I went on a little cleaning spree the other night after I came across an old book about baking soda by household advice guru, Vicki Lansky. The book is full of hundreds of ways to clean using baking soda and I was testing some ideas that I hadn’t tried before.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a naturally occurring mineral that has a remarkable number of practical uses. In particular it has the ability to neutralize acids, absorb odours and it is mildly abrasive in a non-scratch sort of way, all traits that make it great for cleaning. Even better, baking soda is environmentally benign so is an ecofriendly and non-toxic replacement for all sorts of household cleaners.
· Sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth and rub on cutting boards to neutralize odours (onion, garlic). Rinse with hot water.
· To clean your blender, fill it halfway with water, add a teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of dish detergent, whirr for 10 seconds and rinse clean.
· To clean your stainless steel sink scrub it with baking soda and a damp cloth.
· To keep your drains clear and fresh, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Let bubble away for a few minutes and then chase with a kettleful of boiling water.
· To freshen and clean your dishwasher, sprinkle half a box of baking soda in your dishwasher and run it through the rinse cycle. And before going on vacation sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda in your dishwasher to help quell odours.
· To remove tea and coffee stains from china cups make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub with a damp cloth.
· Clean your glass stovetop with a baking soda-water paste.
· To clean a pot with a burned bottom, place two inches of water in the pot and bring to the boil. Add half a cup of baking soda to the water, remove from the heat, and let sit overnight. The burned on grime should be easier to clean in the morning.
· To clean brass and copper, sprinkle with baking soda and scrub with half a lemon.
· To clean a tub, sprinkle with baking soda and dampen a cloth with white vinegar. Scrub to remove grime.
· Sprinkle baking soda over carpets and let sit overnight. Vacuum the next day. For added freshness add a dozen drops of essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling.
· Sprinkle baking soda in smelly shoes and sneakers to neutralize odours. Let sit overnight and tap out over the toilet.
· Add half a cup of baking soda to your wash, along with your liquid laundry detergent as a laundry booster.
· Create a laundry stain remover paste by mixing ½ cup baking soda with ¼ cup water. Rub into stains, including ring-around-the-collar. Pour over vinegar before washing.To clean combs and brushes, soak in a solution of hot water and ¼ cup baking soda.