Bicarbonate Soda – An Essential DIY product for every Eco-Beauty Guru
Welcome to the third instalment of the ‘Essential DIY’ product guide. I am busy listing my seven must-have items that can be used in multiple ways. Previously, I discussed the benefits of Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay, today we look at Bicarbonate Soda.
Bicarbonate Soda has lived in our homes for decades and been a staple in every pantry since forever! Bicarbonate Soda is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions.
It is important to note that bicarbonate soda and baking soda are the same things. The only difference is that American English calls it baking soda and British English calls it Bicarbonate Soda, so basically like color vs. colour. Baking powder, however, is very different and the two should never be confused, especially in baking.
So to keep things super clear, we will use the British English version.
It has been no secret that it has multiple uses but in case you didn’t know all of them, this list will tell you more.
Bicarbonate Soda Uses:
You can sprinkle bicarb on your carpets and rugs to freshen them up without having to do a massive wash. Just cover the carpet or stain and leave the bicarb for 20 to 30 minutes and then vacuum or you can leave it overnight and clean the next day.
It is great for removing odours from the fridge, I keep a small container (lid off) in the fridge and swap it out every month. It just soaks up all the nasties.
Stinky or blocked drain? Bicarb! And a bit of vinegar. I use a half cup of bicarb and a whole cup of vinegar down the drains. Start with the bicarb first and then after a few minutes, pour in the vinegar. Finally, flush the drain with hot water.
Bicarbonate Soda is also great for cleaning stubborn pans and pots. After a good soaking, take a sponge with some bicarb and scrub. This also works well on grills and braai grids. You can also leave the bicarb on the pot or pan for a while before scrubbing.
Throw some bicarb around your toilet bowl to keep it pearly white. You can also add it to your white washing to make it brighter. One cup along with your usual washing soap should do the trick.
Ok, last household use, you can clean your appliances with bicarb. Do an empty run on your dishwasher or washing machine using only bicarb and it will be as clean as new. You can also do this for any water-based appliances like a coffee maker or kettle, just dissolve the bicarb first.
Bicarb makes an excellent exfoliator. It can be used on your face and body. I add it to some honey for a weekly exfoliation.
They say we should be throwing our toothbrushes away after the flu or cold but that’s pretty bad for the environment. Instead, soak your toothbrush overnight in some warm water with a teaspoon of bicarb to give it a good clean. 50g bicarb and 50ml water should do the trick. It is also great as a mouthwash, dissolve a teaspoon of bicarb in warm water and gargle.
Instead of buying a whole bottle of shampoo for dandruff, just add some bicarb to your regular shampoo and massage your scalp. This will help cleanse it of dead skin cells.
If you have yellow fingernails or toenails, just soak in a water bicarb solution and your claws will be beautiful again.
As mentioned in the cleaning section, bicarb is great at making things lighter again. If you have dark undereye circles or dark armpits, just mix up a paste using bicarb and coconut oil (1:1) and place it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse. It should reduce the darkness but may take a few sessions before being 100% effective.
Avoid weeds on your patio or driveway by sprinkling some bicarb between the cracks or bricks.
It keeps snails and slugs away from your beautiful plants, just sprinkle it around the plants you want to protect.
It helps test the acidity of your soil. Take some soil and add water, then sprinkle some bicarb over it. If it bubbles, your soils acidity level is high.
If you have cut flowers you can add a teaspoon of bicarb to the vase and your blooms will live longer.
I suffer from high acidity levels in my stomach so when indigestion and heartburn kicks in, a teaspoon of bicarb in water sorts it out fast. It doesn’t taste gross but I down it anyway just to get it over with.
The same solution can be used when you have a sore throat. Just gargle and spit out the solution instead.
Where to buy it in South Africa?
Literally, every grocery store will have bicarb on the shelves. All you have to worry about is brand preference and I am happy to stick with Roberstons, which comes in a blue box.
These are just a few of the ways that I personally use Bicarbonate Soda. I hope they help and inspire you.
With My Love,