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11 Alternative Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda

April 7, 2015

One of my little guilty pleasures is picking up the free Waitrose Weekend paper if I pop in there, and then coming back for a browse with a cuppa and a piece of cake!
In this week’s issue there was a small article with the headline “Bicarb rises to the beauty challenge” about how a celebrity make up artist uses bicarb to make a paste for facials.


It lists some other uses of bicarb too, and it got me thinking about all the myriad of uses there are for this wonder stuff!
So here’s my Top 10 11 (alternative) uses for…bicarbonate of soda

Bicarc-P

1. Cleaning

Emma aka Mommy Emu has written a whole chapter in my Back to Basics e-book, all about natural cleaning, and is a huge advocate of bicarb as a cleaning product. In this post here Emma gives a recipe for using it as a drain cleaner. And I’ve used it to clean our oven before (with support from a box of maltesers…), with sparklingly good results!

2. Deodorising

I used bicarb a while back to de-odorise some especially stinky running gear that I was on the verge on ditching, it had become so smelly!
We also used to use it a lot when the kids were babies, if they sicked up on the sofa, and in fact, even now, if they sick up on the sofa. Clean off the offending mess, and sprinkle liberally with bicarb. Allow to dry and then hoover up the residue-that horrible smell should be gone!

3. Shampoo

Did you know there is a whole ‘no poo’ revolution going on? People are shunning shampoo, and turning to good old bicarb instead. I had a go a year or two back, but gave up after 2 weeks, although I know that Lindsay at Treading My Own Path is a ‘no poo’ girl, and is looking good on it!
I have also used it as a ‘dry shampoo’ on days where I haven’t been able to wash my hair, and I found it worked pretty well.

4. Toothpaste

I tried it very briefly but quickly gave up. However if you can get used to the slightly salty taste and the lack of foaming, it is possible to make your own toothpaste using bicarb!

5. Treat insect bites and stings

Make a paste with bicarb and water, and apply it to the the sting. The alkali in the bicarb is supposed to help neutralise the sting.

6. Use instead of softwash

Add a tablespoon to your washing machine instead of softener, and you should get lovely soft laundry for a fraction of the price!

7. Deodorant

Some people use ‘neat’ bicarb as their deodorant and just dab a bit under their arms and off they go. I experimented at making my own deodorant during My Make Do and Mend Year, and was so impressed with the results, I’ve been using it every since! It’s a super easy recipe, using bicarb, cornflour and coconut oil.

And it’s surprisingly effective..!

8. Cleaning crayon marks off the walls

Not that any of us have children who would even consider drawing on the walls…. But if someones else’s kids come round (!) and wreak havoc with the crayons, rest assured that a sprinkle of bicarb on a damp cloth should be able to remove all but the very worst of crayola graffiti.

9. Keep cut flowers fresher for longer

I didn’t know this one, but it was in the Waitrose Weekend paper (so it must be true!): add a teaspoon of bicarb to the water in the vase to keep your cut flowers at their best for longer.

10. Ant repellant

I’ve never tried this, but I plan to this Summer if we get an invasion: Mix equal amounts of bicarb and salt together and then sprinkle it wherever you see the little buggers coming in!

11. Rocket fuel

Here’s a bonus one for you!
We have just spent a fun hour down at a field near us, setting off a ‘rocket’ using bicarb and vinegar as the ‘fuel’. BigSmall was given the kit last birthday, but there are some great instructions for making your own on the BBC iWonder site!

Have you tried any/all of these before?
Do let me know your favourite use for bicarb (other than baking!)-I’d love to add some more to the list!

PS. If you use a lot of bicarb (and why wouldn’t you, given all these reasons to!) it’s cheaper to buy it in bulk-I get mine online from Summer Naturals.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anne Fraser April 3, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Hi Jen, I add a smidgeon of stevia powder to my baking soda toothpowder and it makes all the difference. I use it to clean the shower – just dip a cut lemon or lime into baking soda and it does a great job, especially on glass doors and chrome.Now I’m off to add some baking soda to the water of my lovely bouquet to keep it lasting – thanks for that tip.

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