Handy Hints for DIY by Holly Royce
A lot of the products we use to clean ourselves and our homes contain an array of chemicals and toxins that end up washing down the drain and into our water systems, which is impacting our marine life. These chemicals are also affecting our health, with exposure to conventional chemicals being linked to documented health problems such as asthma and cancer.
Using baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda as it’s otherwise known) or similar natural products and rejecting those substances with harsh chemicals is an easy lifestyle change that can help you and the planet.
To make your path towards this positive action easier, I have tested each of these uses listed below and can attest to the fact that they work marvellously!
1. Baking soda as deodorant —
I was a little bit worried about this one, it could have ended very… smelly. However it was an amazing success, I would definitely recommend trying it!
Just apply the baking soda with a powder puff and you’re ready for the day.
2. As hand deodoriser —
Remove tough odours from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water. Works like a charm!
3. As a shoe deodoriser —
I’m pretty much living in my slippers this winter, so my family was pretty excited for me to try this use. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odour. Great success!
4. As a growth enhancer —
Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants. Delicious!
5. As a toiler cleaner —
Cleaning the toilet ha never been so easy! Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odour.
6. To remove burned-on food from a pan —
Soak the pan in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing, and your pan is brand spanking new in no time.
7. To clean your shower curtains —
I didn’t even realise my shower curtain was dirty until after I tried this last one. I put in half a cup of baking soda and a shallow pool of water, couldn’t believe the difference when I’d finished!
Don’t forget to share some of your DIY baking soda tips in the comments below!
Everything we buy and consume has its own carbon footprint story embedded in producing it and getting it to you. As shoppers and consumers, we have the power to drive change in:
- What we buy, and therefore what gets produced and offered for sale
- How we use and maintain things, and
- What we do with them when we don’t want them anymore, or they’ve reached end-of-life.
For more information on lowering you carbon foot print check out our website:
We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au
Handy Hints for DIY is a weekly post featuring eco tips for beauty, home and garden.
Bicarbonate of soda is excellent for indigestion and to help your body with alkalinity. Half a teaspoon in water does wonders.
Mix bicarb to a paste with water and clean bathroom and kitchen tiles, and hand basins..Also make a paste with it and use it to clean inside your oven, wipe it on, heat oven for several minutes, let it cool and wipe off!
Some more great ways to use bicarbonate of soda:
1. Reduce the acidity in some recipes.
For those who have an intolerance to acids in their foods, eg. tomato pasta sauce, adding a bit of bicarb will help reduce some of that acid.
2. Fluff up your omelettes by adding ½ teaspoon of bicarb to every three eggs.
3. Adding bicarb to baked beans will significantly reduce its gas affecting properties post consumption.
4. Clear a blocked drain.
Heat equal parts vinegar and bicarb and pour down the drain.
5. Put a lidless container of bicarb in your fridge to soak up any bad odours.
6. Keep bin smells at bay by washing the bin with a damp sponge with a sprinkling of bicarb on it and also adding a sprinkle to the bottom of the bin before you put the new liner in.
7. Clean the toilet without chemicals by dropping half a box of bicarb into the bowl and leaving overnight.
Flush a few times in the morning. Your toilet bowl will be clean, odourless and chemical free.
8. Deodorise fake lawn that has had pets on it.
Using an icing sugar duster, sprinkle bicarb over the ‘grass’ then hose it in using a shower setting on the hose. It will do an even better job if you use a high pressure hose.
9. Make water colour paints for the kids.
Mix 3 tablespoons each of bicarb, cornflour, and vinegar with 1 ½ teaspoons of light corn syrup. Divide the mixture into small cups or drink bottle lids and add about 8 drops of food colouring to it and voila! You can use them instantly or wait for them to harden and use with a wet brush.
10. Keep bicarb handy if you have a vomiting baby.
Wipe the vomit off the item of clothing and then dab with bicarb on a damp sponge to remove the stain and odour instantly.
11. Nappy rash is also helped by mixing a few tablespoons into baby’s bath water.
12. Cool sunburn by mixing 4 tablespoons of bicarb to one cup of water, and soak some cotton pads to apply to the burnt skin.
13. Stop itchiness in a plaster cast by using a hairdryer to blow bicarb down into the cast.
14. Use bicarb as a deodorant.
Not an everyday solution, but some bicarb under the arms will assists with odour control in a pinch. A mixture of 1/4 cup bicarb, 1/4 cup cornflour, and 5-6 tablespoons of coconut oil in liquid form, works wonderfully as a deodorant – add essential oils to personalise it, if you want.
15. Make your clothes whiter and brighter.
Add half a cup of bicarb to your washing machine along with your usual detergent.
best way to clean the bath is a few desert spoons of bicarb sprinkled esp on scummy bits and drizzle some eucalyptus oil near the bicarb and wipe over the whole bath with a cloth, rinse.
There are many other uses for baking soda:-
In the kitchen 1) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, mixed with a dessertspoon of vinegar can be substituted for two eggs. Add last of all to the batter.
2)1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate added to 150 ml of fresh milk will make sour milk or buttermilk for a recipe.
1) A paste of bicarbonate and water soothes heat spots, nettle rashes and chicken pox, as well as bee stings, burns, insect bites and sunburn.
1) Tarnished silver can be rejuvenated by putting it in an aluminium pan, with 2 – 3 teaspoons of bicarbonate and bringing to the boil.
2) A handful of bicarbonate, followed by a cup of vinegar poured down pipes and left for an hour, with the plug in, will clean them.
3) Clean the inside of an oven with a paste of bicarbonate and water. Heat the oven for 30 mins. then brush the paste off.
4) Clean the fridge with bicarbonate and water, one teaspoon to a pint of water.
5) Remove carpet stains with a paste of bicarbonate and water.
clean any bath or sink make a paste of bi-carb and water, to take the itch away rub with bi-carb wet or dry
Keep bi -carb in a stainless steel (lge) salt shaker, like the one you see in a fish and chip shop, under the sink, sprinkle in sink for a shiny clean, good on all stainless steel appliances, just make sure you wipe of after cleaning with a wet cloth.
Bad armpit odor can be very difficult to eliminate once it’s there… (Apparently it is a bacteria and normal deodorants can “add perfume” but do not kill it). Make a thick paste of bicarbonate and lemon juice, apply on the arm pits and keep the arms up while it drys. Then just have a shower and the smell is GONE. (Great for teenagers that do a lot of sport)
Bicarb is great for cleaning tiles because if you use acids, such as vinegar, and don’t rinse it thoroughly away, it can eat away at the grout. This is because tile grout is made up with cement, which is alkaline. It’s worth noting that if you do want to clean with vinegar, rinse it off, then neutralise the acid with with a paste of bicarb.
Try dipping your toothbrush in bicarbonate to remove stains and tartar. Works brilliantly
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