As if we needed an excuse to eat more cake, researchers in America have been looking into the way that bicarbonate (as in ‘of soda’) alters our vision and could prevent eye diseases.

Although it’s naturally in our bodies from the carbon dioxide we breathe out, we get some sodium bicarbonate through drinking fizzy drinks and eating baked goods with it in.

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Scientists at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear hospital at Harvard Medical School found that higher levels of bicarbonate in the eye could improve our ability to track moving objects.

Bakers have long known a spoonful of bicarb has a massive impact on whether their cake will rise, but here are some other incredible uses for it…

Toothpaste

To make your pearly whites extra sparkly, dip your toothbrush with toothpaste squirted on into bicarbonate of soda. One teaspoon in a small glass of water also works as a mouthwash to freshen your breath.

Body scrub

Who needs expensive beauty products when a paste of three parts bicarb to one part water will work just as well to exfoliate the skin? And it’s gentle enough to be used daily, with no added nasties.

Hair treatment

Another of the many beauty cupboard applications for this miracle worker, adding a small amount of bicarb to your normal shampoo will help remove the residue of too many products and leave your scalp clean and hair more manageable.

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Carpet freshener

So we all know if you spill red wine on the carpet, you reach for the salt right? Well, once you’ve soaked up any spills, you can sprinkle on some bicarb and leave for 15 minutes to neutralise smells too.

Entertaining kids

From homemade bath bombs to exploding volcanoes and magic beans, bicarb is a must-have ingredient in plenty of fun home science experiments. Visit the Arm and Hammer website for recipes and ideas.

Soothe bites

If you’re prone to getting bitten by mozzies in the summer, a paste of water and bicarbonate of soda will help to soothe itching.

All-round cleaner

Everything from ovens and microwaves to floors and even silver can benefit from a good scrub with a mix of water and bicarb as it cuts through grease and grime and removes smelly odours. Watch our video for more tips on cleaning with bicarbonate of soda.

What are your top tips for cleaning with bicarbonate of soda? Share them in the Comments box below.