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Natural Cleaning

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Where To Buy Bicarbonate of Soda In Bulk for Cleaning

Wondering where to buy bicarbonate of soda in bulk for all your green cleaning needs? Here are my top recommendations of where to source this natural cleaning must-have.

If there’s one green cleaning product I reach for almost every day, it’s bicarbonate of soda. Depending on where you are, you might know it as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate or bicarb.

The reason I use so much of it is that bicarbonate of soda has a wide range of uses when it comes to making natural cleaning products.

It deodorises smelly fridges, smelly carpets, and smelly drains with ease. It effectively scrubs shiny surfaces without leaving a scratch. And it softens fabrics and removes stains from clothing, and so much more. In fact, bicarbonate of soda has so many useful properties when it comes to green cleaning, that I would be lost without it. I’ve put a full guide together on cleaning with bicarbonate of soda if you want to know more about this wonder cleaner.

Because I use bicarbonate of soda in so many different applications around my home, it is a product I tend to buy in bulk. Doing so is much more cost-effective than buying the little plastic tubs from the baking aisle of the supermarket. And what’s more, it’s so much lower in plastic. Bulk bicarbonate of soda tends to come in cardboard boxes or paper bags. This means the bulk version has a reduced impact on the environment.

Where to Buy Bicarbonate of Soda In Bulk

Image of natural cleaning products on a cream background with a blue text box that says where to buy bicarbonate of soda in bulk for cleaning.

From people starting out with green cleaning I often get queries on sourcing ingredients. Specifically on where to buy bicarbonate of soda in larger quantities than what you might find in the baking aisle at the supermarket.

The good news is that 500 g boxes of bicarbonate of soda can be easily picked up in many hardware shops. You might also be able to find bicarbonate of soda in the cleaning aisle of larger supermarkets. However, if you are struggling to find any boxes or you are looking to buy bicarbonate of soda in larger quantities for cleaning purposes or for making bath bombs, then don’t worry. Here are my favourite places to source this ingredient in bulk.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links.

Ethical Superstore

If you are just getting started out on your natural cleaning journey then you may just want a smaller bulk box of bicarbonate of soda. Ethical Superstore sells a 500 g cardboard box of non-food safe bicarbonate of soda for just £1.85*. Alternatively, you can buy a case of six boxes for £10.55* should you require a much larger quantity. As Ethical Superstore sells a range of natural cleaning ingredients, I often pick up a box when I’m buying citric acid in bulk or liquid Castile soap.

Bicarbonate of Soda In Bulk At Big Green Smile

If you are looking for bicarbonate of soda in larger quantities then Big Green Smile sells a bulk 1 kg bag of bicarbonate of soda* for £4.65. Packaged in a brown paper bag, it’s plastic-free. And you can buy other natural cleaning ingredients and eco-friendly household products here too.

I don’t think this product is food-safe, so don’t use it in your baking!

&Keep

Plastic-free retailer &Keep sells a bulk 750 g bag of bicarbonate of soda* for £4.95. This is food-grade bicarbonate of soda, so you can use it in your baking too.

In keeping with &Keep’s plastic-free ethos, this bicarbonate of soda comes in plastic-free, resealable packaging. What’s more, the bag is home compostable once you have used it all up.

Bicarbonate of Soda In Bulk At Etsy

As Etsy is the place for crafters to pick up crafting supplies, it’s no surprise that you can find bicarbonate of soda in bulk here. Aimed at bath bomb makers, their bulk bicarbonate of soda* comes in 25 kg bags. However, do a bit of digging and you’ll find smaller quantities more suited to green cleaning. I wouldn’t imagine this bicarbonate of soda is suitable for use in baking. However, if you have any queries do ask each individual seller.

Amazon

Whilst I try to avoid Amazon on the grounds of tax avoidance, human rights issues, and environmental issues, I understand that not everyone is able to.

If Amazon is the most accessible option for you, then Amazon sells bicarbonate of soda*. Here you can find buy bicarbonate of soda in bulk for green cleaning. In fact, you’ll find container sizes ranging from 1 kg up to a whopping 25 kg, and every size in between.

Unless you are planning on making bath bombs on a commercial scale, then it is unlikely you would ever need bicarbonate of soda in any size larger than 2 kg. For reference, I use around 500 g of bicarbonate of soda when I make a batch of laundry powder. I then use tiny amounts when making anything else.

What’s the Difference Between Food Safe and Non-Food Safe Bicarbonate of Soda?

I have often wondered what the difference is between food-safe and non-food-safe bicarbonate of soda.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to clear this up. Dripak, who produces boxes of bicarbonate of soda for cleaning says that their version is exactly the same product that is used in the tubs that you find in the baking aisle. The only difference is that it has not been packed on a ‘food safe’ line.

That means that the bicarbonate of soda is packed on a line that may also be packing citric acid or borax substitute. This means they can’t officially recommend it for culinary purposes in case of cross-contamination. I suspect this is the case for many other brands of bicarbonate of soda. However, the non-food-safe bicarbonate of soda is perfectly safe for cleaning with.

What Is The Shelf Life of Bicarbonate of Soda?

In baking, the rule is that once a box of bicarbonate of soda is opened, it is good for around six months to a year. Unopened boxes should be good for around two years.

When it comes to cleaning, however, these rules don’t apply. For bicarbonate of soda that is used purely for cleaning, there is no expiration date. Bicarbonate of soda can be used indefinitely past its best by date. However, it can lose its potency over time.

To test if your bicarbonate of soda is still potent, take a spoonful and add a drop of vinegar. If it fizzes up then it’s still potent and can be used in all of your natural cleaning applications. If it doesn’t fizz up, then there’s no need to discard it. Keep that bicarbonate of soda for scouring purposes!

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Citric Acid For Cleaning – Everything You Need To Know

Are you looking to start using citric acid in your green cleaning routine? Here is everything you need to know about using citric acid for natural cleaning. From what you can clean to what not to clean, where to buy citric acid, the safety concerns you need to consider, and more.

Citric acid is a wonder natural cleaning ingredient – used in many natural cleaning applications. However, something I do get is lots of questions about the usage of citric acid, and questions about its safety – both in terms of people and the planet.

To help you out, today, let me answer all of your queries on citric acid. Let’s crack on with the questions!

Cleaning with Citric Acid – All You Need to Know

Image of amber glass bottles and a lemon with a blue text box that says everything you need to know about citric acid for cleaning

What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is a naturally occurring acid that is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. As you would imagine from its name, citric acid is particularly found in lemons and limes. However, to help meet increasing demand, most citric acid is now synthesised from fungus. As citric acid comes in powder form, you would be hard-pressed to distinguish between citric acid made from fruit or fungus though. Both look and perform exactly the same.

You might be worried about the use of acid in its name. However, far from being a strong acid, citric acid is a weak acid, with a pH level between 3 and 6. This makes it ideal for a variety of natural cleaning applications.

As well as in natural cleaning, citric acid is also commonly used in the food industry. It’s often used as a food additive to add natural flavoring, and as a preservative to help increase the shelf life of pre-packaged foods. It’s also a common ingredient in both beer brewing and winemaking, to help create specific flavours.

You can also find citric acid in many cosmetic and personal care products. This includes bathing products, where citric acid helps create the fizz associated with bath bombs. It’s also present in standard cleaning products, and in medical products. In short, you can find citric acid almost everywhere.

Is It Environment Friendly?

Citric acid is considered an environmentally friendly cleaning ingredient because it’s food-safe, easily biodegradable, vegan-friendly and a renewable product – easily made from fruit or fungus. It won’t harm your septic tank if you have one. In short, it’s a great choice over conventional cleaning products.

What Can You Clean With Citric Acid?

Citric acid has incredibly effective descaling properties, so it is amazing for cleaning your toilet, or for descaling your kettle, dishwasher, washing machine, and iron. I would recommend this cheap natural option every time over any pricey and chemically dubious descaling solutions you can buy.

You can also make a powerful cleaning spray that is brilliant at tackling soap scum and water deposits. I use this particular cleaning spray in my bathroom to leave my shower screen and taps looking shiny and spotless.

Citric acid also has de-greasing, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties, making it ideal for cleaning both your kitchen and bathroom.

However, as citric acid is chiefly used as a cleaning product, rather than as a disinfectant, then in these Covid times, or when you want to clean surfaces where raw meat has been prepared, then when cleaning high touch areas then citric acid is best used in tandem with something antibacterial to guarantee all germs are killed. I like using these plastic-free refill anti-bacterial sachets* for no-fuss zero-waste germ killing.

What Shouldn’t You Clean With Citric Acid?

Whilst citric acid is a bit of a natural cleaning wonder there are some things that should never be cleaned using it. Citric acid can etch stone, granite, marble, and quartz surfaces so it should never be used to clean natural stone surfaces.

Citric acid also isn’t a friend of coated wood. If your floors or furniture have been treated with a wax sealant then keep citric acid away from them. This is because citric acid can degrade the wax sealant, leaving a cloudy appearance on your lovely wood.

I also wouldn’t recommend using citric acid in your laundry – for example as an alternative fabric conditioner – as it can have a bleaching effect on coloured or dark clothing. Prolonged use may cause fading. I’d recommend using this fabric conditioner recipe instead.

And finally, don’t use citric acid on the screens of your electronic devices. Always use a specialist cleaner on these types of screens.

Where to Buy Citric Acid

Citric acid can be bought easily in homebrew shops, Asian supermarkets, and some household stores, such as Wilkos. Online it can be picked up cheaply and easily. Ethical Superstore*, for example, sells a 250-gram box of citric acid for just £2.10. You don’t need any particular brand of citric acid for cleaning. If you are looking for larger pack sizes, then I’ve put together a separate guide on where to buy citric acid for cleaning.

Can You Mix Citric Acid and Vinegar?

cleaning products made from citric acid

If you have read my post on cleaning with white vinegar, you’ll know that vinegar doesn’t mix well with many other cleaning products and natural cleaning ingredients. This includes bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda). This is because bicarbonate of soda is a base, and vinegar is an acid – acetic acid to be specific. Bases react with acids to neutralise the acid, leaving you with weak salty water that is no good for cleaning.

This may make you question whether you can mix citric acid and vinegar together. The good news is that you can mix the two together. As citric acid, is, as the name suggests, an acid then mixing it with vinegar is simply mixing two acids together. Generally, there is no reaction when you mix an acid and an acid. This means that nothing happens when you mix citric acid with vinegar.

However, in most cases, there is no need to mix the two ingredients together. Citric acid is more than effective than dealing with limescale on its own, whilst vinegar has its own cleaning merits.

The Safety Concerns to Consider

Whilst citric acid is a common natural cleaning ingredient, it is important to bear in mind that citric acid is still a chemical. One that can cause damage and irritation if handled incorrectly. 

Breathing in citric acid can cause upper respiratory symptoms. These include a sore throat, a cough, and/or shortness of breath. To help prevent any respiratory upset, I find it best to measure out the citric acid powder I require in a well-ventilated room.

Citric acid can also irritate your eyes. If you get citric acid in your eye, it can cause irritation, runny eyes, redness, and swelling. As such, you should take care not to spill the powder, or rub your eyes before washing your hands.

Prolonged contact with the skin can also cause irritation, redness, and swelling. I would wear rubber gloves if you are using a lot of citric acid-based cleaning products, or if you have particularly sensitive skin.

Citric acid should also be kept away from children and pets. Whilst citric acid is found in food items in a small quantity as a preservative, if large amounts of citric acid are ingested then it could cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

And, as with any cleaning product, homemade or otherwise, always keep both the citric acid, and any homemade cleaning products, away from curious pets and/or children.

The safety concerns do sound a little scary, but with some general common sense, citric acid poses no more risk than using any conventional cleaning products.

Got any more questions? I’m always happy to help answer them – so do ask away!