Above everything else, baking soda is a household staple. Just take a mental note of your home right now, and you’ll probably notice the versatility of baking soda uses.
From a stash of the white powder in your fridge to make it smell nice, to a box in your pantry for when you feel creative with the cake recipes, and another one in your medicine cabinet for when you run out of toothpaste.
Baking soda is that and a lot more. It’s a hand cleanser, a deodorant, a face moisturizer, a pill, and a fire extinguisher. Sodium bicarbonate is one natural remedy with an array of health benefits and a long, winding list of uses.
Still, you have to cook it just right to get the most out of this all-purpose white powder, and here is where we come in with some useful tips.
Tips for Baking Soda Uses
What is Baking Soda?
Birthplace of Sodium Bicarbonate
Baking soda, in its natural version, is known as nahcolite, which can be found in the composition of natron.
Don’t worry, from here on, the language gets familiar. This mineral called natron contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, which as we know, ever since our grandmothers passed on to us their apple cake recipes, is a leavening agent in baked goods.
One more thing to sort out, before we truly begin unfolding the mysteries of baking soda.
If you’re now asking yourself ‘Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?’, the answer is no. Baking soda is already aluminum free, while baking powder is not.
The Historical Rise of Baking Soda
In 3500 BC, the practical uses of baking soda were already known to the ancient Egyptians, who used natron as a soap-like cleaning agent. And also to wrap up mummies.
Come 1843, the age of science. In a knightly attempt to cure his wife’s yeast allergy, Alfred Bird, a British chemist, makes the first version of baking powder.
However, it’s not until 1846 that the Arm&Hammer brand is created, introducing baking soda on the market in industrial quantities.
In 1927, the housewives of the American suburbs are swept away by what national magazines like Good Housekeeping and McCall’s call the versatility of baking soda uses. It’s decreed a household staple.
The 1970s promote the powder as an eco-friendly alternative to other Earth-damaging chemical cleaners. The many baking soda uses expand to keeping food fresh and absorbing fridge odors.
To celebrate its 100th birthday, the Statue of Liberty receives a spring cleaning. Almost a century of industrial pollution and grime is removed as the statue’s copper walls get scrubbed with the miraculous substance.
Year 200, and a new millennium brings the fashion full circle. Teachers use baking soda in science experiments to teach students about the mummification process, and kids recreate the experience by burying hot dogs and apples in a storm of white powder.
What is Baking Soda Good at?
So is it hard to believe, when we just glorified baking soda for its mummifying capabilities, that the stuff can help you look your best from head to toe?
In addition to being inexpensive and multi-tasking, the most noteworthy baking soda uses extend to natural body-care.
With an array of antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, the white powder makes a perfect stand-in for many care products advertised by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies.
Baking soda means NO synthetic fragrance, parabens or sodium laurel sulfate. Nevertheless, sodium bicarbonate is effective only for short periods of time. As with many other substances, we warn against excessive uses. If it's worth doing, it's not worth overdoing.
So, without further ado- we’ve had plenty of that, let’s put this home remedy DIY beauty hacks to the test.
Fight a Troublesome Skin
Baking soda helps regulate pH, which means it will keep a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. This helps reduce those skin breakouts you suffer from. So use the powder as a facial scrub and body exfoliant.
- Make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water.
- Apply it on the skin for no longer than 2 minutes.
- Rub in gentle motions to exfoliate the skin.
- Rinse clean.
- Repeat once daily for 2 or 3 days, then reduce the frequency to 1 or 2 times a week.
Whiten Your Teeth
If you want to brighten up your smile and your day, try upgrading your toothpaste to an extra boost. Baking soda uses its antibacterial powers to fight halitosis. We’ve talked about this at length and in more detail in one of our other home remedy posts.
The powder’s abrasive texture works to remove yellow stains or plaque from your teeth, and polish, clean and deodorize by neutralizing the acids produced by the bacteria.
- You can prepare a homemade toothpaste with 4 tablespoons of turmeric root powder, 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Brush your teeth with it once daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, make a paste from baking soda and a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Freshen Your Mouth
One teaspoon in half a glass of water will do to kill that bad morning breath. Just swish, spit and rinse.
And while we’re at it, try concocting the same solution to soak your oral appliances in. The sodium bicarbonate removes food particles and neutralizes nasty smells to keep retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures fresh.
Relieve Sunburn and Sun-caused Blisters
‘Better late than never’ is as good as it gets if you forgot to apply sun cream before lying on a beach under a blistering sun. Once you’re burnt, at least tend to your wounds with some baking soda.
Due to its alkaline nature, the powder has a soothing effect, and its mild antiseptic properties help dry out the blisters faster.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in one cup of cold water. Soak a cloth in it and apply it on the skin. Leave no longer than 10 minutes.
- Alternatively, prepare yourself a bath and add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Soak in the tub for natural relief, and let it be a full 15 minutes. Repeat the experience for a few days. Or until the sun burns melt away.
Remove Body Odor and Promote Healthy Hair
If you want to paraben and aluminum-free, replace your usual deodorants and antiperspirants with a pinch of antibacterial baking soda and water. Throw a few drops of any essential oil in there, and you can use the mix for your underarms or excessively sweaty areas.
Alternatively, combine baking soda with cornstarch, and try it instead.
Smelly hair can really interfere with your personal life, and it’s a problem that mainly afflicts people prone to higher levels of oiliness since this type of hair attracts pollutants more readily.
To untangle this hairy situation, sprinkle some baking soda in your shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
In addition, the powder’s alkaline actions will balance the pH level of the scalp to keep it clean, shiny, and healthy-looking.
Treat Skin Rashes and Itchiness
Don’t live with the discomfort. One time-honored healing practice is using baking soda to treat skin rashes and reduce inflammation, itching and swelling.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it does a world of good. Other baking soda uses also include healing insect bites and poison ivy. Just try out this recipe:
- To treat itchiness, mix one part water with three parts baking soda. Apply the paste, let it do its magic for two minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.
- If you have itching all over your body, get the big guns out. Pour one cup of bicarbonate in a tub and soak in for ten minutes.
Maybe you've moved some old furniture around or stepped into a sea urchin while snorkeling. Either way, your body screams splinters. The little stubborn things are embedded too deeply into the skin to slip out with the aid of an adhesive.
So let time and nature partner up and do their work. Splinters will come out naturally after a few days of soaking them in a mix of one tablespoon of baking soda and warm water. Use it twice a day.
Soften Your Hands
Who said eyes are the mirror to the soul? In our view, hands are the first giveaways. That's where the first signs of old age and lack of body care make an appearance.
Just mix some baking soda with warm water. Rub the paste on your hands. Think of it as nature's gloves. This natural scrub will leave your skin clean and soft.
Sooth Your Weary Feet
Baking soda uses extend to your feet as well. One tablespoon of the powder, mixed with warm water, and you have a luxurious foot bath. The soda will do its tricks and remove odors and bacteria, while helping you prevent onychomycosis, also known as the colloquial toenail fungus.
Relieve Heartburn and Indigestion
Baking soda uses its alkaline powers to neutralize stomach acid and prevent heartburn or indigestion. It's a cost-effective cure to an irritating problem. Simply add half a teaspoon of baking soda to two cups of water. Don't forget to eat something first.
One hour after your meal, drink the mixture to gain some relief.
Improve Kidney Function
Again, the alkaline properties are here to save the day. As a natural acid buffer, baking soda can aid low-functioning kidneys in removing acid from the body. Relieve the stress on your kidneys by ingesting a dose of 600 – 1800 mg of baking soda per day.
Remove Internal Parasites
Parasites could worm their way through the digestive tract and create a little bit of havoc. One of the appealing baking soda uses is its ability to remove such threats. Before going to bed, add a quarter teaspoon of powder to some warm water and drink. Keep it up for three nights to remove the parasites from the body.
Clean the House
Boost baking soda’s natural cleaning power with some salt and liquid dish soap, and you can even scrub the grease off The Statue of Liberty for its 130th birthday celebration.
Meanwhile, try using it to clean the bathroom tubs and kitchen sinks- just sprinkle some baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub. Baking soda can even take on the nastiest of all kitchen appliances to clean. The microwave.
Furthermore, you can adapt baking soda uses to deodorizing trashcans, recyclables, sink and tub drains, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and garbage disposals.
The Big Finale. What’s cooking?
In case of a fire, sodium bicarbonate is natural fire extinguisher.
But remember, only small ones, like an electrical kitchen fire, a frying pan or a grill smoldering in flambe grease. Just stand back and throw a handful of the white powder at the source of the fire. Because it gives off carbon dioxide, when heated, baking soda helps smother flames.
What more could you wish from your $1 acquisition?