Sometimes it feels like harmful chemicals are being forced into our everyday lives and we are powerless to stop them. But when it comes to cleaning, there are very simple natural alternatives to every product, which usually work just as well as the harsh store-bought version. One ingredient that’s usually right near the top of DIY green cleaning recipes is baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. You probably already have some in your pantry.
Baking soda is one of the best odour neutralisers out there, reacts with vinegar to turn into a magical foaming power cleanser, makes an excellent scrub, and so much more. Here are some of our favourite uses:
- Fridge de-stinker
To keep your fridge smelling fresh as a daisy either put an open package of baking soda in there, or pour a decent amount into a dish and keep it in the back. The soda will naturally absorb odours in between deep cleans and stop food smells from mingling and making leftovers taste weird.
- Fruit and veg rinse
Fill your sink with water and add in a few tablespoons of baking soda, then wash your produce in there. The baking soda will remove dirt, wax, and pesticides.
- Laundry boost
Add a cup of baking soda to your wash along with your regular liquid detergent to get clothes extra clean and bright. The perfect solution for soiled gardening or work clothes.
- Grease buster
Take on your dirtiest pots and pans by sprinkling baking soda on cooked-on foods and greasy marks, then scrub with your usual dish soap.
- Carpet cleaner
Clean and deodorise carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them as you would carpet cleaning powder. Leave it for half an hour or so, then vacuum it up. This works for any soft upholstery including curtains, couches, and dog beds.
- Barbecue cleaner
Keep your barbie in tip-top condition by dipping a damp brush in baking soda, giving the grill a scrub, then rinsing with water.
- Toy cleaner
Wash stickiness, dirt, and germs from kids toys by washing them in a sink of water and half a cup of baking soda.
- Toilet cleaner
For stain and odour fighting in the bowl nothing beats baking soda. Sprinkle the toilet with half a cup of bicarb, then leave it for half an hour to do its work. When you come back spray the baking soda with vinegar so it foams up. Give it a bit of a scrub, then flush.
- Bathtub ring remover
This method makes fast work of any tough soap scum spot. Make a paste of baking soda and your favourite eco friendly dishwashing detergent and sponge your bathtub ring away. If it’s particularly stubborn add in some vinegar to get a thick, foamy texture.
- Crayon be-gone
If your kids got creative on your walls a damn sponge sprinkled with baking soda and a touch of elbow grease will get your blank canvas back.
- Mildew remover
Use a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda to remove mildew from bathroom walls and shower curtains. To make sure the mildew stays gone spray the freshly cleaned surfaces with vinegar and let them dry.
- Shoe deodoriser
If someone in your family has a case of stinky feet simply sprinkle baking soda into the offending footwear to absorb the odour. Be sure to shake the used baking soda out when it’s time to wear them next.
- Drain cleaner
Clear blocked drains by pouring a pot of boiling water down there. Then pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain hole followed by a cup of vinegar, then put in the plug to contain the foaming reaction. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then clear it out with another pot of boiling water.