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Cleaning with bicarbonate of soda: uses and tips

Whether you need to remove smells or clear sinks, cleaning with baking soda could be the answer.


bicarbonate of soda with a spoon

From getting rid of nasty smells to tackling dirt on surfaces and unblocking clogged sinks and drains, bi-carbonate of soda – also known as baking soda – is a fantastic cleaning aid. Find out the different uses of bicarbonate of soda for cleaning here.

Curious about the difference between bicarbonate of soda and baking soda? There isn't one! Baking powder, however, contains both baking soda and an acidic agent (usually cream of tartar) which when mixed with moisture causes a dough to rise when you bake.

Has your cleaning regime changed during the Covid-19 lockdown?

7 top suggestions for cleaning with baking soda

  1. Deodorise the fridge
  2. Bicarbonate of soda is an incredible deodoriser. Whether you’ve left fish, meat or cheese in your refrigerator for too long, cleaning with bicarbonate of soda is sure to help. Just apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the inside of the fridge, rub and then remove with a dry cloth.

    You can also keep a cup of baking soda in the back of your fridge to absorb the most stubborn smells – just remember to replace it every 2-3 months.

    Read up on our other tips for tackling pongy fridges for further advice.

  3. Deodorise shoes
  4. If that nasty odour comes from your shoes instead of the fridge, baking soda can still help! Sprinkle a cup of it inside your shoes and let it sit overnight. Not only will the smell fade away, but this low-cost solution will also help kill bacteria caused by sweat.

    For ultra-stubborn smells, read our guide on removing smells on shoes.

  5. Clean surfaces
  6. Kitchen and bathroom cleaning can take a lot of time – especially if you have to deal with sticky countertops, greasy drawers and delicate surfaces. Clean them easily with ecological cleaning products like bicarbonate of soda by combining it with white vinegar. The fizzing action can help to break down stubborn messes and power through coffee and rust stains.

  7. Freshen the home
  8. While cleaning with baking soda can help remove smells in specific areas like the fridge, it can also be used to freshen your home in general. Use it as a DIY air freshener by placing small plates of it around your home to absorb bad smells. Just make sure it’s far out of reach of pets or kids!

    For more detailed advice, check out our guide on how to remove bad smells from your home.

  9. Unblock clogged sinks and drains
  10. Slow-moving drains in the bathroom and kitchen can be a nightmare. Unclog them by using a solution of bicarbonate of soda, water and white vinegar. First, pour a full pot of hot water down the drain, add a glass of baking soda and warm white vinegar and let it fizz. Then rinse with hot water again.

    You can find more advice on this topic at: ‘How to unblock a sink’.

  11. Refresh mattresses
  12. One of the lesser known bicarbonate of soda uses is to deodorise mattresses. Sprinkle a full cup of bicarbonate of soda to freshen up a mattress and rid your home of pesky smells. Let it sit for a couple of hours then brush or gently vacuum it clean.

    To learn more about cleaning a mattress, read our handy guide.

  13. Bathroom mould

If mould and mildew have taken over your bathroom then cleaning with bicarbonate of soda and lukewarm water or white vinegar will do the trick. Make a paste from the ingredients and apply it to tile grout, showers or bath tubs. Use a brush to scrub away at the mould and then rinse. You can even use an old toothbrush to reach all those crevices and corners!

So, next time you have to deal with pesky odours or scrub dirt and mould from surfaces around the house, remember that that ecological cleaning products and natural ingredients like bicarbonate of soda could be th answer.

To learn more about bicarbonate of soda uses and specifically how using baking soda for cleaning your home can tackle bad smells, take a look at our article on the wonder ingredient.


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Originally published