Bicarbonate of Soda

“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900’s) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.”

Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University

Bicarbonate of Soda (also known as ‘Baking Soda‘ (not to be confused with ‘baking powder’)) is a mineral that can be used to absorb chemicals, embedded in clothing, that act as irritants, cause allergies, precipitate or exacerbate asthma, or inflame chemical sensitivities; it can also be used to absorb unpleasant odours! It can be used to wash clothes; and it can be used to decontaminate clothing that has been washed in fragranced washing powders, that contain a whole cornucopia of ingredients, which are toxic to many, many people.


This a great product to use if you are visiting/work with/attend classes with/or want to spend time with someone who is sensitive to fragrances: it can be used on clothes that have been washed, previously, in washing powders. It will not eliminate the fragrances entirely, but it will help, and it may stop your clothes from leaving washing powder residue on the furniture. But know this: there are some people who are so sensitive to chemicals, particularly fragrance, that this action just won’t cut it! Linda Sepp has done some extensive research on this very subject:

“Sometimes it is possible to detox regular clothing. For mildly sensitive people it might just take a few regular washes with a tolerable detergent. For more sensitive people, a more involved protocol may do the trick. For others, we often end up without much in the way of clothing and bedding, because even the trace chemicals can be too much.

Here are some methods many people have used to successfully detox their clothing. As always, individual results may vary according to personal sensitivities, water conditions, products available, and whatever might be in the clothing to begin with.”

For me (on other people’s clothing), on average, four washes would be a sufficient amount to actually make a difference to the fragrance contaminated clothing. If this is a problem for you to do, it could be worthwhile to buy clothes that are kept aside especially to be worn around people who suffer with this affliction. (All my friends, and family members who visit me, do one of these things (or for the ones that don’t do it, I’m still in the ‘persuasion’ process of facilitating it.), they either give their clothes to me to, repeatedly, wash and air, or we buy new ones, and store them here.) I find that drip-drying the clothes in the sun in-between washes, is an awesome help; as is leaving them out in the rain—this is providing that the sun comes out afterwards—but I often find they need to be washed one more time, due to Cladosporium (outdoor) mould spores.

if you can do this for another human being, it’s an immense sign of respect for humanity, and, it shows great empathy on your part. no-one chooses to be sensitive to chemicals; it could happen to anyone at anytime, and it’s happening to more and more people all the time…

Bicarbonate of soda can be used to decontaminate new clothing. Soaking the clothes in one cup of bicarbonate of soda, along with a fragrance free washing powder, such as Herbon Washing Powder (the fragrance free version), or Liquid, can and will speed up the process. I don’t have much of a problem with new clothes on other people. (I know, who would think that anyone could suffer symptoms from being near someone else wearing new clothes? But they do. This happens in our world; you may not meet these people because they are staying at home, practicing the avoidance strategies that their doctors have recommended for them. But please be aware… )

Bicarbonate of Soda is available from supermarkets, your mother’s pantry, and many specialist stores. If you are sensitive to fragrances, or have trouble purchasing from supermarkets—due to the VOCs of cleaning chemicals and fragrances absorbing into, and adhering to the products—then you may want to choose a ‘food grade’ brand, and find somewhere else to buy your bicarbonate of soda (because it absorbs chemicals, buying it from a supermarket is not a good idea if you are sensitive to those chemicals):

freefromfragrance in Australia stock it:

Source: via The-Labyrinth on Pinterest

• Bob’s Red Mill premium baking soda is made from the deposits of mineralized sodium bicarbonate. It is extracted by an all-natural water process that uses no chemicals.
• It is a great household cleaner and odour absorber.
• Other uses include use in cooking as a raising agent, laundry washing and as a dishwaher powder alternative,
• Added to bath water for detox.
• Gluten free – Bob’s Red Mill products labeled Gluten Free are batch tested in our quality control laboratory.
• We use ELISA Gluten Assay test to determine if a product is gluten free.

(Interesting Fact: Bicarbonate of Soda is found in the ingredients list of most washing powders.)

Here are some ideas/links for fragrance free washing powders:

Herbon (fragrance free version) Washing Powder, Laundry Liquid, and Stain Remover

Planet Ark: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Adobe Laundry Liquid: Sensitive

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Bleach

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Laundry Liquid

Ecostore Unscented Laundry Powder

Omo Sensitive Washing Powder (not recommended for use by the chemically sensitive, but it’s often a product that they can tolerate being used on clothing worn around them (Note: not for use around all chemically sensitive people. Please check first!)

Fabric Softener: Reach for white vinegar. For a cheaper and nontoxic fabric softener option, add ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell dissipates within a few minutes.

Other Links

Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia:Guide to Less Toxic Products: Cleaning (Scroll down for household recipes using bicarbonate of soda.)

Health Clinic:Sixty Uses of Baking Soda

Linda Sepp:Laundry Decontamination Protocols

Linda Sepp:Toxic Chemicals in Our Laundry Products

Linda Sepp: There’s WHAT in my baking soda? 

Maraposanaturals:How to Wash Clothes for the Chemically Sensitive

Safe Home Alert: What’s Wafting From Your Dryer?  (Look for the Home-made Laundry Detergent Recipe on page II)

National Geographic:Green Living

Fed Up:Cleaning and Laundry Ideas for Sensitive Children

(‘cleaning products’ image on homepage, sourced from


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

A Short Story About Dirty Fucking Balls

In Melbourne’s, the Age, newspaper, today, the article: Sexism Dovetails with Hypocrisy, by Nina Funnell and Dannielle Miller, attempts to shed light on more than just Unilever’s moronic sexist advertising:

“Remember that Dove campaign featuring women of all different shapes, colours and sizes standing around in their knickers supposedly taking on beauty stereotypes? Well, Dove is owned by Unilever. Yep. The same company that is funding self-esteem workshops and body-love courses for girls in our schools (under the Dove brand) is also producing the very types of ads that those courses caution against.”

The claim on their website: Dove, is raising awareness of the link between beauty and body-related self-esteem (Must they have the comma after ‘Dove’? Because it was there when I cut and pasted it from their website. And if I can’t win an argument with a multi-national corporation like Unilever, then I’ll pick on their punctuation instead!) and that statement sits in rank contrast with their latest offering. Because now, Unilever (also the parent company of Lynx deodorants), have the Dirty Balls advertisement, which, based on the long-held advertising premise that you can sell anything to a man if you can link it to sex or sport, is promoting Lynx, which itself, promises that one squirt of it will bring amazing success in both areas. So, not only is Unilever going about their advertising in their own special oxymoronic fashion but their values are also strangely unaligned in their approach to marketing other products. Like this:

“And the hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Dove reminds girls to accept their bodies and to love the skin they’re born in. But Unilever sells a skin-bleaching product in places such as India and the Middle East called ”Fair and Lovely”. This product is aimed at darker-skinned women, with the promise that it will whiten their skin so that they too might one day resemble the Aryan ideal so celebrated in all Lynx advertisements.”

Look, if people want to change the colour of their skin, fine (Hello… Michael Jackson?) but why is a multimillion dollar capitalist company allowed to promote such aspirations? Like the colour of the skin a person is born with is not good enough? We have to manipulate and taunt them with advertising to aspire to change such a perfect detail with Fair and Lovely?

You can read more of that here.

It is more than a tad oxymoronic because now they have the Lynx Clean your balls advertising campaign with Sophie Monk, it shows just how dishonest they are. There is a new slogan going around: Talk to your daughter before a disingenuous company such as Unilever does and it hits the nail on their own knob head because it’s true!

”Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they’re dirty,” says Ms Monk.

Well some women might say, “No one wants to play with them when they smell of *fragrance chemicals!” And furthermore, some mums might say, “Son, your not washing your, err… b… body in neurotoxic solvents, toxic metals and potential carcinogens… ”


On the subject of *fragrance chemicals, Unilever also manufacture washing powders that contain ‘suspect ingredients’, which cause, contribute to, and bring on symptoms experienced by asthmatics, and people with fragrance, solvent and/or petrochemical allergies and sensitivities, including children. And that is another contradiction they play against consumers, the low-allergy-sensitivity/asthmatic-friendly ruse. Their Omo Sensitive range states:

“Omo Sensitive is dermatologically tested and free of potential irritants like dyes and perfumes, which can trigger sensitive, allergy prone skin.”

Yet, all the other washing powders they market contain these ‘irritants’ and for the person allergic/sensitive to them, they are found everywhere where people who wash their clothes are found. And, they neglect to mention (and this is on purpose, I’m sure) that those affected with asthma and inhalant allergies, suffer health affects when breathing around these products. And they make out like it’s only *skin* on the outside of the body that suffers irritation and inflammation on contact with these products, not the lining (skin) of the airways of these immune compromised individuals. But it’s no biggie, if people do develop a rash, or skin irritation (you know the-red-itchy-scaly-rash-that-people-will-try-twenty-products-just-trying-to-clear-it-and-only-make-it-worse-leaving-their-skin-scared-for-life type of rash/skin irritation) then Unilever offers this helpful Living with sensitivities doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to control it fact sheet.

If people knew they could end up sensitised to the chemicals in these products, or cause/worsen their children’s asthma, or make make an immune disorder worse then they could just bypass all the *chemicals, dyes and perfumes and go straight on to using the OMO sensitive in the first instance. That way they wouldn’t have to throw out all their clothing after they find that the regular Omo won’t wash out and the chemicals left behind–even trace amounts–still cause symptoms. Even better by using the sensitive version they could avoid symptoms in the first place!

So, Unilever can make products that make people ill, and get away with it, and they can make adds with sexist language that our kids would get in trouble for using at school. What’s next?

The feminist author and campaigner for lobby group Collective Shout Melinda Tankard Reist said the advertisement ”hit the jackpot: it’s sexist, racist and ageist”.

Reist also said she was aware it was designed to provoke outrage. As pointed out on Melbourne’s 3AW radio:

‘“One of their worst ads came out last year where they advised men to use a Lynx product to ‘wash away the skank’ after a regretted sexual encounter,” Melinda Tankard Reist told 3AW Mornings.

Read entire article and listen to the interview.

And just so we are fully aware of what we are dealing with here:

“Just so you know, the regretted sexual encounter promoted by the American version of Lynx Axe, was described as one that might involve a disabled or elderly woman. And click here to look at this pro up skirting product brought out by Axe a few years ago.”

So aside from Unilever’s dirty tactics, women’s dirty attitudes and Linx’s dirty balls, what about the children? Do they (or us) need anymore pornification in everyday life?

Here’s a slogan: Talk to your sons before Unilever does because they could end up suffering from a different Lynx effect than what they actually intended if they use Lynx products:

Twelve year old Daniel Hurley died after spraying Lynx in an enclosed space. Daniel’s father, Robert, said the youngster was proud of his appearance and was “lavish” in his use of deodorants and hair gels. Note: Lynx/Unilever do not display the ingredients on their products. But they do say that Lynx contains *fragrance as stated on their website.

But aside from tragedy and sexism, what is it lately with all the dirty genitalia that apparently needs these ‘products’ to make them clean? Dirty Balls, Lynx. Smelly Vaginas, Vagasil. What’s with this? Is there something wrong with a bar of soap and a shower? And are these companies creating body issues or do we already have them, therefore creating the need for these products? The questions are rhetorical, designed to make you think, peoples…

In this YouTube clip, Collective Shout’s Lynx Ad, shows the real Lynx affect (not the bullcrap advertising one, or the Lynx affect that impedes breathing, hampers asthma and makes my eyes swell up).

* Fragrance chemicals: The perfume/and fragrance industry is self-regulated; therefore, the only ingredient a consumer can identify in a bottle of perfume/fragrance is, yep, you guessed it, fragrance… The chemical components in fragrance are protected under the Trade Secrets Act and they are described on the label only as ‘fragrance’. And, the term ‘fragrance’ is a generic word used to describe the mix of any of up to 5000 chemicals within these recipes. Because they do not disclose to the consumer the products ingredients, it is difficult to identify which chemical component(s) of the fragrance is causing symptoms.

And finally, here’s how to Take Action!

(Information from Collective Shout‘s webpage)

Tell Lynx what you think about their ad campaigns

Unilever (parent company) Website


Further reading:

ASB upholds complaints against Lynx ‘Rules of Rugby’ ad

Why you need to complain to the Advertising Standards Board

Behind the Label: Lynx Dry Antiperspirant Deodorant

The stink about deodorant

Thanks for reading


(I’m off to take a shower now.)

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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