Bi-carb soda (or baking soda) is a super versatile common kitchen ingredient. Usually we break it out for that ½ a teaspoon that makes a cake rise, however, the uses and tricks for this little powder are just about endless. I’ve already covered using bi-carb soda in a few previous posts on cleaning up pet hair and making your toilet sparkle , that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Today we go into more depth and really give baking soda it’s dues.
Is there a difference between bi-carb soda and baking soda?
Not really. The key compound is the same, there might be slight variations in surrounding ingredients and compositions, in general though, baking soda is the name used in the United States and b-carb soda is the term used in Australia.
What is bi-carb soda really?
Sodium carbonate is created from soda ash. It’s a natural ingredient that is found in all living things, responsible for regulating pH levels. While it can be mined from the ore, trona, it can also be easily made from natural ingredients.
What can you use baking soda for?
Baking soda can be used in every room in the house (even the garage) to tackle tough stains, deodorise and cut through muck, mould and mildew.
You can sprinkle the powder directly onto the affected area, apply to a damp sponge or make a simple paste to get brilliant results.
As a paste, baking soda is at it’s most powerful so you might like to make up a batch using 1 cup of bi-carb soda and mix with water until thick and for a top-to-toe clean. Otherwise, use as you see fit or follow the guide below for 10 ways to clean with bi-carb soda.
#1 – All-purpose cleaner
Every room in your home can benefit from a bi-carb soda boost. All your surfaces, floors, pots, pans and containers will benefit from a baking soda clean.
The natural ingredients are powerful cleaners while being non-toxic and gentle, meaning that you can achieve a perfect clean without any harm to surfaces or your health. Try it out in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and laundry, it’s also safe to use on your microwave, oven sinks and stove tops.
Apply some paste to a microfiber cloth and scrub away at surfaces to get a sparkling clean. For a quick clean-as-you-go, you can also just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth and wipe over the surfaces. Make sure you follow with a rinse or wipe with a fresh clean cloth to pick up any residue.
Baking soda and vinegar combine to create a powerful foam combo that is natural and effective for unclogging drains. Ditch those high chemical dishwashing tablets and sprinkle some bi-carb soda inside the empty dishwasher instead. Add a splash of vinegar and run your machine through a normal cycle for a bright, fresh, natural clean.
#2 – Power cleaner
Regular cleaning isn’t going to get through your tough stains? Apply some paste to hard-to-clean surfaces and leave to set before removing.
Soak stained coffee mugs and coffee accessories in ¼ cup bi-carb soda and 1 litre of warm water to remove coffee rings.
Apply some bi-carb paste to your oven surfaces and wait for it to dry. Once ready, wipe the paste off with a cloth or sponge.
#3 – Deodorising
Because bi-carb soda is all about pH balance, it is a natural deodoriser for both acid and alkaline smells, so when you clean, you bust through nasty odours as well.
De-stink your chopping board.
Get rid of the smell (and taste) of that chopped garlic, onion or chilli by wiping over the board with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda.
Sweeten your bins.
Apply some sprinkled layers of powder periodically to your garbage and recycling bins.
Look after your fridge.
Sprinkle some bi-carb soda (or apply some paste) to a wet cloth and wipe over your fridge shelves and door. Once your fridge is clean, place some bi-carb soda in an uncovered bowl to keep your fridge smelling fresh, even with fish or cheeses on board.
Sprinkle a generous amount of bi-carb soda on your laundry hamper to keep it smelling great until washday.
#4 – Food hygiene
As you may have guessed from that chopping board tip, bi-carb soda is food safe which really makes it ideal for kitchen cleaning.
As well as kitchen surfaces, you can also wash your fruits and veggies to get rid of dirt and pesticides. Simply sprinkle some powder on a damp sponge and scrub your produce clean. Rinse and cook or rinse and eat.
#5 – Fire safety
Put out small kitchen fires by dowsing them in bi-carb soda. Keep an open box on hand (but not above your stove where flames may prevent you from reaching it) to quickly and cleanly extinguish cooking or electrical flames. Immediately after the fire is out turn off the electric supply at the switch box and leave hot cooking equipment to cool. If in doubt, call the fire brigade.
#6 – Silver polish
Shine up your silver and flatware with a paste of three parts soda to one part water. Rub on with a clean sponge or cloth. Rinse and dry.
#7 – Floor buffer
As well as an all purpose floor cleaning agent for indoor and outdoor tiles, carpets and floors, you can also use baking soda to easily remove scuff marks on no-wax floors with a damp sponge. Rinse and dry with a cloth for great results.
#8 – Oil remover
Hairbrush bristles and combs develop a film of oil. Blast this away with a soak in a small basin with warm water and one teaspoon of bi carb soda. When ready, rinse and allow to dry.
In the garage or driveway, sprinkle bi-carb soda on an oil stain and scrub with a wet brush. For a more heavy-duty approach, apply a soda paste to a scrubbing brush and scrub with a small amount of warm water.
#9 – Personal care
Ever heard of a product that can clean your kitchen counter and be good for a long hot soak in the tub? Bi-carb soda is great for cleaning everything, even you!
• Skin care: after burns or sunburn soak a washcloth in 1 litre of water with four Tablespoons baking soda and apply to skin. Or apply a paste (see face scrub below) directly to area.
• Face scrub: Three parts bi carb soda to one part water, scrub and rinse.
• Mouthwash: One teaspoon of bi carb soda in half a glass of water.
• Foot Soak: Three tablespoons of powdered soda in a foot basin of warm water.
• Bath: Add ½ cup bi-carb soda to your bathtub for a relaxing soak.
#10 – Detergent booster
The pH balance makes your detergents work harder.
Add 2 tablespoons to your sink before washing dishes, ½ a cup to your washing machine before a full load cycle or ¼ cup to 1 litre of warm water with or without car wash to help remove road dirt, sap and bugs from your vehicle (follow with a rinse and dry with a soft towel).
Now that you know the amazing effects of bi-carb soda, be sure to stock up at the supermarket and go to town with your cleaning.