Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is a super-effective (but gentle) abrasive and is a great natural deodorise. It’s helpful in all sorts of trouble spots but take care not to confuse this with washing soda as it’s very different. So stock up now!
1. Stained and smelly plastic food containers
Leftovers have a way of leaving their mark. To freshen your containers, wipe with a clean sponge sprinkled with bicarb. Or erase tough stains by soaking in a solution of 4tbsp of bicarb and a litre of warm water.
2. A foul-smelling fridge
A small pot of bicarb left in the fridge will absorb strong food odours so they don’t linger or change the taste of nearby foods.
3. Unrinsed fruit and veggies
Mixed with water, bicarb can remove dirt and the waxy coating on produce.
4. A filthy kitchen
Nearly every dirty spot in your kitchen can benefit from the bicarb treatment. Mixed with water, use it to clean countertops, stainless steel sinks, microwaves, range cooker hoods and cooking utensils.
5. Extra greasy dishes and pans
Give baked-on food the heave-ho by boosting your washing-up liquid’s power with baking soda.
6. Stale-smelling sponges
Soak these kitchen staples in bicarb and water to freshen them up so you can use them for a little longer.
7. Musty upholstery and carpets
Deodorise the soft, cushy places around your house by sprinkling with bicarb, letting it sit for 15min, and then vacuuming it up.
8. A smelly pet bed
The same goes for Fido’s favourite spot! Sprinkle, wait 15min, and vacuum.
9. Grimy toys
Naturally fight the effects of your little one’s grubby hands by wiping them with a sponge dipped in a bicarbonate of soda and water solution.
10. A crayon-covered wall
And, when your kid’s artistic efforts end up all over that wall you just repainted, scrub lightly with a damp sponge sprinkled in bicarb.
11. Dusty stuffed animals
These dust-collectors will be easier to clean if you place them in a large plastic bag with 100g bicarbonate of soda – secure the top, take the bag outside, and shake well. The bicarb helps draw out dust. After you remove them from the bag, vacuum everything away.
12. Dingy laundry
Both whites and colours will come out of the washing machine brighter if you add 200g bicarb to your load. Combined with liquid detergent it helps balance the pH levels to get clothes cleaner.
13. Mildew in your bathroom
Scrub your tub, tiles, sink and shower curtain with a damp sponge and bicarb. Rinse to reveal gleaming surfaces.
14. A clogged drain
Clear a stubborn drain by pouring down 125g of bicarb followed by 125ml vinegar. Cover with a wet cloth to contain the science fair-like effects (remember DIY volcanoes?). Wait 5min, and then flush with hot water.
15. Smelly trainers
Freshen up after your Zumba class by sprinkling some bicarb inside your shoes – and your gym bag, while you’re at it! Just tap it out before you use them again.
16. Rubbish bin smells
Place some bicarb in the bottom of your bin to fight odours.
17. An oil spill on your garage floor
Got an offending spot on your concrete? Sprinkle over a little bicarb and scrub with a wet brush to make it disappear.
18. A messy BBQ grill
Combat a Summer’s worth of grime by sprinkling some bicarb on your grill-cleaning brush before you scrub your grill.
19. Dirty patio furniture
Before you pull out your garden chairs for the Summer, give them a wipe-down with bicarb and water. And before you put them away at the end of the season, place bicarb inside the cushion pads’ storage bags to keep them fresh.
20. A dank linen closet
Just like in the fridge, an open box of bicarb placed near your sheets and towels can fight musty smells.
21. Dull jewellery
When your sterling silver stops shining, get rid of tarnish by making a paste (three parts bicarb to one part water). Apply it with a lint-free cloth (not a paper towel, which can scratch), and rinse.