Yesterday I talked about using vinegar to add eco sparkle and shine to your home! Today, I’m going to move onto another of my favourite environmentally friendly household cleaners – bicarbonate of soda (baking soda to our brother and sisters across the pond).

Bicarbonate of soda, is a versatile, all purpose, non toxic cleaner. Yes, I’m talking about the stuff you buy in little pots to do baking with in the kitchen.

I’m going to share one of my best cleaning secrets ever now – the burnt saucepan!

I’m forever getting sidetracked rather than standing over the hob when cooking, and frequently come down to black smoke billowing from the kitchen.

If you burn a saucepan, instead of wasting your time scrubbing with toxic cleaners, simply sprinkle a thick layer of bicarbonate of soda over the bottom of the pan, leave it overnight and in the morning you’ll be able to scrape that burn clean away.

Likewise the oven. Oven cleaners are just about one of the most toxic and dangerous chemicals you can have in the home. Baking soda is an effective and safe degreaser.

To clean your oven, sprinkle on a thick layer of baking soda, spritz with water and repeat a few times. Leave overnight and in the morning, just scrape that grime away. It has to be seen to be believed, but it really does work.

I’m not going to embarrass myself by telling you how long it was since I cleaned my oven, but a few years grease accumulation will come off easily – I’m talking from experience.

In addition, bicarbonate of soda is a natural deodoriser. Conventional air fresheners contain an alarming array of toxins – some of which are designed to coat the inside of your nose so that you can no longer smell – say what??

Bicarbonate of soda eliminates smells, rather than just covering them up, so keep a small pot of it, opened in your fridge or next to the cooker. Sprinkle on the carpet before vacuuming to eliminate pet odours or just have small bowls of it dotted around your home as an air freshener. Sprinkle it wherever you want to keep smells at bay; in the bottom of the bin, laundry basket or dog bed for example.

Back to the kitchen, bicarbonate of soda will work wonders on your sink and hob. Just apply with a damp sponge and scrub away. Use in tea or coffee stained tea cups to get rid of the brown rims.

In the bathroom, you can use baking soda instead of cream bath and sink cleaners. And if you run out of toothpaste, put a small amount on your toothbrush and use to clean your teeth! A drop of peppermint essential oil makes it more palatable.

Bicarbonate of soda can leave a white, powdery residue, but just rinse well with hot water