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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bicarbonate of Soda

As I am sure most of you will know, Bicarb is a wonderful thing!  You can use it for all sorts of stuff.  When it comes to cleaning it is an excellent eco friendly product that will shift grease and grime like nobodies business.  Well this sounds great I hear you murmur.  However, what no one tells you is that you need one extra ingredient for bicarb to actually make a good job of it.  That extra ingredient is Elbow Grease.

Sadly there is no way round it, this wonderful ecologically sound method of cleaning your bathroom or kitchen only works if you are prepared to put a great deal of effort into it.  We are not so used to having to actually scrub our floors clean these days.  So many of the products available are simply wipe on and then off again.  Can you imagine how harsh they have to be to work so effectively.

You can leave a paste of bicarb and water smeared onto stubborn dirt or grease and then come back to it after a little while.  This can cut down the scrubbing a bit.  But when opting for any of these old fashioned (albeit eco friendly) cleaning tips be prepared to turn the clock back a hundred years or so and get your sleeves rolled up and your hair tied back. 

And to finish this post... some other things you can do with bicarb that don't require scrubbing. 

Chlorine damage to your hair? : Mix a solution of half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to a pint of warm water and rinse your hair with it, catch the rinse in a bowl or jug and pass it through your hair several times.  This removes any smell of chlorine and can help to redress some of the damage done - but if you insist on swimming on a daily basis then you really need to wear a waterproof hat.  Bicarb can only do so much.

Dull or Dry Skin Exfoliation:  Mix a quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with your usual shower gel or body wash.  Make sure it is well dissolved and then apply to the skin in gentle circular motions.  Rinse well in the shower and pat the skin dry.  Follow with a luxurious body butter or lotion.  This should not be done more than once a week and a lot less if you are inclined to very dry skin.

Remember, bicarb is basically a cleaning product so although it is eco friendly, it can be a bit strong when used as part of a beauty regime.  So use sparingly and with caution.  I do have a multitude of recipes in one of my old notebooks - copied from some ancient publication no doubt.  If I can find it, I will give you a few more tips in another post.

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