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Cook or Clean? Part 1: Baking Soda

Friday, December 18th, 2015

It’s surprising how many everyday food ingredients can be used to help clean the home. In a series of semi-regular articles, we’ll be looking at the different items you may have in your larder, and how they can make a much cheaper and greener alternative to the harsh and poisonous chemical sprays and creams that we usually turn to.

In this first instalment, we’ll be looking at the magical properties of multi-talented baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda.

As a surface cleaner…

You can sprinkle baking soda over a warm, damp cloth and use it to wipe down surfaces, rinsing the cloth and wiping again after. The same principle can be used to clean floors, sprinkling directly on the floor and mopping off. For easier application as paste can be created with three parts baking soda to one part water, or for more stubborn stains, mix equal parts baking soda and washing up liquid to create a soft scrub.

As a cooker cleaner…

A dirty oven can be sorted by scraping out the worst of the burnt out chunks, then dusting generously with the baking soda. Then a good spray over of white vinegar (which is worthy of its own article), and let the two ingredients react and bubble away for half an hour or so. Follow that with a good scrubbing and a rinsing down with a damp cloth. Much better than the horribly noxious oven cleaners which almost require gas masks and heavy gloves to handle safely. You can use the same process to clean the hob too, just be careful with what you use to scrub with to avoid scratching glass/ceramic tops.

As a drain unblocker…

Half a cup of baking soda, followed by half a cup of white vinegar makes an excellent drainer clearer. Let it fizzle away for about quarter of an hour and then rinse down with a kettle of boiling water. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

As a deodoriser…

Baking soda is a natural deodoriser. Sprinkle it in the bottom of the kitchen bin to minimise the stench of decay. Keep a small open container in the fridge to cut down on unpleasantly mingling food odours. Do the shake and vac by sprinkling on carpets and hoovering up a little later. You can use it in kitty litter trays to keep them fresh. Mix with water to create a paste and scrub the aroma of onions off a chopping board.

The smell-killing opportunities are endless!

As a laundry aid…

A water/baking soda paste can be applied to get rid of grease stains on clothes as a washing pre-treatment. Adding a scoop of baking powder to the detergent drawer will help freshen any load of washing, useful when you want to get the pong out of that sweaty gym kit.

 

The list could go on… and on and on. The internet is awash with more ideas at what you can turn the amazing abilities of baking soda to. It might be an idea to buy a bigger pack, if you want any left for your cakes!




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