When strolling the aisles of your local supermarket, we are bombarded with countless cleaning products that all claim to offer astonishing results……some do and some don’t.
One product that is often bypassed and overlooked due to it’s somewhat bland packaging is Bi-Carb Soda. Bi-Carb Soda has lots of uses but really does some heavy lifting in regard to cleaning jobs around the average home.
Here are some cleaning tips and some great jobs where this hidden gem really excels:
- Deodorising your kitchen appliances
Fridges, freezers and dishwashers can all be problematic when it comes to smells. For your fridge and freezer just keep a small, open container of bi-carb on one of the shelves, and replace monthly to keep it fresh.
For your dishwasher, sprinkle some bi-carb on the bottom in between loads.
- Remove coffee and tea stains off your mugs
Finally, get those brown rings and spots off your favourite cups and mugs! Just put a little bit of bi-carb on a damp sponge or cloth and wipe away
- Clean pots and pans that have burnt markings
There are a couple of ways you can get scorched marks off your pots and pans with bi-carb, depending on the severity of the burns. If there’s only a bit of food burnt to the bottom, soak the pan in warm water with detergent and bi-carb for 10 minutes before washing. If more burnt, scrub the pot with dry bi-carb and a scourer. *Don’t use this technique on Teflon lined pots and pans
- Remove food stains from your Tupperware
No matter how much you scrub your plastic containers, sometimes, somehow, there always remains a few stubborn stains. To get rid of stains and the stickiness that develops in some Tupperware, dissolve some bi-carb in water and give your containers a good scrub. Rinse with warm water.
- Clean wooden chopping boards
Wooden chopping boards can be tough to scrub as they absorb liquids and food acids. To remove odours and give your board a proper clean, make a bi-carb paste by adding a dash of water to a small container of bi-carb soda. Rub the paste onto the board and leave for a few minutes before rinsing well.
- Clean your oven and make it sparkle
Oven cleaners can be quite toxic and require a lot of care when in use. However, a bi-carb paste can help get the job done. Scrub oven with the paste and then rinse or wipe down. An old toothbrush can help here to get into the crevices and gaps. Be careful not to get any bi-carb on the element in electric ovens!
Similarly, a solution of 1 Tablespoon of bi-carb and 1 cup of water can also be used to prevent grime sticking to the walls of your oven.
Finally, you can also clean your oven racks in a sink of warm water and a cup of bi-carb.
- Clean dirt and chemicals off your fruit and vegetables
If you’re worried about the extra chemical nastiness and wax treatments that may have been sprayed on your fruit and vegetables, a safe way to help get rid of extra residue is to sprinkle a little bi-carb on a cloth and wipe or scrub off any residue. Rinse afterwards.
- Clean your silverware and silver jewellery
Bring the shine back to your silverware and silver jewellery by soaking the pieces in a solution of a 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of bi-carb for two hours! Buff afterwards with a soft cloth.
- Clean children’s toys and equipment
A lot of parents are concerned about what they use to clean children’s products, and bi-carb can be one non-toxic option to get the job done. Wipe down plastic or wooden toys and equipment with a bi-carb solution, or sprinkle some bi-carb on fluffy toys and brush off after 15 minutes. Similarly, if you need to clean your child’s pram or car seat, place some bi-carb on the item and vacuum away later.
- Get rid of mould
Most people buy specific products to get rid of mould in their homes, but you may find some relief from a product you already have in your kitchen. Combine bi-carb with a bit of vinegar and scrub away mould with a brush.
- Clean your bathroom
Get dirt and grime out of grout and have your porcelain shine like new! Use a bi-carb paste as a grout scrub, or use a wet cloth or sponge and a sprinkling of bi-carb to clean your tiles, bathtub or sink.
- Deodorize clothes, cupboards and shoes
Bi-carb soda lifts odours, and a sprinkling on your clothes or open shoes can help remove any odours. Similarly, if your cupboard or linen press begins to smell a bit damp, place an open container of bi-carb in the back corner to help absorb odours.
- Cleaning stainless steel
Forget purchasing a separate cleaning product for your stainless steel items. Shine your stainless steel with some dry bi-carb and a damp cloth. Make sure to rinse afterward!
- Get rid of pet related smells
Sprinkle bi-carb on your carpet or your pet’s bed – wherever there seems to be a problem area. Leave for several minutes before vacuuming up.
- Freshen your mops and sponges
Soak your mop or sponges in a bath of bi-carb solution overnight to get rid of excess smells and built up dirt and germs!
- Clean drink bottles and baby bottles
With drink bottles being part of the contents of kid’s school bags, part-fill the bottle with a warm bi-carb solution and shake. Rinse well.
- All natural pine floor cleaner
Bi-carb soda is a cheap and effective way of cutting through grease and removing stubborn stains. Mix 1/2 cup soap flakes with 1/4 cup bi-carb soda , 1 cup salt and 2 cups water in a saucepan and heat gently until dissolved. When mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add 2 teaspoons pine essential oil (available at health food or aromatherapy stores) and stir well. Store in a jar and simply use two to three tablespoons in half a bucket of hot water to clean floors. After cleaning, rinse floor with half a bucket of clean water mixed with a cup of white vinegar
- Fluffed up fabrics
For soft, fluffy fabrics, fill your washing machine with water, then add 14 cups bi-carb soda. Add your clothing, then during the final rinse cycle, add 1/2 cup white vinegar (pour it into the softener dispenser if you have one).
- As a simple drain cleaner
A lot of drain cleaners are filled with nasty chemicals. Drains taking a long time to clear? Keep them clog-free by pouring 1/2 cup bi-carb soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz for several minutes, then flush down a litre of hot water. Do this weekly to keep drains in good running order.
Hopefully these tips give you some ideas and alternatives for all those odd cleaning jobs around your home. Bi-carb soda is often a safer alternative than some harsh chemical based cleaners that are available.
Furthermore, there can be some worthwhile cost savings too. I checked the pricing for you of McKenzie’s brand bi-carb soda from some of Australia’s largest supermarket chains:
500 grams = $2.40
1 kilogram = $3.70
Obviously it is cheaper when you buy in a greater quantity.
If your busy schedule is preventing you from cleaning your home or if some tasks are just getting away from you, we would relish in the opportunity to discuss your cleaning needs and provide an obligation free quote.
Additionally, we have provided a link to our eBook that discusses the way to find the right domestic cleaning contractor that suits you best.