10 (more) ways to use good ol’ bicarb soda around the home

Mar 16, 2021
The list of bicarb's abilities seems to be endless! Source: instagram.com/mckenziesfoods/

Last week, we compiled a list of seven amazing ways bicarbonate soda can be used around the home. And, during our research, we found the wonder powder could assist in so many interesting ways that we needed to run a part two! So, without delay, here’s an additional 10 things you can do with basic bicarb:

1. Homemade weed killer
Throw away that toxic, chemical weed killer and replace it with this safer, cheaper alternative. Because bicarb soda is high in sodium, it creates a harsh environment that weeds are unable to grow in. All you need to do is sprinkle a few handfuls of bicarb over the weeds popping up in your pathway or driveway and then watch them shrivel away. Be careful to avoid areas where you want plants to grow though, as using bicarb in your garden may kill your other plants as well.

2. Dry shampoo
Bicarb is the original dry shampoo – so there’s really no need to buy the expensive bottles! Just mix it with a bit of talcum powder on your hairbrush and brush into your roots. The powder helps absorb excess oils, to help you look like you’ve just washed your hair. So, as you can imagine, it’s ideal when you’re camping! Alternatively, mix one part baking soda with three parts water for a cheap homemade shampoo alternative.

3. Insect bites
A bicarbonate soda bath is a commonly used remedy for soothing itching or burning skin, including bug bites, bee stings and sunburnt skin. Add 1–2 cups of bicarb in a lukewarm bath and soak the affected area. Alternatively, you can also rub a bicarb paste directly on the affected area.

4. Teeth whitener
Expensive and chemical based, it’s time to ditch the tooth whiteners and make your own. Simply mix bicarb, salt and a bit of water into a paste and brush your teeth with it. Now, this won’t be minty fresh or protect you from cavities, so it’s important to use normal toothpaste too.

5. Vegetable cleaner
If you have bicarb in the cupboard, there’s no need to worry about pesticides on your fresh produce again. While peeling fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to ensure you get rid of pesticides, it also means you’ll be missing out on the nutrients and fibre from the skin. Washing them in hot water will remove some of the chemicals, but research has shown that one of the safest, easiest and most effective ways to clean fresh produce is to soak it in a bicarb-and-water solution for 12-15 minutes.

6. Deodorant
So, how about those armpits? The answer, of course, is yes, as bicarb is in fact a common ingredient in deodorants! To make your own deodorant, mix bicarb and water into a paste and apply under your arms by gently patting the skin until it’s dry.

7. Sooth heartburn
It might seem counterintuitive to swallow a glass full of bubbling fizzy liquid to ease your heartburn, but bicarb soda can help treat the condition by neutralising stomach acid. All you need to do is dissolve a teaspoon in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly. Now, not all heartburn is caused by stomach acid, so, disclaimer: it may not be the cure for you. Bicarb soda can also cause stomach upsets and prolonged use should be avoided, so please check with your doctor before using.

8. Remove splinters
Bicarb to remove splinters is a unique use you may not have heard of before. All you need to do is mix a few tablespoons of bicarb soda with a small amount of water to create a paste. Spread the paste on your clean, dry skin, cover with a Band-Aid and leave overnight. Once you remove the Band-Aid, the splinter should have come out. But if first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

9. Save a scorched pot
Accidentally burned the rice to the bottom of a pan? We’ve all been there. It can be a nightmare trying to clean the scorched bottom, and sometimes it’s easier to just to throw in the pot (so to speak). But first, sprinkle a generous amount of bicarb over the bottom of the pot and just enough water to cover the burnt areas. Bring the mixture to the boil and then wash the pan as usual. You should find those stubborn burnt bits easily slide away.

10. Entertainment for the grandkids
We left the best ’til last because, let’s face it, you’ll have far more fun with the kids than you will with the cleaning! Whether you decide to make slime or playdough, these bicarb recipes require few other ingredients, are super simple to make and ensure hours of colourful, messy fun. Just remember, they are not for eating and are best enjoyed outdoors, because after your bicarb cleaning spree you wouldn’t want slime on the furniture!

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Do you have any other bicarb uses we've missed? What's your favourite way to use it?

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