House cleaning hacks with baking soda (part 1)

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By viktorchong@thestar.com.my

23

Many are aware that the baking soda acts as a leavening agent for bread. But despite its mainstay purpose, this white powder can also be used for cleaning purposes. In fact, the ability of baking soda to clean almost every form of stain makes it a form of universal cleaning agent. Here are a few house cleaning hacks you can try out with the baking soda:

1/ One soda to rule them all

Woman cleaning the bath tub in the bathroom

As a cleaning agent, baking soda reacts with grease in stains to form glycerol, a common cleansing agent found in soaps. This property allows dirt to dissolve easily in water. Considering the versatility of the baking soda, it can be used on almost any surface.

Starting with the bathroom, one can simply sprinkle baking soda on a stained area, such as the sink or the bathtub. Add hot water to it and wait for two to three minutes before beginning the process of scrubbing. Most or all of the stains should be removed without much difficulty. Remaining stubborn dirt can be taken out via an added mixture of vinegar.

2/ Baking soda can solve ANTother problem

ants on cube sugar

It is normal for homes to have uninvited guests, and they come in the form of ants, termites and other pestiferous shapes and sizes. Ants especially raid unattended food or even the pantry where sugar is kept.

Over-the-counter insecticides can be used to deal with their presence, but such poisons tend to have a trickle-down effect that affects not only the ants but the environment in general. Besides, insecticides are not cheap.

A more environmentally-friendly method would be to mix an equal amount of baking soda and powdered sugar. Leave it on a shallow dish nearby the ant line and wait for them to carry the lethal mixture back to their nest. The baking soda will kill the ants by drying out their bodies while messing with their natural chemistry.

3/ Cleaning after the pet

Dog sleeps under the blanket near christmas light. Close up. Winter concept

Animal companions make the best buddies, but they tend to shed their fur on the couch or sofa. They also leave behind a distinctive odour that owners may find rather unpleasant. Cleaning agents can be used to scrub the surface, but the chemical contents within it may be harmful for the animal or even your loved ones.

Baking soda, on the other hand, is non-toxic, making it a safe bet when using it to clean a surface that receives regular contact, either from man or beast. As an added bonus, it deodorises by bringing both acidic and basic odour molecules into a neutral, more odour-free state.

To start the cleaning process, begin by vacuuming or removing leftover fur from the pet. Then pour a liberal amount of baking soda on the surface the couch. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes and then vacuum it away. Most of the smell should be removed by now.

Baking soda can also be utilised to remove stains from soft fabric such as the sofa. Since it is mildly abrasive, baking soda makes for a gentle scouring powder to lift dirt easily. Just sprinkle some of it on a damp sponge and rub gently on the surface to remove the stain.


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