The Brilliance of Bicarbonate of Soda

Updated on July 24, 2017

Did you know that It has been around for about 1000 years?

Did you know why Egyptians, when they first found sodium in dry lakes, were delighted to discover it's antiseptic properties?

That’s right, because they could start using it in their favourite occupation which was mummification! To keep their dear mummies nice and cosy and safely tucked away from bacteria.

Well, not only. They also used it around the house, just like we do! Or do we? Do we really know the full potential of this versatile substance?

Apparently there are more than 100 ways of using it? Let us all, domestic goddesses of the world join forces and see how far we can go in sharing our household wisdom.


It’s not a top secret that many cleaning products, presented on the market in their shiny armour of seduction are refined from petrol and are highly toxic, and therefore, very harmful. Let’s see how our modest friend, bicarbonate of soda, can save us from: allergy, respiratory, and skin problems. Be assured that it is safe to use for cleaning on all types of surfaces in the kitchen, in the bathroom or anywhere else in the house.

Eco Washing Up

Simply add 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda, mixed with some lemon juice to a washing up bowl filled with hot water. Swish it well and then it'll be ready to deal with your greasy dishes. There is a good side effect too: the bicarbonate of soda will also have a softening effect on your hands.

Away with the smell!

To freshen up a dishwasher, especially if you noticed the presence of unwelcome stagnant odours, sprinkle a small cup of bicarbonate of soda into its base and run the whole cycle through the empty machine. The problem will be solved.

You can also reduce odour build-up between cycles by sprinkling a handful of soda over the dirty dishes and run the cycle as usual.

To get rid of stubborn stains in a dishwasher, mix up a paste with some bicarbonate of soda and a little water, cover the stained area, rub gently over it and any build up you might have, especially around the hinges. Rinse well.

Smells fishy

You probably agree that after handling certain foods,there might remain stubborn odours that won’t go away after washing with soap. It can be embarrassing if you receive guests and your nicely manicured hands smell of of fish, onion or garlic. To prevent this from happening, sprinkle some of bicarbonate of soda on your wet hands, rub them together well, and then rinse off with warm water.

Tap perfect

If you notice in your bathroom an appearance of limescale circlesaround water taps or elsewhere it’s time to act! Mix some bicarbonate of soda with a little vinegar and brush the fizzy paste on the effected areas. Leave for half an hour, gently rub it in and rinse. This also works well for hard-water marks on glass shower screens.

Blocked drains? Never again!

It is easy to keep your drains clear and minimise the possibility of unpleasant smells if you allow our friend bicarbonate of soda to come to the rescue.

1. Mix 2 parts of BC, 2 parts of salt and 1 part of white vinegar.

2. Pour the solution down the plughole in your bath, shower or elsewhere.

3. Put the plugs in and leave the mixture to act for about half an hour.

4. Run the the hot tap to rinse.

Keep your head above water

Your shower head that is. No doubt you will agree that when it is blocked, it is of no use. So here is a good idea how to prevent this from happening. If possible, remove the shower head and soak it in a mixture of 3 table spoons of bicarb and 1 cup of vinegar (250 ml). Leave it soaking until all the limescale has completely dissolved.

Classy Glass

If you want to have your glass to be always classy clean, get into the habit of cleaning it regularly with a wet sponge sprinkled with some of bicarbonate of soda. Rinse after with water and polish with crumpled up newspaper until completely dry. The same technique can be applied for cleaning mirrors. If needed, repeat the above steps to achieve a sparkling, smear-free finish.

Air freshener

Fetch the best of your perfume bottles from the shelf where it was sitting for years feeling pretty, but useless. Now its time to rectify it. Fill it up with our Lady Brilliance, i.e. bicarbonate of soda and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. That’s all there is to it. Put it back on a shelf, now it has a reason to be there. How long this air freshener will last depends on the potency of your essential oil, when it starts to wane, just add some more of the oil. Its good to make a new one about every two months.

It's also a fresh start for your washing machine

If you discover that your washing machine doesn't smell that fresh any more, a simple bicarb treatment will easily solve this problem: sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of it inside the washing machine and leave it overnight. In the morning, clean the inside and outside of your washing machine with a damp sponge.

Snow white, soft and bright

If your white washing is losing its white lustre, add one part of bicarbonate of soda and one part of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your normal detergent or into the conditioner drawer and run the usual cycle. You will soon notice the difference.

Bicarbonate of soda not only washes clothes, it also works well as a fabric softener. For that, mix 100g of it with some warm water and pour it into the conditioner drawer of your washing machine. Run the cycle as usual. It leaves clothes smelling naturally fresh and it does not cause an irritation of the skin. If you want to keep your towels fluffy and soft, you need to use the bicarb softener regularly.

There! Now we can relax!

Now it's up to you domestic goddesses to vote

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© 2017 Curiosity2015


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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 months ago from Central Florida

      I'd used baking soda and vinegar on my drains before, but next time, I'll add salt. Thanks for the tip and all the others.

    • profile image

      david salter 7 months ago

      excellent article!!

    • profile image

      Bicarbonate of Soda Fan 7 months ago

      Great article - I didn't know any of these!

      Thank you!