Bi-Carb Soda – Not Just For Baking

June 21, 2016

If you had asked me about 12 months ago what bi-carb soda was used for, my response would have been pretty short. Despite using bi-carb in cooking, and a vague recollection of my nanna talking about using it for cleaning, my knowledge of this product was quite limited.

It was while experiencing some health concerns that I’d heard about the importance of maintaining proper pH levels in the body, and how I could benefit from using this one simple and inexpensive product, that I opened the genie’s bottle that is – bi-carb soda!

With the plethora of uses and benefits this amazing powder offers – environmentally, for personal health/care and household applications, it’s a wonder I hadn’t listened to my nanna earlier (sorry, nanna)!

So, what does it do?  Bi-carb soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, helps regulate pH—keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When bi-carb soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH.

For Good Health

Bacteria and fungus thrive in an acidic environment.  Anyone who has a pool, aquarium or is an avid gardener will attest to this.  Our body is no exception.  Where there is an opportunity for bacteria and fungus to grow, it is absolutely certain to be acidic; and illness, inflammation, stagnation, pain, discomfort, disease will be the outcome.

A diet high in processed foods, meats, dairy and other acid forming foods, emotional stress, toxic overload, smoking, recreational and prescription drugs, and lack of adequate sleep all attribute to an acidic environment. The body will compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals from our vital organs and bones, such as potassium, sodium, magnesium & calcium. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.

An acidic pH will: decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease its ability to repair damaged cells, decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals, encourage tumour cell production and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

Over acidity in the body has been linked to the formation of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and a host of other health problems.  So, it’s no surprise that most health experts will tell you that maintaining proper pH balance is essential for optimum health.

The total pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Our ideal pH is slightly alkaline – 7.30 to 7.45. You can test your pH levels regularly by using a piece of litmus paper (available in-store) in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.

If your pH balance is in need of restoring, it is recommended to take 1 level teaspoon (4g) in 500ml of water 30-60 minutes before food or 90 minutes after food.  But please ensure that you first read the safety warnings we have listed below.

For Our Planet and a Happy Home

While doing our best to provide a clean home and take care of our family, it’s easy to overlook pollutants from cleaning and personal care products that wash down our drains and into our water system.  However, there is no denying the harsh impact that these chemicals are having on our environment.  As more people are becoming aware of this and wanting to take responsibility for their own environmental footprint, we are seeing a rise in the number of people looking for eco-friendly cleaning and personal care alternatives.

The good news, bi-carb soda is so versatile that just one packet of bi-carb soda can eliminate the need for dozens of products containing toxic chemicals.  Here are just a few of our favourite tips to help keep your home a happy one!

Do Try These At Home

Unclog Your Drain
Put down the harsh chemicals – bi-carb soda does the trick! Sprinkle one cup of bi-carb soda down the drain and follow it up immediately with half a cup of white vinegar. Go about your business for fifteen minutes, then follow the mixture up with two litres of boiling water. Your drain will be unclogged, you’ll have stayed away from dangerous chemicals and as an added bonus you were more gentle on your pipes and plumbing.

Forget Steel Wool Pads: Scour with Bi-Carb Soda
An equal mixture of salt and bi-carb soda can be used to scour just about anything at all, from tubs, sinks and tiles, to those dreaded pots and pans!  You may be surprised that this combination actually scours better than many store-bought solutions.  For a softer scrub add more water for a thinner consistency.

Polish Silver Flatware & Ceramics
Another simple paste of 3 parts bi-carb soda to 1 part water can be rubbed onto silver flatware with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry. And bask in the shine!  This method is also great for removing stains from your coffee & tea cups.

Simple Floor Cleaner
This is great for tile floors: Use 1/2 cup bi-carb soda in a bucket of warm water to help mop and clean floors.

Simple Air Freshener
Ironically, most air fresheners on the market are full of toxic chemicals that you shouldn’t breathe. Luckily, you can make this super easy air freshener by mixing 1 teaspoon of bi-carb soda with 2 cups of water, and a few drops of your favourite essential oils.  Pour the mixture into a pump bottle and spray as needed!

Easy Microwave Cleanup
Sprinkle some bi-carb soda on a damp cloth and gently scrub away any microwave mess. Cleans and deodorises. Win win.

Bi-Carb Soda Oven Cleaner
Sprinkle bi-carb soda over the bottom surface of your oven. Spray with a water bottle to dampen the bi-carb soda. Let this mixture sit over night and then scrub in the morning. Rinse thoroughly.

Dump the Dishwasher Boosters. Add Bi-Carb Soda Instead.
Why add an extra plastic bottle or endless plastic pouches to the world when adding a little bi-carb soda to your dishwasher will do the exact same thing to leave your dishes extra sparkling clean and streak-free?

Boost Your Laundry Detergent
Adding bi-carb soda to your laundry helps soften the water making clothes cleaner, fresher, and softer! Add 1/2 cup of bi-carb soda to your laundry to make your detergent go further.  Or, if you want to reduce the amount of harsh chemicals used, why not try with O2-ion washballs.

Deodorise the Refrigerator
Place an open container of bi-carb soda in the back of your refrigerator to help neutralise odours.  Just be sure to change the container every couple of months.  To clean your refrigerator wipe out with a solution of 1 teaspoon of bi-carb soda to 1 litre of warm water.

Carpet Deodoriser
Sprinkle bi-carb soda on your carpet and let sit overnight. Sweep up what you can and then use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the rest.

Absorb Toilet Odours
Add a cup of bi-carb soda to the toilet and leave it for an hour before flushing. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odour.

Deodorise Chopping Boards
Sprinkle the chopping board with bi-carb soda, scrub, and rinse.

Keep Flowers Fresher Longer
Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon of bi-carb soda to the water in the vase.

Keep the Creepy-Crawlies Out
Lay down a barrier of baking soda under sink-pipe openings and along basement windows to keep carpenter ants, silverfish, and roaches from invading. Roaches eat the baking soda, dehydrate and die.

Freshen Your breath
Mix 1 tsp of bi-carb soda in a glass of water. Swish, spit, and rinse.  Easy mouth wash that neutralises odours.

Polish Your teeth
One of the most common eco-friendly ways that many people use bi-carb soda is as a toothpaste substitute. Simply create a paste with some water and bi-carb soda and then use it on your teeth. We recommend alternating with a store-bought natural & organic toothpaste (fluoride & SLS free).

Gently Exfoliate
Here’s a simple way to gently get rid of dead skin: Mix 3 parts of bi-carb soda to 1 part water. Rub gently in a circular motion and then rinse clean.

Relieve Heartburn
Bi-carb soda is a safe antacid.  Please see the “For Good Health” section above on how to use bi-carb soda as a drink.

Bites, Stings and Rashes
Whether you make a mixture of bi-carb soda and water and soak in it or whether you make a poultice or paste from bi-carb soda and (less) water and apply it, you’ll be able to treat many bites, stings, rashes, sunburn and skin irritations with this simple product.

Use Bi-Carb Soda as Half of a Shampoo Combo
Not only are many modern shampoos full of chemicals and parabens, they can actually negatively impact the pH balance of your hair. Use a mixture of ½ bi-carb soda and ½ water to wash your hair and then follow up by rinsing with ½ white vinegar and ½ water. Finalize by using whatever conditioner you typically use. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that your hair doesn’t smell like vinegar and you’ll be even more surprised at how amazing it looks and feels.

Safety Warnings

  • Individuals who have oedema, liver disease, kidney disease, or high blood pressure shouldn’t use bi-carb soda.
  • Bi-carb soda should be considered unsafe for nursing mothers or pregnant women unless advised by their doctors.
  • Possible side effects of drinking bi-carb soda in water include cramping of the stomach and increased thirstiness.
  • Contact your doctor if you experience swelling of the feet, weakness, slow breathing or nausea.
  • NEVER take baking POWDER; it is an entirely different substance than bi-carb/baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. Ingredients in baking powder can harm your body.
  • If you’re on prescription drugs, get medical clearance before taking bi-carb soda.
  • Do not give bi-carb soda with water to children younger than age five.
  • If you have a full stomach, do not drink bi-carb soda water until you’ve had a chance to digest.
  • Be cautious with bi-carb soda and consult your doctor if you are on a sodium-restricted diet or have high blood pressure, because it’s moderately high in sodium.
  • Do not drink until the bi-carb soda is completely dissolved.