Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a common product in most households. People typically use it for baking, cleaning and absorbing odors in refrigerators and litter boxes. Baking soda also has many cosmetic uses, and can be just as effective as commercial products, at a fraction of the cost.
Exfoliate and smooth your skin with a baking soda paste. Mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub the paste on any areas of skin that feel dry and rough, such as knees, elbows, feet and hands. This will make your skin feel baby-soft and refreshed.
Stir 1 tsp. of baking soda into your regular shampoo. Wash your hair as usual, but leave the shampoo on for several minutes before rinsing. The baking soda helps to remove soap residue and buildup that can leave your hair looking greasy.
Sprinkle a bit of baking soda into oily areas of your hair as a dry shampoo, if you don’t have time to wash with regular shampoo. Comb the baking soda through your hair gently to avoid clumps, and then blow-dry with cool air for several seconds.
Scrub your fingernails and toenails with baking soda and water to remove stains and dirt. For a thorough nail exfoliation, use an old toothbrush. This will leave your nails brighter and cleaner, and your cuticles will feel soft and smooth.
Whiten your teeth with a mixture of baking soda, water and a pinch of salt. Brush your teeth with this mixture to remove stains from your teeth and brighten your smile. You can also gargle with baking soda to eliminate bad breath. Rinse your mouth with water to remove any baking soda residue.
Add half a cup of baking soda to a hot bath for a relaxing soak. The baking soda will neutralize body odor, clear away perspiration and soften your skin. Soaking in baking soda is particularly good for skin with rashes, sores or itchy dry patches.
Clean your hairstyling tools in a small basin containing approximately 4 tbsp. of baking soda in a quart of water. Soak combs and brushes in the mixture for several minutes to clear away germs and product residue. Rinse your styling tools and allow them to air-dry.
Baking soda can also soothe sunburned skin; a baking soda and water mixture will help to alleviate flaking and redness.
References and ResourcesGood; Seven Surprising Uses for Baking Soda; Alexandra Spunt; September 2010
The Luxury Spot; 10 Surprising Beauty Uses for Baking Soda; Bryce Gruber; June 14, 2011
Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology; Sixty Uses of Baking Soda; Harry Godwin; January 15, 1999