Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, is one of those miraculous, amazing home products that if you’re not already using, go spend the 99 cents and get to it. By neutralizing the pH in almost everything, baking soda deodorizes and brightens surfaces down to their baby-fresh newness. It’s simple, cheap, nontoxic and most of all — it actually works.Here are 24 ways you can use baking soda as a beauty product, on your teeth, for your skin, and for your general health.Baking Soda For General Health
- Concerned about the chemicals in deordorant? Skip it and use sodium bicarbonate instead. Put the powder directly on a puff and apply to underarms in order to kill body odor. Another DIY natural deodorant remedy is to take 1/4 cup sodium bicarbonate, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 6 Tbsp coconut oil (which you may have to melt first). Mix well, adding coconut oil to your desired consistency and apply with a tissue.
- Does your baby have cradle cap (a scaly, crusty scalp rash)? For an easy, natural remedy, mix 1 part sodium bicarbonate to 1 part olive oil (or water). Apply the paste to your child’s scalp and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove lightly with a soft-bristle brush before rinsing. (Never forcefully remove or pick the scales or skin.)
- Ouch! None of us can avoid jellyfish stings, insect bites and painfully itchy, dry skin. For each discomfort, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply directly to the bite or sting. You can apply sodium bicarbonate directly to itchy, dry skin right after the shower for instant relief.
- Stuffed up? Aid in decongestion by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.
- Upset stomach? Sodium bicarbonate has wonderful antacid properties – you can relieve heartburn, sour stomach and indigestion with a quick shot of baking soda – simply add ½ teaspoon to ½ glass (4oz) of water every 2 hours. Dissolve completely in water and drink up.
- Santize your stuff. Sodium bicarbonate is a fantastic antiseptic, and it’s safe and easy to use on personal care items. You can mix a DIY cleanser 4 oz of water with 2 Tbsp of white vinegar and 2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate to create an amazing solution that cleans toothbrushes and combs and hairbrushes. For dry goods, sprinkle the powder directly on for deodorizing (for example, shoes).
- Create your own sachets. By mixing 2 Tbsp of baking soda with 3-5 drops of essential oil of your choice (lavender, jasmine or rose) and tying up in small sachet bags, you have a natural and delightful way to freshen up drawers and closets.
- Got a sunburn? For use on both sunburns and other burns, you can mix 4 tbsp of sodium bicarbonate into 1 quart water, and soak a washcloth with the mixture to create a cold compress. And if you avoided the sun but ended up with a splotchy sunless tan? Sprinkle a generous amount of the powder on the area and scrub away the streaks in the shower.
- Relaxation bath. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help clear out sweat, dirt, and oil. Best of all? It makes the skin oh-so-soft.
- Predict your baby’s gender (maybe). One of the most bizarre — and possibly BS — sodium bicarbonate uses? Predicting your baby’s gender! Take a cup of baking soda and pour your urine over it (sounds great, right?) until it covers the powder. If it fizzles like Alka-Seltzer, you are supposedly having a boy! If it remains flat, you’re having a girl!
- Make your own toothpaste. Not to put Crest out of business, but you can DIY a paste suitable for brushing with sodium bicarbonate and a 3% hydrogen solution. If that’s too mad scientist for you, a quick trick is to add baking soda to your daily tooth-cleaning ritual by dipping your toothbrush (with toothpaste applied) directly into the powder, then brushing.
- Rinse your mouth out. For a quick mouth refresher, put one teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate into half a glass of water (roughly 4oz). Use just like a mouthwash — swish, spit and rinse to neutralize coffee and garlic odors.
- Got a mouth guard? A retainer? Quickly disinfect and deodorize even dentures in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. It effectively knocks out food, odors and germs.
- At-home teeth whitening. Most of us can’t afford fancy teeth whitening sessions at the dentist. But you can DIY a paste at-home with roughly equal parts sodium bicarbonate, strawberries and a bit of lemon juice. Brush your teeth for a brighter, whiter smile.
- Toothache? You can even mix up some sodium bicarbonate with half a cup of water, swish around your mouth just like mouthwash, and you’ll find that soreness is diminished.
Baking Soda For Your Hands & Feet
- Cleaning your hands the gentle way. Harsh soaps can irritate the skin on your hands, causing cracking, peeling and itching Gently wash hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. You can also add a little sodium bicarbonate to your regular hand soap for an extra gentle clean that leaves hands super-soft.
- An at-home mani and pedi. Make a paste of 3 parts sodium bicarbonate to 1 part water. Rub the mixture in a gentle, circular motion over hands, fingers and cuticles to exfoliate and smooth. For feet, dissolve 3 Tbsp of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. For discolorations or stains on the nails, mix equal parts baking soda and peroxide and gently scrub the surface for brighter, healthier looking nails.
Baking Soda For Your Hair
- Amp up your shampoo. Sprinkle about a quarter-sized amount of sodium bicarbonate into your palm along with your shampoo and get to washing as usual. The solution clears out buildup and leaves hair lighter and fuller.
- Homemade dry shampoo. Super simple trick! Simply sprinkle a little sodium bicarbonate directly on your hair’s roots. Tussle a bit to work in (no white residue showing) et voila! Rejuvenated, deodorized, refreshed hair.
- Remove chlorine from hair. Swimmers don’t have to have it bad when it comes to hair. If you haven’t tried the Kool-Aid trick, mix dish soap with baking soda and applying to hair. Make sure you follow up this treatment with a super-emollient conditioner since dish soap leaves hair very dry.
- To clean dreadlocks: Use baking soda to clean and deodorize! Use as a dry shampoo, or you can try this mix: 1/3-3/4 cup baking soda in a gallon of water (use less for shorter styles) then add ingredients to your liking: 2 Tbsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 20 drops of tea tree oil or 20 drops of an essential oil you love the smell of. Pour over your head, and then soak for 10 minutes. Rinse well.
Baking Soda For At-Home Facials:
- Exfoliate your skin. You can make your own exfoliating scrub by mixing 3 parts sodium bicarbonate with 1 part water. Rub in a circular motion to remove dead, dull skin cells. Thoroughly rinse the skin, moisturize, and go on about your day. A trick to customize: include 1 part ground oatmeal (avoid eye area), it soothes irritated skin and gives extra oomph to get roughness eliminated. This also works great for the entire body!
- Zap those zits. Make an acne-fighting mask by mixing equal amounts of sodium bicarbonate with honey and apply as a spot treatment. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. You can also create a blackhead-targeting mask by taking 1 tbsp of sodium bicarbonate and mixing in ¼ cup of milk. Rub the paste along your t-zone, as you would any exfoliating scrub.
- Brighten your complexion. Mix baking soda with a Tbsp of lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil to create a paste. After cleansing skin, apply all over the face, avoiding the eyes, and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse and use as often as you see fit. The mixture will brighten, soften and hydrate.