When it comes to household cleaning, many of us reach for familiar products under our sinks. Among these, bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are often mentioned. But are they the same thing?This article explores what these cleaners are made of and explains any differences clearly.
Understanding the Basics: Bicarbonate of Soda vs Baking Soda
What is Bicarbonate of Soda?
Bicarbonate of soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white crystalline powder that is naturally alkaline. Its alkaline nature makes it effective in neutralizing acids, a feature that makes it suitable for a wide range of cleaning activities.
Is Baking Soda Different from Bicarbonate of Soda?
Baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are actually the same thing – both are sodium bicarbonate. The different names are just used in different places, but they mean the same and are used the same way. In the UK, it’s commonly called bicarbonate of soda, while in the USA, the same substance is known as baking soda.
Different uses of Bicarbonate of Soda
Bicarbonate of soda is a key ingredient in baking that helps cakes and breads rise. It reacts with acidic ingredients in the recipe, like lemon juice or vinegar, creating bubbles that cause the dough to rise, making baked goods light and fluffy.
2. Household Cleaning
-Deodorizing: It’s excellent for removing bad smells. Placing it in refrigerators or sprinkling on carpets and upholstery, then vacuuming it up, helps to freshen these areas and get rid of lingering odors.
-Grease and Stain Removal: Effective in tackling tough kitchen grease and stains. Creating a paste with water can help clean surfaces and even boost the cleaning power of laundry detergents.
-Mild Abrasive Cleaning: Its gentle abrasive quality makes it ideal for scrubbing grout lines, cleaning tiles, and making oven interiors shine without damaging the surfaces.
3. Teeth Cleaning
Bicarb soda is used in toothpaste for its mild abrasive qualities. It gently cleans teeth, removing surface stains and helping to whiten them, contributing to overall dental hygiene.
4. Personal Care
-Skin Care: Adding it to bath water can soothe skin irritations and soften the water. It also works as a gentle scrub for exfoliating skin, leaving it smooth and refreshed.
-Hair Care: Used as a natural hair rinse, it helps remove residue from hair products, restoring the natural shine and balance of the hair.
Beyond the kitchen, it’s great for neutralizing odors in shoes, trash cans, and pet areas like litter boxes. Its odor-absorbing properties help maintain a fresher environment.
In the garden, bicarbonate of soda can be a natural remedy for fungal diseases. Mixing it with water and spraying it on plants helps control the spread of mildew and other fungal infections.
In conclusion, bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are indeed the same substance. Their versatile nature makes them a go-to solution for numerous household cleaning challenges. They are safe, work well, and are good for the environment. It’s a must-have for anyone who cares about being eco-friendly when cleaning at home.
Remember, the key to effective cleaning with bicarbonate of soda lies in understanding its properties and how best to use it in various situations.