Before I continue here, just so we all know, Bicarb Soda is Baking Soda – same thing, different name!
When you are trying to get healthy but you don’t want to cause too much disruption all at once, sometimes the smart thing to do is to look at what you already have in your home and to ask yourself – what else can I do with this? How else can it benefit me and my family? What have I missed here?
It is becoming more and more common for children in particular to develop health problems as a reaction to the chemicals they encounter in their foods or their environment, whether this is the air, water, cleaning products or items such as furnishings. While for these children it is vital that they are exposed to less chemical toxins, it is better for all of us if we too are exposed to fewer harmful toxic elements.
It is always worth remembering that ‘safe levels of exposure’ on cleaning products and personal care products are calculated on the basis of you being exposed for just that one time, to that one product, only in the amount specified. What these level calculations do not take into account is that the same possibly harmful substance that is being evaluated occurs in many, many products that are commonly in daily use, in addition to the one being tested and assessed.
Even if the quantity of the chemical in a single product is within the levels that are deemed safe, there are maybe ten or twenty other products used every day that have that level of the chemical in them also, and this adds up to exposure to much more of the chemical than the ‘safe level’. The quantity in all these different products accumulates very quickly into an unsafe amount of exposure. Which is all the more reason to seek out healthier alternatives to most cleaning products, skin and hair care products.
Of course this doesn’t even take into consideration the concern about all the environmental pollutants that are being washed down the drains and into the waterways along with all these cleaning and personal care products.
There are lots of things in your pantry right now that you are most likely not getting the most benefit from.
Bicarbonate of soda, baking soda in the US, sodium bicarbonate, or soda ash, is a perfect example of one of these items. Most of us have it in the cupboard to use in our cooking, but it has many other uses that can go a long way towards turning our house into a ‘Healthy Home’. At the same time it can be a simple and very effective ways to improve our health.
It seems so much easier when we are all so busy to just grab ready-made cleaning products from the shop shelf but the reality is that these products generally contain many toxic ingredients, and you have no way of knowing what these are as the manufacturers are not required to list all the ingredients.
Making your own cleaning products is a great money saver! At first it may seem confusing but it very quickly becomes easy and you can make products ahead ready to use.
The other bonus is that home made cleaning products work really well!
There are now a number of cleaning companies that actually operate using only home-made natural cleaning products, made from vinegar, lemon and of course bicarb soda, among others. As a cleaning product bicarb soda can make a big impact. It has a gentle excoriating property that is able to help remove even difficult to remove grime.
Bicarb soda works to clean mainly as an abrasive although there is a small amount of chemical reaction involved. It reacts with grease to form glycerol, an ingredient commonly found in soap. When mixed with vinegar it forms carbonic acid, a weak acid that improves the corrosive action of the vinegar.
It also neutralizes unpleasant odours without simply masking them, and acts as a neutralizer and when it comes into contact with something that is either too acidic or too alkaline. It will bring them back to a neutral pH as well as to then retard further changes in the pH, to buffer it.
35 WONDERFUL WAYS WITH BAKING SODA
Bicarb soda works very simply but can have a significant effect. So here are my 35 ‘anti-corporation, anti-unecessary-toxins, pro-simple-clean & healthy home’ ways to use bicarb soda to great effect in your home.
1. Remove stubborn stains: Apply a paste of three parts bicarb soda and one part water. Let it stand then scrub and wipe clean.
2. Toilet stains: Use in the toilet to prevent stains developing in the porcelain. This is particularly useful in areas with hard, mineral-rich water. Once a week sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then spray with vinegar to moisten it. Scrub with the brush and flush away.
3. Clean baths and tiles: Sprinkle on a damp cloth and scrub as normal. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. You can use this on fibreglass and all tiles. For extra cleaning power make a paste of bicarb soda, course salt and liquid soap (dish detergent is ok but castile soap is better). Let it sit on the surface and then scour off.
4. Clean glass shower doors: Bicarb soda is excellent for removing that soapy scum from the shower doors. Many products are not recommended for use on glass doors but bicarb soda is gentle enough to do no damage. Simply sprinkle some on a damp cloth and wipe down the glass. Rinse well and dry.
5. Remove lime from taps: When lime forms around your taps or drains mix some vinegar with a little bicarb soda to form a paste and coat all the area with lime on it. Let it sit for a few hours and then rinse off. It may take a few applications to get rid of heavy deposits.
6. Clear clogged drains: To clean out any clogs that have formed inside the drain from hair, soap or grime, pour in 120mls bicarb soda and follow it with 250mls vinegar. Let it sit for ten to twenty minutes and then flush the drain out with very hot water. But, DON’T try on a clogged drain after you have used a commercial cleaner as a reaction may occur that spews out caustic fumes and liquid. To avoid the clogs in the first place, pour ¼ cup bicarb soda down the drain weekly. Follow with lots of hot water.
7. Draw out stains: To draw out stains from stone, marble, limestone or unglazed ceramic surfaces coat the stain with a thick paste of bicarb soda and water. Let it stand for 24 to 48 hours and then rinse and dry thoroughly.
8. Clean grout: Make a runny paste with water and use an old toothbrush to clean stains in the grout between tiles.
9. Hand cleanser and softener: To remove ground-in dirt and neutralize odours on your hands scrub with a paste made with 3 parts bicarb soda and 1 part water or a gentle soap like Castille soap. Rinse away.
10. Clean brushes and combs: Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking in a solution of 1 teaspoon bicarb soda in a basin of warm water. Rinse.
11. Grease stains: Pre-treat grease stains with a paste of bicarb soda and water.