Bicarb soda … so much more than a leavening agent
Chances are you’ve got a box of bicarbonate of soda (bicarb) in the back of your pantry, it is after all a staple of most kitchens. Bicarb is a pure leavening agent which means that it is used to make food rise. But bicarb also has hidden talents that go beyond making cakes. We’ve put together a list of 10 things that you can use it for outside the kitchen.
1. Banish bites - summer is on the way and that means mosquitoes and mosquitoes means bites. Take the itch out of mozzie bites by combining 1 teaspoon of bicarb with a few drops of water to make a paste. Dab the paste onto the bite and leave to dry.
2. Clean up spills – bicarb is excellent for cleaning up oil-based spills whether in the kitchen or on the driveway. Use a damp cloth to dab the stain, but don’t rub. Then cover the stain with a generous sprinkling of bicarb. Leave to sit for an hour and then use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove the bicarb. Now that you have absorbed the oil you can use a cleaning product to treat the sain.
3. Face first – make your own declogging and exfoliating face mask using 2 tablespoons of bicarb mixed with the juice of half a lemon and a squirt of honey. Mix well to form a paste; apply the paste to your face and relax for 15 minutes, then rinse.
4. DIY toothpaste – if you would like to make your own toothpaste all you need is bicarb and coconut oil. Just melt 4 tablespoons of coconut oil over low heat, then add 2 to 4 tablespoons of bicarb, depending on how thick you want the paste. Store the toothpaste in a jar in the fridge between uses. The mildly abrasive properties of bicarb are good for removing stains on teeth.
5. Mouthwash – you can also make your own mouthwash by adding ½ teaspoon bicarb to half a glass of warm water. Swish around your mouth to freshen breath. Studies have shown that a bicarb mouthwash is great for relieving the pain of mouth ulcers.
6. Odour eater – bicarb is excellent for removing smells from carpets and rugs. Vacuum first, then sprinkle bicarb on the carpet or rug to absorb odours. Leave it for at least an hour, then vacuum.
7. Soothe sunburn – adding 1 to 2 cups of bicarb to a lukewarm bath will help relive the burning and itch of sunburn; of course prevention by being sun-smart is always the best option.
8. Smelly fridge – we’ve all had that horrible moment where you open your fridge and discover a putrid smell caused by something that should have been binned a week ago. The worst part is that even after you’ve thrown it out and cleaned the fridge, the smell can linger. Bicarb can help freshen up you fridge by neutralising the odour. Simply fill a cup with bicarb and pop in the back of the fridge.
9. Laundry aid – adding ½ a cup of bicarb to your regular laundry detergent can help to remove stains.
10. General purpose cleaner – make a paste of bicarb and water and use it to clean your oven, stained coffee cups, stained marble, tiles, silver and the microwave.