41 Uses For Bicarbonate of Soda.

From cleaning to mouthwash, gardening and bites, here are some clever ways to use bicarbonate of soda.

There are so many weird and wonderful uses for baking soda - or bicarbonate of soda as the English call it - from cleaning your bathroom to getting rid of weeds in your garden. We've got a whopping great list to inspire you, as well as investigating exactly what is baking soda, and how is it different to bicarbonate of soda or baking powder?

What are the best uses for bicarbonate of soda?

  • Cleaning your kitchen
  • Stop smelly trainers
  • Soothe a sore throat, naturally
  • Kill weeds in your garden
  • Make natural beauty treatments
  • Keep your carpets clean
  • Defrost your driveway in seconds
  • Cure heartburn
  • Find relief from insect bites
  • Get your white laundry even whiter
  • Make a natural mouthwash
  • Stop dandruff

Find out how to do all this and more below!

What's the difference between baking soda, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder?

Baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are the same thing, just with different names. Baking soda tends to be the American name, while in the UK and in Australia we tend to call it bicarbonate of soda. Meanwhile baking powder, although also used to make cakes rise, is used slightly differently.

What is bicarbonate of soda?

Aka baking soda, is a leavening agent used in baking and needs to be mixed with liquid and an acidic ingredient (eg honey, chocolate, lemon, buttermilk) to react and make cakes rise.

What is baking powder?

Baking powder is also a leavening agent but comes pre-mixed with the acidic ingredient (often cream of tartar) so all you need to add is a liquid to make your cake rise. It has quite a neutral taste.

Uses for bicarbonate of soda or baking soda:

Bicarb, baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder - whatever you want to call it, try these easy cleaning tips and put bicarbonate of soda to work in every room of your house!

1. Clean dirty fruit and veg

Put some bicarbonate of soda on a damp sponge, scrub your produce and rinse.

2. Give hairbrushes a clean

Soak hairbrushes and combs in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a small amount of warm water. Rinse and dry.

3. Use baking soda to scrub your BBQ grill

Keep your bbq grill clean all summer long by putting some bicarbonate of soda on a damp brush, scrubbing the grate, then rinsing.

4. Clean rugs and carpets

Freshen up rugs by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda on carpet, wait at least 15 minutes (preferably overnight), then hoover

5. Get whiter, brighter clothes

Add 1 small cup of bicarbonate of soda to a load of laundry (along with your regular liquid detergent) to get clothes cleaner and brighter.

6. Remove stubborn food stains from pans

Remove baked-on residue by shaking a generous amount of bicarbonate of soda on pots and pans. Then add hot water and dish detergent, let sit for 15 minutes and wash as usual.

7. Give floors a shine

To brighten a dull floor finish, dissolve 100g bicarbonate of soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse for a shiny floor.

8. Make a natural homemade bathroom cleaner

Make your own bathroom scrub by mixing 50g bicarbonate of soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add vinegar to give it a thick, creamy texture.

9. Clean appliances

Clean the dishwasher and coffeemaker by running an empty cycle with bicarbonate of soda.

10. Make a DIY spa treatment at home

Add 100g bicarbonate of soda to your bath for an at-home spa treatment.

11. Polish tarnished silver

To shine tarnished silver, combine three parts bicarbonate of soda with one part water. Rub onto silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

12. Keep litter tray smells at bay

Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in the cat box, then add litter on top to keep smells to a minimum.

13. Exfoliate your skin with

Exfoliate your skin with a paste of 3 parts bicarbonate of soda to one part water. Apply gently with your fingertips in a circular motion, then rinse.

14. Keep the loo white and clean

To clean a toilet add 50g (2oz) bicarbonate of soda to the bowl, swirl, then scrub.

15. Make a homemade hair treatment

Mix a little bicarbonate of soda into your conditioner and lather on your hair to keep it healthy and resistant to split ends.

16. Kill garden weeds naturally

Discourage weeds by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda into the cracks on your driveway and walkways.

17. Clean your toothbrush

Soak toothbrushes in a mixture of 50g (2oz) bicarbonate of soda and 50ml(1/4 pint) water; let brushes stand overnight for a thorough cleaning.

18. Cure heartburn

Make your own an antacid by mixing ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with 50 ml (1/4 pint) of water.

19. Soothe insect bites naturally

For instant relief from bug bites and sunburn mix bicarbonate of soda with a little water and apply it directly to the sore.

20. Clean the microwave

Bicarbonate of soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.

21. Make a fluffy omelette

Make a fluffier omelette by adding ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda for every three eggs.

22. Make marvelous mouthwash

Gargle with bicarbonate of soda to freshen your breath and keep your teeth healthy.

23. Get rid of dandruff

Lay off the shampoo for a few weeks and massage your wet scalp with a handful of bicarbonate of soda instead.

24. Ice-proof your driveway

Scatter bicarbonate of soda on icy paths and driveways, it's not as corrosive as salt.

25. Make a cheap bath soak

Add 50g (2oz) of bicarbonate of soda to your bath to neutralise acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration, it also makes your skin feel very soft.

26. Unblock drains

Pour in 100g (4oz) bicarbonate of soda followed by 100ml (4 fl oz) hot vinegar to quickly unclog the kitchen drain.

27. Stop bins smelling

Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the bottom of your bin to keep stinky smells at bay.

28. Whiten your teeth naturally

Mix bicarbonate of soda, strawberries and lemon juice together for a natural whitening agent. Combine the ingredients and use to brush your teeth.

29. Keep windshields clear

Wipe a damp cloth sprinkled with bicarbonate of soda onto your windshield to repel rain.

30. Treat chickenpox

Help soothe the itchiness and irritation of chickenpox. Stir 1 half tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water. Use a soft washcloth to put the solution on the affected parts of the body and allow to dry.

31. Help soothe a sore throat

There are lots of natural ways to soothe a sore throat, and gargling with bicarbonate of soda in water is one of them.

32. Clean Tupperware and other food containers

If storing too many packed lunches, pasta sauces or curries has left your plastic food boxes looking discoloured and grimy - once again, it's bicarbonate of soda to the rescue! Sprinkle a clean sponge with baking soda and give them a bit of elbow grease.

33. Clean your kitchen

From worktops to the fridge, the sink and even your cooking utensils, you can clean the whole kitchen naturally with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and warm water.

34. Clean your sponges for reuse

If your cleaning sponges are a bit sad or smelly, leave them to soak in warm water and bicarbonate of soda, and give them a good rinse through in the morning.

35. Clean a pet bed

If your dog or cat bed is a bit smelly, sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.

36. Stop shoes smelling

Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into stinky trainers - and even your whole gym bag - and leave it. Just tap it out when you next need to use them

There's more great advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.

37. Remove crayon marks

Have your little helpers been redecorating your walls? A wet cloth with some bicarbonate of soda on will wipe away any crayon marks from a wall.

38. Natural deodorant

To keep fresh without using deodorant, lightly pat bicarbonate of soda under your arms to help any body odour.

39. Keep the ants away

Mix bicarbonate of soda and salt half and half to keep the ants at bay in the summer.

40. Keep flowers fresher for longer

Add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of powder to your vase of flowers to keep the bunch looking and smelling fresher for longer.

41. Freshen up your wardrobe

Pop a box of bicarbonate of soda in your wardrobe. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as lavender to keep your clothes smelling fresh. This will also ward off moths.