Wednesday, April 22, 2015

25 Uses for Bicarb Soda

Happy Earth Day everyone!

In our quest to be a bit greener, we've switched a lot of our previously store-bought products to homemade, more environmentally-friendly alternatives. We always make sure we have an ample supply of bicarb soda, as it's so versatile. It can be used not only around the house, but for personal use as well!

Here are some ways you can use it:

1. Use it as deodorant

This is my #1 favourite use for it. I apply it under my arms like you would talcum powder. Please make sure you are using aluminium-free bicarb, as not all brands are. I haven't used commercial deodorants in over 3 years now!

2. Use it to whiten teeth

If you're a coffee/tea/wine drinker, you know how it can stain your teeth. Mix a little bicarb with your toothpaste, or just use it by itself to give your teeth a quick polish.

3. Make your own toothpaste with it

There are plenty of homemade toothpaste/tooth powder recipes kicking around the net, and most of them list bicarb as an ingredient. It's also great as a gum paste to help prevent gingivitis.

4. Soothe sunburned/itchy skin 

Add to a bath to help soothe skin irritations.

5. Use in a detox bath

I like relaxing in these once a week. Add some bicarb, Epsom salts and lavender oil to a warm bath and soak your cares away.

6. Sprinkle in shoes to get rid of odours.

I've got boys (and a girl) who get whiffy sneakers. Sprinkle some bicarb in them and leave overnight to deodorize.

7. Relief from insect bites/stings.

My husband has particularly nasty reactions to mozzie bites (and they seem to love him, unfortunately.) We thought he'd been bitten by a spider one time as his ankle and foot swelled up but it turned out to be a mosquito bite. Now if he ever gets stung, he applies some apple cider vinegar, and then a paste of bicarb to it straight away and it seems to help relieve the itching and swelling.

8. Deodorize your fridge/bin

Place a dish of bicarb in your fridge to help absorb odours, or sprinkle in the base of your bin to help cut down smells.

9. Use as an exfoliating scrub

Make a runny paste with bicarb and water and use as a mild facial exfoliant.

10. Polishing stainless steel/chrome

We have a stovetop kettle that always ends up splattered with curry/bacon grease and other lovely concoctions. A bit of bicarb and water always leaves it shiny and grease-free with minimal effort.

11. Washing fruit and veg

Either use it to soak your fruit and veg when you buy them, or just sprinkle some in your hand and give your single items of produce a quick scrub before you use them.

12. Use as a mouthwash

Add 1/2 tsp bicarb to a glass of water and swish/gargle with it to freshen breath.

13. Use it to clean your oven

Mix bicarb into a thick paste, either with water or with regular dishwashing detergent. Apply to your oven and leave overnight. The next morning your oven will be much easier to clean.

14. Freshen your vacuum cleaner.

Hoover up some bicarb to deodorize your vacuum cleaner bag. NOTE: Do NOT try this with bagless vacs. Yes I tried it. It clogged my HEPA filter. Trust me. Don't.

15. Unblock drains

Pour some bicarb down your drain, and follow with some hot vinegar. It should bubble and foam like a small volacano. Pour some boiling water down the drain after this and it should clear blockages.

16. Removing stains from cups/mugs

Use a damp sponge/rag with a bit of bicarb to scrub your cups and mugs and it should get rid of any coffee and tea stains and bring them back to their former glory.

17. Clean toothbrushes

Soak toothbrushes in a solution of bicarb and water and leave overnight to freshen and clean.

18. Ease heartburn

This was a godsend whenever I was pregnant as I use to suffer with the worst heartburn. Drink a small glass of water with 1/2 - 1tsp bicarb.

19. Remove burned food from saucepans

This tip came in particularly helpful the other night as I got distracted and burned the sweet potatoes on the stove.
If you get at it straight away, you can add some bicarb and a bit of detergent and water to the saucepan and bring to the boil. It should boil the burnt food off the bottom of the pot. Make sure you watch it because it will foam and boil over.
If the pot has been left, never fear. Just add some bicarb to the pot with some water and leave to soak overnight. The next morning cleanup should be easy.

20. Relieve nappy rash

Add 2 tbsp of bicarb to baby's bath to help relieve nappy rash

21. Food container wash

My kids drink bottles get a bit funky, as do the plastic containers hubby takes his lunch to work in.
Wash containers with a bit of bicarb to help get rid of the smells.

22. Make an easy craft clay

Add some water and cornstarch to some bicarb to make a craft clay for the kids. I haven't tried this. Yet. Thanks Pinterest.

23. Getting rid of odours

Sprinkle on your carpet/in cupboards/your teenager's room/anywhere that's smelly to help get rid of odours.

24. Cuts grease

I use a lot of grease/oils/fats in my cooking so I love using bicarb to scrub down my stovetop. Makes grease removal a piece of cake.

25. Use as shampoo

A while back I tried the "No 'Poo Challenge" and used bicarb for washing my hair with an ACV conditioner rinse. It's not for everyone, and there are pros and cons. However, even if you're not into ditching your shampoo, if you do happen to get caught short and run out of shampoo, bicarb can be used in a pinch.

 What are your favourite ways to use bicarb? Let me know in the comments below. Don't forget you can also follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and FB (coming soon).

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