Baking Soda and Washing Soda

Copper Sulphate (Blue Stone)

Epsom Salts

Fruit and Flower Power (epsom salts and potash combined

Uses Of Baking Soda

Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda has many different uses in the household.
Although much more expensive products have been developed over the years to do the same jobs, baking soda can work for you just as well, if not better.
Washing Soda is similar to Baking Soda with a higher pH.
Washing Soda can do a better cleaning jobs in some of the following applications. Use the products it in the following ways:


  1. To make your own baking powder, stir and sift together 2 parts of Cream of Tartar to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch.
  2. Clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda. Sprinkle in water, soak and rise the produce.
  3. Deodorize your fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. Stir and turn over the soda from time to time.
    Replace every 2 months.
  4. When scalding a chicken, add 1 tsp. of soda to the boiling water. The feathers will come off easier and flesh will be clean and white.
  5. Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.
  6. Add to water to remove the "gamey" taste from wild game.


  7. Be sure to keep an extra box of baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out.
  8. Keep a container of baking soda in your garage as well as in your car to put out a fire. It won't damage anything it touches.
  9. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.


  10. Wash garbage cans with baking soda or washing soda.
  11. Soak and wash diapers with baking soda or washing soda.
  12. Oil and grease - stained clothing washes out better with soda added to the washing water.
  13. Clean your fridge and freezer with dry soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. rinse with clear water.
  14. Deodorize your fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. Stir and turn over the soda from time to time.
    Replace every 2 months.
  15. Soda absorbs kitty litter odors. Cover the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part soda; then add a layer of 3 parts kitty litter on top.
  16. Always add 1/2 cup soda to your washing machine load.
  17. Clean combs and brushes in a soda solution.
  18. Wash food and drink containers with soda and water.
  19. Wash marble-topped furniture with a solution of 3 tablespoons of soda in 1 quart of warm water. Let stand awhile, then rinse.
  20. Clean formica counter tops with baking soda on a damp sponge.
  21. Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with soda and water to get rid of stale smells.
  22. To remove stubborn stains from marble, formica or plastic surfaces, scour with a paste of soda and water.
  23. Wash glass or stainless steel coffee pots (but not aluminum) in a soda solution ( 3 tbsp. soda to 1 quart water).
  24. Run you coffee maker through its cycle with a soda solution. Rinse.
  25. Give baby bottles a good cleaning with soda and hot water.
  26. Sprinkle soda on barbecue grills, let soak, then rinse off.
  27. Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.
  28. Polish silverware with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse and dry.
  29. For silver pieces without raised patterns or cemented-on handles: place the silver on aluminum foil in an enamel pot. Add boiling water and 4 tbsp. baking soda. Let stand, rinse and dry.
  30. Reduce odor build-up in your dishwasher by sprinkling some soda on the bottom.
  31. Run your dishwasher through its cycle with soda in it instead of soap to give it a good cleaning.
  32. To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad.
  33. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day.
  34. Rub stainless steel and chrome with a moist cloth and dry baking soda to shine it up. Rinse and dry. On stainless steel, scrub in the direction of the grain.
  35. Clean plastic, porcelain and glass with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rinse and dry.
  36. Remove that bad smell from ashtrays with soda and water.
  37. Sprinkle a bit of dry soda in your ashtrays to prevent smoldering and reduce odor.
  38. Clean your bathroom with dry soda on a moist sponge - sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc.
  39. Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.
  40. Soak your shower curtains in water and soda to clean them.
  41. To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with soda, then rinse.
  42. If your baby spits up on his shirt after feeding, moisten a cloth, dip it in baking soda and dab at the dribbled shirt. Tho odor will go away.
  43. Use to sweeten sour dishcloths.
  44. Use dry with a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.
  45. Use to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from toaster. Dampen cloth and make a mild abrasive with baking soda.


  46. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.
  47. Sprinkle soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.
  48. Add 1/2 cups or more of baking soda to your bath water to soften your skin.
  49. Putting 2 tbsp. of baking soda in your baby's bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations.
  50. Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.
  51. Take a soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.
  52. Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.
  53. Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.
  54. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.
  55. Use soda as an underarm deodorant.
  56. Deep splinter removal can be a procedure requiring stitches, by soaking the affected finger in a solution of warm water and one tbsp. baking soda twice a day for about 20 minutes each time. After a few days the splinter will painlessly pop out, in the bowl of water.
  57. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.
  58. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.
  59. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.
  60. Windburns: moisten some baking soda and apply directly.


  61. Making Play Clay with baking soda: combine 1 1/4 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.
  62. Repel rain from windshield. Put gobs of baking soda on a dampened cloth and wipe windows inside and out.


  63. Dissolve a table spoon of baking soda in a litre of warm water, add one ml of Raingard and spray to control powdery mildew on foliage.
    use as a control and preventive.
    It may also work on other diseases such as black spot.
  64. Sprinkle washing soda (Soda Ash) around the base and out beyond the drip line to control plant disease spores in soil and litter. Can be used for diseases such as rust, mildews, brown rot, black spot and culy leaf.
  65. Baking soda mixed at rate of 1 table spoon in a litre of warm water with 1 ml of Raingard added can dehydrate the foliage of the weed oxalis if sprayed on a sunny day when the soil is a bit on the dry side or very dry.
    It will not harm other plants that catch the spray drift.

To Top of page

Copper Sulphate

Preparation of Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures on the farm or for use in gardens

Because of their importance to farmers, instructions concerning the dissolving of copper sulphate and the preparation of both Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures have been included in the text.

Dissolving copper sulphate

Iron or galvanised vessels must not be used for the preparation of copper sulphate solutions. Plastic vessels, now freely available, are light and very convenient. To make a strong solution, hang a jute sack of copper sulphate so that the bottom of it dips a few inches only in the water. The copper sulphate will dissolve overnight. Copper sulphate dissolves in cold water to the extent of about 3 kg per 10 litres. If more than this is placed in the sack described above, then a saturated solution will be obtained and it may be used without serious error on the basis that it contains 3 kg copper sulphate per 10 litres.

Preparation of Bordeaux mixture

Bordeaux mixture is prepared in various strengths from copper sulphate, hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and water. The conventional method of describing its composition is to give the weight of copper sulphate, the weight of hydrated lime and the volume of water in that order. The percentage of the weight of copper sulphate to the weight of water employed determines the concentration of the Bordeaux mixture. Thus a 1% Bordeaux mixture, which is the normal, would have the formula 1 :1:100the first 1 representing 1 kg copper sulphate, the second representing 1 kg hydrated lime, and the 100 representing 100 litres (100 kg) water. As copper sulphate contains 25% copper metal, the copper content of a 1% Bordeaux mixture would be 0-25 % copper. The quantity of lime used can be reduced considerably. Actually 1 kg copper sulphate requires only 0.225 kg of chemically pure hydrated lime to precipitate all the copper. Good proprietary brands of hydrated lime are now freely available but, as even these deteriorate on storage, it is safest not to exceed a ratio of 2:1. i.e. a 1:0.5:100 mixture.

In preparing Bordeaux mixture, the copper sulphate is dissolved in half the required amount of water in a wooden or plastic vessel. The hydrated lime is mixed with the balance of the water in another vessel. The two "solutions" are then poured together through a strainer into a third vessel or spray tank.

Preparation of a 1% Burgundy mixture

Dissolve separately 1 kg copper sulphate in 50 litres water and 125 kg washing soda (or 0.475 kg soda ash) in 50 litres water and slowly add the soda solution to the copper sulphate solution with stirring. Control of fungus diseases

Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures have been found effective in controlling a whole host of fungus diseases of plants. Normally a 0.5 % to 1 % Bordeaux or Burgundy mixture applied at 2 to 3 week intervals suffices to control most copper-susceptible fungi.

Generally once the fungus spores have alighted on the host plant and penetrated the tissues it is difficult to control them. The principle of control must in most cases depend on protection, ie preventing the fungus spores from entering the host tissues. Copper fungicides are noted for their tenacity and for this reason are much to be preferred in areas of high rainfall.

The simplest method of control is to apply a protective coating of Bordeaux or Burgundy mixture (or other copper fungicide) to the susceptible parts of the plant, so that spores alighting on them come in contact with the protective film of copper and are killed instantly. It is thus important to remember that the first spraying must ideally be made just before the disease is expected and continued at intervals throughout the susceptible period. For this reason it is important to take advantage of the early warning schemes which are in operation to ensure greater accuracy of the timing of the first spraying.

It must also be remembered that fungi are plants and that control measures that will kill them may not always leave the host plant unaffected. The use of too concentrated a fungicide mixture must therefore be guarded against, particularly for the early sprays.

Copper fungicides have been reported effective against numerous plant diseases. A list, by no means exhaustive, of some 300 diseases that have been found amenable to control by copper fungicides, appears in Table B.

Correction of copper deficiency in soils

Where copper deficiency has been confirmed by soil analysis or field diagnosis, whether in plants or animals, it can be corrected very simply either by applying 50 kg copper sulphate per hectare in the form of a fertiliser before sowing or by spraying the foliage of the young cereal plants, when they are about 150 mm high, with 750 grams copper sulphate (dissolved in from 400 to 2,000 litres water) per hectare. The soil application has generally given the better results and has the advantage that it may have a residual effect for more than ten years. The foliar application has to be given annually to each crop. An alternative is to add a copper containing slag (normally about 1% to 2 % copper) at a rate of a tonne to the hectare.

Correction of copper deficiency in animals

A method of correcting copper deficiency in livestock is to treat the soil on which animals graze. For example, in Australia and New Zealand swayback in lambs is being prevented by top dressing copper deficient pastures with 5 to 10 kg copper sulphate per hectare some time before lambing begins.

Other methods include drenching periodically with a copper sulphate solution; incorporating copper sulphate in salt and other animal licks; or by what is probably the most general method, incorporating copper sulphate along with other minerals and vitamins in the form of carefully blended supplements in the feeding stuffs.

Stimulation of growth for fattening pigs and broiler chickens

The inclusion of up to as much as 0.1% copper sulphate in the diet of bacon and pork pigs and broiler chickens stimulates appetite and produces increased growth rate with a marked improvement in feed conversion.

A molluscicide for the destruction of slugs and snails, particularly the snail host of the liver fluke. All likely habitats of the liver fluke snail should be treated with copper sulphate at the rate of 25 kg to the hectare at least twice a year in June and August (northern hemisphere) or December and February (southern hemisphere).

Blue Stone can be used to blue the water for soaking whites or other laundry in after intailly washing.
In days gone by one would boil the washing in the 'Copper' and then put through a ringer into a tub of cold water that had 'Bluo' added (Copper Sulphate) Washing would soak in this for a time and then be rung out again before hanging on a clothes line.

Copper Sulphate is often used in animals drinking troughs to prevent algae build up.

To Top of page


650 Reasons to Relax Right Now
Though you think you haven’t a moment to spare, make time to unwind. Your body has 650+ muscles that could potentially kink, twist, knot and strain.
Here’s a quick recipe for a relaxation bath.
If you’re really time-pressed, you can always make phone calls while you soak!
Full Tub Of Warm, Comfortable Water
4 Cups Epsom Salt
10 Drops Of Neroli Oil
12 Drops Of Lavender Oil
Note Bath salts sold are coloured Epsom Salts, you can if you wish colour the cyrstals with food colouring

Bath Crystals

For your mind, body and soul, mix:
2 cups (16 ounce) Epsom Salt
A few drops of your favorite fragrance (vanilla, lavender, etc.)
A few drops of food coloring (optional)
1/2 teaspoons of glycerin for moisturizing (optional)
Store in a resealable container to keep out moisture.

Clean Bathroom Tiles
Mix equal parts of Epsom Salt and liquid dish detergent.
Apply to grimy area and scrub with a brush.
The Epsom Salt gives the detergent scrubbing action that dissolves and washes away as you clean.

Dislodge Blackheads
Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt and three drops of iodine to 1/2 cup of boiling water.
After the mixture has cooled a bit, dip strips of cotton into the solution and apply to the problem area.
Repeat three or four times, reheating the solution if necessary.
Then, gently unclog your pore, and go over the area with an alcohol-based astringent.

Fabulous Feet
How would you like to have FABULOUS FEET this spring?
It's almost time to peel off the heavy layers and slip your feet into something a little more revealing.
Get ready for sandal season with this daily foot recipe. Try it for two weeks and see -and feel- the difference.
Mix the following ingredients in a foot basin or large pot:
2 cups of Epsom Salt
1 cup of Dead Sea Salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Oil
1/4 cup of plain oatmeal (non-instant)
approximately 4 gallons of warm-to-hot water
Soak until water turns cold, then, using a pumice stone, buff all the rough areas of feet.
Rinse feet in cold water and dry thoroughly.
Lather the feet in petroleum jelly and slip into thick socks.
(Don't try to walk around until you put on the socks.
Petroleum jelly will make your feet very slippery.)
Keep socks on overnight for best results.
Repeat during the year as needed.

First Aid for Splinters, Scrapes and Insect Bites
The concentrated power of a warm Epsom Salt compress draws toxins and sweat away from pores, reducing the swelling of minor bites and scrapes.
This drawing action also helps bring splinters to the skin's surface.
And a cold Epsom Salt compress can take the sting out of insect bites.

Frosting a Window
Mix Epsom Salt with stale beer until the beer can hold no more.
Then, apply the mixture to the glass with a sponge.
When it dries the window will be frosted.

In the Garden

Mix one teaspoon per gallon of water and feed to the plants every two to four weeks.
Garden startup

Sprinkle approximately one cup per 100 square feet. (10’x10’) and mix into soil before planting.

Apply one tablespoon per foot of height for each plant every two weeks.

Apply one teaspoon per foot of height for each plant every two weeks.
Evergreens, Azaleas, Rhododendrons

Apply one tablespoon per nine square feet (3’x3’) over the root zone every two to four weeks.

Apply three pounds per 1250 square feet (25’x 50’)
Apply six pounds per 2500 square feet (50’x 50’)
Apply twelve pounds per 5000 square feet (50’x 100’)

Apply two tablespoons per nine square feet (3’x 3’) over root zone every four months.

Less Oily Hair
Add 9 tablespoons of Epsom Salt to 1/2 cup of liquid shampoo made for oily hair.
Apply one tablespoon of this mixture to dry hair.
Massage in well, then rinse with cold water.
Next, add the juice of one lemon and a cup of luke warm water.
Pour on your hair and leave it for 10 minutes.
Finally, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

Lush, Healthy Lawns
Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate, a mineral plants need to survive and grow.
Feeding your lawn with Epsom Salt can increase the chlorophyll content and improve its ability to synthesize food.

Remove Hairspray and Gel Buildup
Combine a gallon of distilled water, a cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled), and 1 cup of Epsom Salt.
Cap the mixture and let it sit for 24 hours. The next day, pour the mixture into your dry hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then shampoo as normal.

Smoother Softer Skin
To cleanse and exfoliate, massage handfuls of Epsom Salt over your wet skin, starting with the feet and continuing up toward the face.
Then, pour two cups into a bath of warm water.
Lean back and relax. As you soak, the natural action of Epsom Salt helps soften the rough, dry patches of your skin.

Soothe Minor Sprains and Bruises
Epsom Salt is like chicken soup for muscle aches and pains.
It's a pure mineral product that helps reduce swelling, with no side effects whatsoever!
After putting your body through a workout, sink yourself in a warm Epsom bath and experience soothing relief fast.

Vibrant Plants and Vegetables
Like your body, your plants will suffer from a lack of nutrients.
Just a spoonful of Epsom Salt is like a multivitamin, and can prevent weak stalks and yellow leaves.
And for big, healthy vegetables, sprinkle Epsom Salt around the base of each plant.

Add Body to Your Hair
Combine 3 tablespoons of deep conditioner with 3 tablespoons of Epsom Salt.
Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds.
Work the warm mixture through your hair from scalp to ends and leave on for 20 minutes.
Rinse with warm water. Promotes body and life in your hair and restores curl to permed hair.

Arts and Crafts
Have kids use crayons to make a picture on construction paper.
Then mix together equal parts of Epsom Salt and boiling water.
Using a wide paintbrush, have the kids paint their picture with the salt mixture.
When the picture dries, frosty crystals will appear.

Thanks to The Epsom Salt Council Industry for the above; their web site is at
Also see below, Fruit and Flower Power

To Top of page


It has come to my attention that too many gardeners don’t supply their plants with sufficient amounts of potash (Potassium) and magnesium for best health. Plants like us, if they do not get sufficient minerals in their diet, they will be adversely affected and poorly.
Potassium deficiency will show as soft limp plant growth, poor flowering, taste decline in fruit, and general loss of vigor.
I am often asked what is wrong with plants which, don’t seem as good as they could be, even though they are fed well and watered right. Often the reason is insufficient Potassium.
Then there is fruit, especially citrus which are lacking in juice and flavor.
Tomatoes and cucumbers that don’t have that home grown flavor that one would hope to have.
Plants that have poor flowering or don’t flower at all. Once again the problem can be insufficient Potassium.
Magnesium is involved in chlorophyll production, which converts sunlight into sugars and is involved in activating enzymes.
Because of its role in chlorophyll, the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency show up as yellowing, usually between the veins of the older leaves.
In severe deficiencies, the entire leaf will turn yellow or red and then brown, with symptoms progressing up the plant.
There are numerous plants that show this tendency, citrus, daphne, rhododendrons, tomatoes, passion fruit, roses to name a few.
Once the yellowing starts to appear then already the plant is having problems and even when magnesium is supplied, it takes several weeks before the lovely dark green colour is restored.
During this time the plant is weakened, as the chlorophyll is not working to its full potential which makes the plant more susceptible to diseases and pests.
During drought conditions, plants suffer and one important aspect to assist in this is Potassium.
It regulates water absorption and retention, influences the uptake of some nutrients and helps to increase disease resistance.
As the weather cools and winter approaches, plants feel the chill like we do, but plants cant put on a jersey like we can. Plant’s protection from chills and frosts comes from having adequate Potassium in their diet.
Thus us gardening commentators always suggest to gardeners to supply potash to their plants as winter starts to approach and to avoid too much nitrogen.
Commercial growers of plants and orchardists have a commercial product that they use to ensure their plants have sufficient Potassium and magnesium in their diet.
These two vital elements are blended together in the right balance as required for plants.
It’s a wonder that this has not been made available to the home gardener before now.
Well that’s about to change as a new product called ‘Fruit and Flower Power’ (the commercial product under a different name) is now available from your favorite garden centre.
It comes nicely packaged in a plastic jar with a 50 gram (50ml) scoop. The jar contains 1250 grams of potassium and magnesium in the right balance.
It is used at the rate of 50 grams (one scoop, just below level full) per square metre around the base of the plant or around the drip line.
(Whichever is applicable) to start with, for any plant that is flowering, fruiting, showing lack of vigor or yellowing in foliage.
Now this next bit might surprise many; but the monthly requirement is 25 grams (half scoop) per square metre. This should be applied while plants are flowering, fruiting, during dry times and going into winter. Outside of these times a 2-3 monthly dose should be fine.
For fruiting a dose at 50 grams should be applied prior to flowering followed by the 25 grams till harvest. For the likes of tomatoes and cucumbers, apply over fruiting period for best flavor.
I get a lot of complaints that citrus fruit are dry and lack flavor so this should fix the problem.

To Top of page