Cleaning with Bicarb…

October 27th, 2010

Bicarbonate of soda has many names including, Bicarb, Baking Soda, Sodium Bicarbonate or Bread Soda to name a few. 

It was first made in the 1830’s by an American who developed a process of purifying sodium carbonate as he wanted to make a high quality food grade sodium bicarbonate to use in baking.  It was this American, Austin Church, who set up the company Arm & Hammer, who’s well known toothpaste brand is still available today.

The list of uses for Bicarbonate of soda is endless from baking, cleaning, odour removal, use in body care, clothes washing and even as a dry shampoo on smelly pets!  But here are a few tips on how to use it in cleaning as a non toxic alternative to household cleaners.  Not only is it non toxic it works out extremely cost effective at 16p per 100g (price correct Oct 2010). 

Washing up:

For serious eco-friendly washing up add 1 tablespoon of Bicarb to a sink full of hot water along with the juice of half a lemon.  Or add it to your commercial washing up liquid to make this even more effective.

Oven Cleaner:

Scrape as much dirt off of your oven as possible, then add plenty of bicarb with water, making a thick paste, spread over your oven and then leave over night, wipe off the next day with hot water.  Use dry bicarb on a cloth for tough grime.

Cream Cleaner:

For a simple cream cleaner, mix bicarb with water to make a paste. Add a few drops of essential oil to make it smell nice.

Odour removal:

Leave an open container of Bicarb around to absorb smells, works well in the fridge.  Don’t forget to change the bicarb regularly though.

Lime scale remover:

Add vinegar (white vinegar) available at Scoopaway (92p for 568ml) to bicarb and rub the fizzing paste onto surfaces, leave for 30mins then rinse off.

Toilet cleaner:

Sprinkle bicarb down your loo, leave for 30 mins and then scrub with your toilet brush, then just flush away.

Drain Cleaner:

Mix two parts bicarb to two parts salt and put this down your drain.  Then pour down one part vinegar.  Put the plug in as soon as you can so the fizzing mixture stays down.  Rinse with hot water after about 30 mins. 

Shower glass cleaner:

Rub the glass with vinegar and then rub this with bicarb on your cloth, rinse well and then dry off.

Shower head cleaner:

Mix 250ml of vinegar with 3 table spoons of bicarb in a small container that your shower head will fit into.  Leave it to soak overnight.

Soft furnishing Cleaner:

Sprinkle dry bicarb on your sofa/carpet etc and then vacuum off after 15mins.

Clothes washing:

Add half a cup of bicarb to your washing powder to get great laundry results, you can use less washing powder than normal too.

Nappy cleaning:

Soak your re-usable nappies overnight in bicarb to stop any smells, this also means you will use less washing powder leaving less chemical residue on the nappies.

For more information on its uses get hold of a copy of ‘Bicarbonate of Soda, Expert Advice’ written by Diane Sutherland, Jon Sutherland, Liz keevill and Kevin Eyres 2009.