Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) is possibly the most underrated, cheap, multi-purpose compound. There are literally hundreds of household and beauty uses. I might actually get a “NaHCO3 for Life” tattoo sometime in the future… Seriously, it is that amazing. I will likely be making additions to this post in the future as I think of more, “Oh yeah! That too” uses. And if I missed any or if you have any secret tips, please leave them in the comments!So, this crazy broad I work with got me hooked on baking soda about a year and a half ago when she told me about her “no poo” hair regime. For more info, read my blog post on “no poo,” here. Basically you forgo all commercial shampoo and conditioner in replacement with a baking soda “shampoo” and apple cider vinegar “conditioner.” It sounds super sketchy and hippy and gross at first, but I swear by the results. My hair has never been happier. I am typically an OCD, super clean freak so I was super skeptical, but again, it’s been awesome for me.
Further, the unbelievable low cost of baking soda is just another reason to try some of these suggested uses. At first, I started buying just the 4 lb. box at my local grocery store for about $3. This lasts me about a couple weeks. Then, I found that Sam’s Club, BJs and Costco carry 13.5 lb. bags that cost between $6 and $7. Per pound, this is definitely the best deal. At about 50 cents per pound, you can’t do wrong.
Health and Beauty
- “No poo” shampoo regime – Explained in a previous blog post, here
- As an at home microdermabrasion – Baking soda makes a great gentle face scrub/exfoliant. Due to it’s fine texture, it is not as irritating as harsh face scrubs. Every time I hop in the shower I put about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in my hand with enough water to create a paste, and gently scrub my face in circular motions, then rinse. (You can find more details on my Health & Beauty Encyclopedia page about the differences between dermabrasion vs. microdermabrasion.)
- Acne spot treatment – In replacement of harsh drying over the counter acne spot creams, I prefer to make a thick past of about a teaspoon of baking sode and just enough water that it is relatively thick but not runny. Put a dab of this on your zit at night and wake up in the morning with a smaller, less red zit.
- Toothpaste addition – Baking soda works wonders on removing surface stains on your teeth. About once a week, I like to sprinkle some baking soda on my toothpaste to do a little extra work. I would not advise on doing this more than a few times a week as it could possibly wear away the enamel on your teeth.
- Refrigerator anti odor – This is one of the more common uses for baking soda in the kitchen. Placing an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator traps any unfavorable smells floating around in there. Make sure to change the box regularly for the best results.
- Laundry – I have started adding about 1/2 a cup of baking soda to small loads of laundry, a little bit more for whites, and about a cup of baking soda to larger loads, or loads where a have workout clothes. The baking soda works wonders on removing any post workout smells and seems to make my whites a little bit brighter.
- Kitchen/Dishes – Using a little bit of baking soda works wonders on scrubbing off stubborn baked on crap on pots, pans, baking dishes and crock pots. While steel wool usually works pretty well, the fine texture of baking soda makes it much less likely that your cookware will be scratched, or that the anti stick coating on pots and pans will be scrubbed off. It also works great on food stained Tupperware like that container of spaghetti with red sauce that you forgot about in the back of your fridge. Scrub a little baking soda inside the Tupperware to get rid of the stained red color.