.
Use bicarbonate of soda as a gentle non-scratch scourer for sinks, basins and baths. Just scatter over the surfaces, scrub with a clean cloth and rinse well. (Rinsing with vinegar gives an extra boost to the cleaning power.)
You really do have to make fizz bombs in your toilet bowls and down plug holes. Pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the bowl or plug hole and follow this with a cup of distilled malt vinegar. (You can use any vinegar of course, I suggest this as the cheap option save your nice stuff for salad dressing!) Enjoy watching this fizz and feel the clean. Don’t worry about a residue of bicarb in the toilet bowl, it will still be doing a good deodorising job down there and will eventually flush away.
If you’re keen to get going with eco-friendly cleaning but don’t know where to start So Organic now provide complete ecover conversion kits and also ecover products in bulk, which saves on costs considerably. Don’t forget to apply the fizz-bomb methods to your papier-mache volcanos, especially useful when you have children in the 7-10 age range. You don’t make those all the time? Shame on you! It’s all compostable after the fun too.