Cleaning with bicarbonate of soda

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 – – – Not just for cakes 
Sometimes a shop bought cleaning product is fantastic, I’m not going to do them all down. However sometimes the old fashioned cleaning methods – and eco friendly cleaning – are just as good, if not better.

Here is the most basic of starting points in the world of old fashioned cleaning. Prepare yourselves now, dun, dun duuuuuuun bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda if you’re in the U.S.) can be used for a great many things in your house but my number one way to use it is as a replacement to cream cleaners. Cream cleaners and other cleaning products are expensive and if I’m honest I don’t like the smells they give off. There are lots of other things you can do with the wonder powder, here are a few ways I use bicarb.

Top 10 cleaning uses for bicarbonate of soda

1.Sprinkle a bit of bicarb on a wet cloth and use it in bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere else that you would normally use a cream cleaner.

2. Add a small bowl of bi carb to your fridge to neutralise smells. Change it once a month and your fridge should stay fresh.
3. Pour 200g of bicarbonate of soda, swiftly followed by a kettle of boiling water down your sinks once a week to keep them clean and unblocked.
4. Soak smelly or stained tupperware in hot water with a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda over night.
5. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on to BBQ grills, then soak, in order to reduce scrubbing.
6. Add 4tbsp of bicarb to a spray bottle 3/4 filled with boiling water – shake well. Allow to cool a little then add your favourite scented essential oils. Allow to cool completely and use as a spray to freshen clothes and soft furnishings.
7. Lightly dust your carpets with bicarbonate of soda, leave over night then vacuum come morning. Your carpets will be fresh and clean.
8. Pour a glug of vinegar (malt will do) down your toilet, followed by a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Allow to fizz up and settle, then flush.
9. I clean my oven with a paste made from salt, bicarb and warm water, it makes it look shiny and new, which sad as it sounds, pleases me no end.
10. Clean thermos flasks (new and vintage) with bicarb and water, I find it takes any niffy smells out almost straight away.

Some nifty extras
11. My post on homemade oven cleaners centres around bicarbonate of soda.
12. Bicarbonate of soda will aid you in removing cigarette smells.
13. Freshen up your washing machine drum with bicarbonate of soda – read more in how to murder your washing machine.


You might also find useful:

P.S. Did you have a nice weekend?

P.P.S I buy cheap (cheaper than the baking aisle anyway) bicarb from cleaning aisles in poundshops and on eBay here.

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  1. I hate cream cleaners, no matter how much I rinse they always leave a residue behind which is grim!

    I’m not a big fan of chemicals for cleaning at all and I haven’t thought of bicarb for all of your suggested uses so you have given me one or two ideas! Thanks!

  2. I’m a bicarb fan too…I sprinkle it over the carpet before I vacuum to get rid of all the doggie smells. :0)

  3. Some good tips, Mrs Thrifty! I use steredent tablets to clean vases and stains off mugs and cups. One tablet in lukewarm water is plenty for a vase and half for a mug. I wonder if they would work on tupperware too?

  4. Brilliant tips! That flask one is a keeper. I must have thrown away about 4 flasks in my lifetime because of funky smells they’ve developed over time.

  5. list printed off to be attached to my fridge so i remember what to do with it. thank you. x

  6. Oooooo, this is excellent, thank you so much! Shop bought cleaners often catch in my throat and make me cough :/ Especially ones for the bathroom!

    Kitty x

  7. I used it to clean right through our coffee machine the other day too – it had got a bit dank and the bicarb and boiling water filtering though got all the natstiness out! I shall be trying out your other ideas too – thanks.

  8. Oh great post Thrifty. I will be taking on board some of your suggestions. I am a cream cleaner fan (because my grandmother was!) and while I like it’s cleaning action, i don’t like how my hands feel after, which is cause of the chemicals in it. I will try bicarb next time I clean the sink. Also the loo one is good too – I only use bleach in my loo nowhere else. Would vinegar and bicarb kill nasty toilet germs? I wonder if I sprinkle bicarb on my kids would it make them come up nice and clean too?! 😉

  9. ha ha Linzi, I second that about the kids!!!!

  10. Brilliant, I want something to clean down my plug holes, this is perfect timing! Thank you

  11. Bicarb is the only thing that shifts the smell whenmy naughty cat wees on the sofa- it’s a godsend!

  12. Great tips. Bicarbonate of soda is also wonderful as a facial scrub- seriously deep pore cleansing. Mix it with water to make a paste, rub on to your face and then rinse off with water.

  13. Great tips – I’m always intending to use more planet-friendly products, but it’s hard convincing the Husband. Do you have any tips on a cheap/bulk source of bicarb? The little baking tubs are a bit pricey to use regularly.

    • My local Chinese supermarket has a 3kg box for around £3.00!

    • IRENE HARDIE says:

      Go online and type in bicarbonate of soda. There are loads of websites offering bicarb in packs of 1kg – 25 kg. I have bought it myself and it came in a handy plastic tub. I use it for everything !!!

  14. Meant to ask…as you’re are the Queen of clean Mrs T,how do I get my cotton sheets and pillowcases which have turned rather yellowy..back to snowy white? :0)

  15. Bellaboo – this might help.

    I’ve added details of where I buy my bicarb to the post. HTH.

  16. I love bicarb and we have used it for these things for years, such a versatile product :)

    Maria xxx

  17. Great post, I will definately try the tupperware and oven tips – Oven cleaner is so vile!! x

  18. K-Cliff says:

    Fabulous post! I am a massive bicarbonate of soda fan, I even use the toothpaste (50p a tube in Asda, brilliant). I also use it inside my teapot to remove murky looking tanin stains. I just add a tea spoon, fill the teapot right to the brim with boiling water, then pour it out once it’s cooled down. Works a treat, and I don’t have to worry about Amy nasty chemicals lurking in there spoiling my cuppa! :)

  19. Is there anything that can’t be cleaned with bicarb and/or vinegar? Magic stuff.

  20. Bicarb and vinegar are a magic combination! Bicarb is also supposed to be good for whitening teeth but it does taste horrible.

  21. Ooh loving some of these tips. I used to use bicarb to soak up the niffs in my dance shoes. Having lovely padded fabric inner soles is all very well, but does mean they get whiffy after a time. Overnight sprinkling of bicarb really helped (although made them feel grainy for a time!). Looking forward to more tips on other products soon.

  22. I wil be trying it in my sink for sure. Whilst I was aware of some used I wasn’t sure of all. Thanks for the heads up.

    X x

  23. I’ve bookmarked this! Bicarb is one of these things we always keep in the house because I know it’s meant to be fabulous to clean with, but I never know what exactly to use it for, and now I do! xx
    Sirens and Bells

  24. That is a seriously useful post- thank you thank you! I just cleaned out my fridge today and it STILL smells, despite working on it for AGES so I shall try the bowl in the fridge. Can I also say it is really good for descaling your kettle also!

  25. So clever! I totally forgot about this.

  26. LOVING this list!!!!

  27. I use bicarb for everything, its great!

  28. The bicarb is now in the fridge….

  29. I’m a big fan of using bicarb for cleaning too. My only complaint is that they don’t sell it in huge tubs, which would be useful! I found liberally sprinkling the filthy bottom of my oven with the stuff, then spraying on vinegar and leaving for 10 mins before wiping off made cleaning a lot easier.

  30. Loving the tuppaware, clothes freshner and over tips! *trots off to Wilko to buy several boxes*

  31. amazing list of uses for bicarb! I will definitely be stocking up on it when I next pass a poundshop! x

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. ExremeFlamingo says:

    Just tried using bicarb on a damp cloth to clean the ceramic crock from my slow cooker, and it has worked WONDERS! Tried pretty much everything to remove the weird limescale-like residue and nothing worked. Will be using bicarb for more cleaning tasks now! :)

  34. Anonymous says:

    Quite! This was a very fantastic article. Thanks for the offered details.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Asian shops often sell bicarb in 500gr bags cheaply

  36. I bathe in it…so soft!! Love! Also add to your normal face wash to get a great scrub!! (face was in hand, power in hand mix, wash, repeat!)

  37. Anonymous says:

    Bicarb also relieves heart burn – half teaspoon or less in water – drink – reflux gone almost immediately and far cheaper than pharmaceuticals!! Ian My grandmother used it post 1891

  38. Anonymous says:

    good for reflux

  39. Gilly G says:

    Brilliant comments about bicarb, will be attacking the oven any day soon.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard (but not tried) that a mixture of bicarb and vinegar is also good at removing the limescale that accumulates around the area that the water flows from on taps…Apparantely,you’re supposed to make up the solution (not sure on the ratio) soak it in cotton wool, place the cotton wool into a plastic bag and fasten plastic bag around the tap so that the cotton wool is surrounding the limescale. (Obviously you will need a bag with cotton wool soaked in solution for each tap) then leave on for about 10 mins…Remove the bag, and the limescale should come off with cotton wool.

  41. Has anybody used it on brass

  42. Has anybody used it to clean brass

    • Anonymous says:

      put salt on the brass and mix with lemon juice then scrub with a slitely rough scruby then rince and dry

  43. Has anybody used it on brass

  44. Anonymous says:

    Bicarb is great for mouth ulcers. A small bit on the end of a teaspoon dropped directly onto the ulcer works wonders. Stings a bot but neutralises the acid around the ulcer and speeds healing.

  45. Anonymous says:

    GOod for bad breath wow I use it for my child is amazing (;

  46. It is also very good for neutralising smelly footwear. After a walking holiday my boots had become very stinky. A liberal sprinkling of bicarb left in the boots overnight got rid of all the smells. My dad also used to have a spoonful in milk every night before bed to aid digestion. Magical stuff.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Found out recently that bicarb is good for extinguishing electrical fires.

  48. I use bicarb to wash my hair instead of conventional shampoos and as an underarm deodorant. Love it!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Years ago in the hospitals it would be dissolved in the water when patients needed a bed bath to eliminate any body odours. This way the patients would not be offended.

  49. I use bicarb to wash my hair instead of conventional shampoos followed by a vinegar rinse. I haven’t used shampoo for over a year. I also use it as an underarm deodorant as well as all the household stuff.

  50. You can also use bicarb with aluminium foil to clean silver…


  51. Anonymous says:

    My husband works hard so his clothes tends to be smelly of sweat ! Can you use bIcarb to get Rid of sweat smells on clothes ? If so how ?? And to rid of stains on the armpit area !?!

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hi,can u use bicarb to bleach whites or in the wash as a stain remover on coloured clothes? Thnx

  53. My gygy has prescribed it as vaginal cleanser instead of using soap while pregnant. The chemists was surprised but the doctor knows better

  54. So happy to have found your blog, I’l get on the case. Mich x

  55. Anonymous says:

    Just used paste of water and sodium bicarbonate on the undearm area of shirts to remove prespiration odour. Left overnight all traces of smell had disappeared although did give off alarming smell of ammonia at first. Peraevered for longer as otherwise shirts would have been thrown away. Will try dry next time. Did not affect colour at all.

  56. Can I use bicarb of soda to whiten greying whites, like underwear which is part cotton and part synthetic? if yes, what’s the ratio of the mixture and ashould leave them to soak? Thanks. May

  57. I once cleaned up a room in my parent’s house (they never clean) and managed to eliminate all smells in the closet and everywhere by just dumping a whole box of sodium bicarbonate all over the shelves, the carpet at the bottom of the closet, and the carpet in general throughout that whole room and just leaving it all there for a few days and then eventually vaccuuming it all up and that room has never smelled bad again since even though it smelled terrible for years before.

    I also cleaned a lot of the room with just a clean cloth and water. Sometimes I sprayed things with a vinegar-water solution too like the windows but it’s mostly how clean the cloth is and how much I rub things down that actually gets windows clean.

  58. Diane S.A says:

    I have coffee machine that makes espresso too. We hav not made espresso in the 2 yrs we’ve had it. As I opened the top to put water I found it already had water in. I boiled it 3 times, but I’m not sure that it’s clean enough to use. I KNOW bi carb has amazing cleaning properties. Pls help….how shld I apply it?

    • A Thrifty Mrs says:

      Hmmm I am not sure how your machine comes apart but I would make a paste of bicarb and water and spread it on then leave for about 10 minutes before washing off.

  59. Will baking soda mixed with vinegar scratch a stainless steel sink, if used for cleaning?

  60. ntombekaya xiva says:

    Instead of a tooth paste, I brush my teeth using bicarb and no more bleeding gum nor tooth pains either. Recently, I have noticed white clean teeth.

    Bicarb is good for underarms as well.

  61. Thanks for sharing! Can U use bicarb to bleach whites or in the wash as a stain remover on coloured clothes?


  1. […] has thousands of uses from cleaning limescale to killing bacteria and germs, though LEMONS and BICARBinate of soda can be used […]

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