Ways to ‘go green’ around the home..
- One way of going green is to reduce our plastic consumption and find biodegradable alternatives.
- Another way is to reduce our usage of chemicals, especially toxic chemicals, like bleach. Bleach does not just disappear when you wash it down the toilet or sink, it may end up in our waterways with direct effects on habitats of our nation’s animals.
- Yet another way is to reduce the number of products we use.
A good question to consider
This all got me thinking, could I do all these things at once? Was it even possible? Could I do it cheaply and simply, without any extra fuss or stress? Could I use these as rules to take one step nearer to being a #zerowaste household?
A great answer to hear!
As a result of my thinking, I have taken a leap into a hitherto unknown world… leaving aside the comfortable supermarket bought products and replacing with one wonder product!
Brilliant Bicarbonate of Soda
I first came to realise that Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) might be a cheap alternative to cleaning products a couple of months ago. I have not done anything about this thought up to this point as I’ll admit that for me, it seemed like one step too far out of my comfort zone.
I used it to clean my bathroom.
Due to its granular nature, the soda scrubbed off the grimey residue on the bath sides with ease. It also did a superb job of getting rid of the traces of mould that were hanging around my sink and bath (damp bathroom with no ventilation unless it’s warm enough to have the window open). I used a slightly damp cloth, dipped it in my bucket of soda, rubbed it on then rinsed off. Voila!
Soda’s brilliant for cleaning inside the toilet pan instead of bleach – simply add two parts soda crystals to two parts water, add to the toilet pan, leave for 15-30 minutes, quick scrub and flush and you’re done.
Ok you’ve convinced me. Hardly a wonder product if it only cleans the bathroom though…
Here are a few uses for Bicarbonate of soda round the home, and believe me, it’s just a few, from the research that I’ve done, the list seems endless, and dates back generations!
Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda
- Deodorant for personal hygiene. See Beth Terry’s post about Soda but basically have soda in tin, use powder puff and apply after a shower, apparently it does a great job!
- Deodorant for your fridge. Have an open container of soda in the fridge, the soda crystals soak up any lurking smells.
- Washing hair. One tablespoon soda to one cup water. Apply to scalp, give a rub and wash out. Again, see Beth Terry’s post. I’m considering giving this a go, I’ll let you know how I get on. Finding a green, cheap, non-plastic alternative to shampoo has thus far eluded me so if this works, strange as it might sound, it would do the job!
- Alternative to body scrub. Due to crystal nature of soda, it works well as a skin exfoliator.
- Greasy, baked-on food. Simply soak dish, for a few hours or even overnight depending on how bad the dish is, with a sprinkle of soda and warm water. Quick rub with cloth, or even rinse under the tap and baked-on-ness falls away, I’ve tried this and it really does work.
- Unclogging drains. Pour kettle boiling water down drain. Next pour 1/2 cup soda then after a few minutes, 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup boiling water. Put on plug to allow reaction to happen in pipe and not in sink/bath. Thanks to Crunchy Betty for this idea.
- Oven Cleaner. Put oven racks in bath of shallow warm water with cup of soda. Make sure there are no children in the bath. Leave for half an hour. The grease should come off without too much effort. Thanks to Moral Fibres for this idea.
- Floor Cleaner. One tablespoon soda to mop bucket. Saved a fortune!
So as you can see, plenty of scope for using and experimenting round the house! Bicarbonate can be bought from a variety of different stores in Scotland in cardboard boxes (pound shops, DIY shops, even supermarkets), or on-line, but it might well come packaged with plastic.
Cardboard boxes sometimes tear though, so have a standby box or tub to put it in!
Re-purposed plastic yoghurt tub. Write CLEARLY on your tub what’s inside!! Even better, buy a tub just for soda and get a label printed! Don’t want anyone to mistake it for sugar!
Let me know if you try Bicarb, and what you think of it! Would love to hear of your favourite uses for it.