Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a great cleaning agent. It makes a good general purpose scouring powder and is useful for deodorising sinks and the fridge. You can also use it to remove stale smells from clothes. Baking soda has many useful cleaning properties from softening water to removing oil, grease and alcohol stains.

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a relatively simple, safe and well-understood chemical. It has been known and used since ancient times as a cleaner, antiseptic and water softener. Natron, which occurs naturally, is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, and soda ash, common salt and other chemical salts. Natron is deposited naturally in salty lakes in arid areas of the world. The ancient Egyptians and others simply collected it for a multitude of uses.

The ancient Egyptians used natron for cleaning their teeth and mixed it with oil as a kind of body soap. It was even used for mummification of the dead, as it has drying properties.

Baking soda (now made in factories) has the chemical formula NaHCO3. It is, of course, a chemical, but a relatively harmless one. Common sense needs to be used, of course. Keep all cleaning materials away from small children.

Here's how to use baking soda at home a as a cleaning agent.

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda can be used for household cleaning very easily. Just sprinkle some onto a cloth or scourer and use it as a scouring paste. You can clean worktops, other surfaces, microwaves and cookers, the sink, - almost everything.

You can also use it as a deodoriser. In the fridge sprinkle a little into a bowl or plate and leave it for half an hour. You can also use it for cleaning the fridge surfaces.

You can unclog sinks and waste pipes: tip about a cupful of sodium bicarbonate down the drain hole and follow it up with neat vinegar.

It makes a great cleaner for metalwork - the Statue of Liberty was cleaned using baking soda. Try it on brass and copperware.

As it is used in bakery products you can buy small quantities in any supermarket. However, finding greater quantities may be tricky. It is not yet sold in many outlets as a cleaning product. Mountainrose herbs sell it in bulk. They do international orders and are based in the US. In the UK some health food shops now stock it. It should become more commonly available as more people request it as a cleaning product.

Using baking soda is particularly good if you have a family to consider. Using bicarbonate, you know you are using a safe, simple chemical which has withstood the test of time. There are no nasty fumes or residues to worry about.

Author's Bio: 

My passion and life's work is in natural health and green living in the modern world. My website is devoted to simple ways to green up our lives, with an emphasis on natural health. It promotes natural methods of health maintenance and self-healing. There are articles about such simple health-aids as cider vinegar and fish oil.

It is clear that organic farming and foods offer the best long-term solution for our growing health problems. Pesticides and pollution have their role in causing disease; so do the distortions of diet brought about by modern food technology and advertising. Therefore, now, more than ever, we need natural health.

I am a qualified homoeopath and I have a good working knowledge of nutrition.