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Magic white powder
Have you ever walked into your kitchen on a hot day to the smell of nasty stuff fermenting in your bin? When this happens I immediately reach for the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). If I remember to sprinkle some of this magical powder into the bins before I put in new liners, they don’t get so smelly.
We always keep a big of tub of bicarbonate of soda handy as it has so many uses as a cleaner and deodoriser, as well as for making the odd muffin, of course. It is incredibly cheap for something that is so versatile.
I use wood pellets in the cat litter tray as it is better at absorbing smells, but I also sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the tray. It makes a huge difference.
Bicarbonate of soda is good for getting rid of nasty odours in the fridge too; just leave a small bowlful at the bottom and it will help neutralise the smell.
Use bicarbonate of soda for personal care
Because of its deodorising properties, bicarbonate of soda can be used under your arms. I sometimes buy a solid deodorant from Lush that is mostly made of bicarb – and it really works! You can dab it straight onto your skin with a flannel.
It is also great for smelly feet when used in this way. Alternatively, a couple of teaspoons left overnight in stinky shoes or trainers will neutralise those nasty niffs.
I’m not a fan of this, but you can also use bicarbonate of soda to clean your teeth. Just dip your toothbrush in and brush. There are recipes online to make a more palatable minty toothpaste with it. It can also freshen your breath if you mix a teaspoonful in a small glass of water and gargle.
Half a cup of soda in your bath will clean and soften your skin. Add a few drops of essential oil and you can abandon the bubble bath.
Make sure you find one that is marked as aluminium free for use in personal care.
Gentle and effective cleaning
Bicarbonate of soda is well known as an effective and gentle household cleaner.
Use it as a scouring powder on dirt and stains pretty much anywhere in the house. Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and give surfaces a good scrub – it isn’t harsh so won’t scratch them. Tip it down the plug hole with half a cup of white vinegar to alleviate smelly drains then use it to scrub the sink.
You can mix it to a paste with some water to remove mould around windows, walls and ceilings.
Soak dishes with dried on food in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda before hand washing or placing in your dishwasher. This also works on tea stained mugs.
Sprinkle baking soda onto smelly sofas, rugs or carpets, leave for half an hour or so then vacuum. It is especially good at getting rid of pet smells.
If you have heavily soiled laundry, try add half a cup of soda alongside your washing powder or liquid. It will also brighten light coloured items.
I love bicarbonate of soda because I don’t like a houseful of chemicals. It keeps things simple. I also try to avoid a lot of unnecessary products and packaging. But mostly, I love bicarbonate of soda because it is cheap!
It is available in the baking section of the supermarket, but it’s even cheaper if you buy a big tub like the one above on Amazon*.