Bicarb from a Chemist or the Supermarket?

What is The Difference Between Bicarbonate of Soda Bought from a Chemist and Bicarb Bought In Supermarkets?

Answer: There is no difference. All of the bicarb will be about as useful as a wet organic cotton sock used as a beanie during a winter storm while stuck on Mt Everest.

Bicarbonate of soda is made to absorb chemicals, odours and air particle residues. It was used in 9/11 to soak up the chemical residue… Pharmacies/Chemists sell fragrances, often scattering ‘tester bottles’ of Britney Spears, J Lo and Paris sporadically and spastically around consumer goods so that consumers can ‘try’ them on. (What does this say about a person’s state of mind if they want to ‘smell’ like someone else in particular? I could take this post to a whole new level, psychologically, but I won’t… not today.) Therefore, the longer the box—usually cardboard—is in the shop, the more and more and more fragrance chemicals it will absorb.

Supermarkets, however, sell a whole lot more products with fragrance chemicals outgassing into the air (washing powders and fabric softeners and dryer sheets and shampoos and conditioners and every personal care product you can even possibly dream or have nightmares about. Plus! They sell sinister products like Linx/Axe, which are not only evil, and contain fragrance chemicals but also Solvents and Butane and Petrochemicals: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS) that help disperse fragrance chemicals into the air, and onto everything else they subsequently adhere to. They also stock Herbicides, such as Roundup (in the same room as the food!); and Pesticides for every pest a woman or man may want to snuff out get rid of. (And, don’t even think about all the Phthalates and Synthetic Musks lurking around joint!) All of these are going to be in your bicarbonate of soda.


(A) If you are not chemically sensitive, open the packet and sniff the contents, either in the store (or outside, after you pay for it) then return it, complaining that it reeks of Paris Hilton, or whoever or whatever you can smell, and it’s, “unfit for purpose”. Then go to option (B)

(B) If you are chemically sensitive, and breathing in the chemical residues make you ill (therefore, you can’t sniff before you buy) or you are not chemically sensitive, you just prefer not to sniff this crap, then get it online from a store that sells only fragrance free products or, preferably, only food, or, even more preferably, organic food. If you use it solely for clothes washing you need to source it in bulk.

Remember, bicarbonate of soda is food grade, therefore, it’s not suitable to be bought from places that sell chemicals. Oh, God! Especially if you plan to cook with it!

Have you had success (or not) buying Bicarbonate of Soda, lately?  Please share…


Greenpeace: Perfume – An Investigation of Chemicals in 36 Eaux de Toilette and Eaux de Parfum

All Photography copyright © Michellina van Loder 2015. Except for Key photo 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.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Excellent points Michellina, Thank you.
    I buy from a co-op which sources from bulk food suppliers, so no perfumes involved, but I have also bought from Supermarkets occasionally, which I will not do again thanks to this article :)

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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