Baking Soda for Cleaning and Other Home Uses

Have you tried baking soda for cleaning yet?

It's another great easy way to green up your household cleaning routines.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a another great natural cleaning agent which can easily be used at home. It has great qualities as a scouring powder and is particularly good for deodorising sinks and garments.

So why not try baking soda for cleaning around your home? It's very straightforward and safe and is another way to add to your green living plans. Here's why you should use baking soda for general household cleaning tasks.

What is baking soda?

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a relatively simple and safe chemical. It is an alkaline, crystalline white powder which has been known and used (in the form of natron) since ancient times as a cleaner, antiseptic and water softener.

Natron is a mixture of bicarb (about 17%) and soda ash, (hydrated sodium carbonate), common salt and small quantities of other chemical salts. Natron is deposited in salty lakes in dry parts of the world.

The ancient Egyptians used it for many common tasks, from brushing teeth to mummification of the dead. Blended with oil, it was used as a kind of body soap.

It has many other useful cleaning properties from softening water to removing oil, grease and alcohol stains.

It has been superseded by modern, factory produced sodium bicarbonate.

What is the chemical formula for baking soda?

The main active ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has a relatively simple chemical formula: NaHCO3. It is, therefore, a chemical, but a relatively harmless one.

What cleaning jobs is baking soda good for?

Bicarb can be used for cleaning around the kitchen. Use it as a scouring paste on a cloth or scourer for cleaning worktops, surfaces, the sink, etc. Just sprinkle some onto a cloth or scourer and away you go! It does not generally causes scratches or hazing - but if in doubt, always check a small discreet area first before using baking soda more widely.

Use it as a deodoriser in the fridge. Sprinkle a little onto a plate and leave it for half an hour, or use it as above for swabbing the surfaces of the fridge after cleaning.

Sinks and drains

To clean clogged sinks tip about a cupful of baking soda down the plug hole and follow up with neat vinegar.

Use baking soda to clean grout. It works at least as well as the commercial products I've used for this job. Use a toothbrush or similar small brush to apply it and scrub. Just wash off with water afterwards.

It can also be used to clean metalwork - the Statue of Liberty was cleaned using sodium bicarbonate.

For more green cleaning tips please also see Other baking soda uses

If you would like to share a green cleaning tip, please check out "Your Tips!" on the Nav bar.

Where to buy baking soda for cleaning

You can easily buy small quantities of baking soda in any supermarket as its used in baking. However, if you want to use it in your regular cleaning programme you are likely to want it in greater quantities.

You can get it from Amazon in large enough quantities for cleaning.

Baking soda for cleaning is not yet sold in many supermarkets but some health food shops are beginning to stock it in the UK.

Suma Wholefoods stock it and many food co-ops and the like obtain their supplies from them.

It should become more widely available as more people ask for it as a cleaning product.

Some other baking soda uses for healthy green living

There are many other baking soda uses. Here are some of the most important uses for baking soda with respect to green living.

  • It can be used to help acne by applying it to the spots.
  • Baking soda can can be used for oral hygiene. It makes good powder for cleaning teeth and is found in many commercial toothpastes.
  • Taken in water, it can relieve heartburn and indigestion.
  • It helps to relieve stings as a topical application.

There are also many other baking soda uses in medicine and emergency procedures which are beyond the scope of this article.

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