Everybody probably has baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in their kitchen. It is generally used in baking as a leavening agent. Apart from this, it has countless uses for hair, skin, health, and more. It is antibacterial in nature (1) and helps balance pH level too, i.e., keeps a substance neither too acidic nor alkaline. Baking soda has many medicinal benefits as well and is one of the most inexpensive tools around. Let’s have a look at the uses of baking soda, and the wonders this small ingredient can do.
This is definitely the most famous uses for baking soda as it is present in many commercial toothpastes.
You can have whiter teeth without using chemical-based products and toothpaste. Baking soda, being an effective cleansing agent helps remove plaque from teeth (2) and make them look brighter. Just dip a damp toothbrush in baking soda and brush your teeth gently for a minute. Brush with your regular toothpaste, afterward. Do this once or twice a week.
- You can also use the paste made from baking soda and fresh lemon juice or water to clean your teeth.
2. As an Exfoliator
The process of removing dead skin cells from the skin is known as exfoliation (3). One of the uses of baking soda is to act as a natural exfoliator and maintain the pH of the skin.
As it is alkaline, it softens the sebum, removes dead skin cells, and also kills bacteria, if any. Take a small amount of the soda and add some water to it. After cleaning your face, scrub your face with the prepared paste and wash off with warm water. Now, splash cold water on your face to make sure that pores are closed.
- You can also use the paste for your whole body. Just add a few drops of any essential oil for fragrance, in the baking soda paste and apply it all over your body.
3. Removes Blackheads
Blackheads are caused when a clog is developed in the pores and excess of oil (sebum) is produced. Baking soda works as a scrub as it has fine granules remove the blackheads, effectively. Just mix a tsp of baking soda and sugar with 2 tbsp of water to form a paste. Apply it on the affected areas and gently massage for some time. Rinse off with lukewarm water later on.
- Alternatively, just mix enough water and baking soda to form a paste, and apply it on your nose area with a finger in circular motion. Wash off later on (4).
4. Sun Burn and Tan
Sun rays can cause serious damage to your glowing skin (). If you have prolonged exposure to UV rays, it may make skin red and irritated and can even lead to peeling. Baking soda can cure sunburn completely and heals the skin faster. For this, just have a baking soda bath or spread it on the affected areas and wash off later.
5. Bug Bite Relief
Another wonderful use of baking soda is to get relief from itching and the pain caused by a bug bite. Prepare a paste by mixing baking soda and water, and apply it on the affected portion of your body to soothe the swelling (6).
Baking soda soaks excess oil from the skin, which is one of the main reasons behind acne. It is also mild alkali, therefore, removes dirt effectively (7). Apart from these, it is also anti-inflammatory in nature which helps reduce pain and swelling caused due to acne. To remove acne, apply baking soda paste on the affected areas, and leave it for a few minutes before washing.
7. Baking Soda For Razor Bumps
Shaving is the simplest way to get rid of unwanted hair, but sometimes, it may cause severe razor bumps. Baking soda kills bacteria causing any infection (8), which not only heals the infection but also soothes the dry and itchy skin left after shaving. Mix a tbsp of baking soda in a mug of water. Soak a cotton ball in it and swab it on affected skin areas. Let it stay for a few minutes until it gets dry. Wash it off with cool water.
Your hair can get dirty with the dust and oil deposited over time. Shampooing each and every day makes them dull, dry, brittle, and dulls the natural colour. To get rid of thin hair and to clean your hair with a natural ingredient, use 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Mix them well. Apply the mixture in a root-to-tip manner, and let it rest for 2-3 minutes (9). Wash off with warm water later on. This method will not only clean your hair but will provide them strength and volume, as well.
9. Dry Shampoo
If your scalp often gets oily, and you don’t have time to wash, then you can simply use baking soda and reduce your exposure to harmful products containing chemicals. It also cleans up chemical buildup in hair (10). Just take enough amount of the baking soda to cover your hair and sprinkle it all over your head. Comb your hair until all the soda is removed.
10. Baking Soda For Nails
To soften your cuticles and to make nails stronger and whiter, prepare a paste by mixing water and baking soda. Apply the mixture on a baby toothbrush and scrub your nails and cuticles with it (11). Repeat, if required.
11. Baking Soda as a Deodorant
If you have sensitive skin, and you don’t want to use chemical based deodorants on your skin, then apply baking soda to your underarms (12) or else apply a paste. It will remove the unpleasant underarm odor without leaving any stains on the clothes or the body.
- This method can even make your underarms whiter. Just apply the paste, scrub for some time and wash off. Repeat the process 3-4 times a week.
12. Use it as a Mouthwash
Baking soda can act as a wonderful mouthwash too (13). Just stir a tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and swish it around in your mouth. Do this for 30 seconds and repeat a few more times. This method will eliminate the entire bad odor from your mouth.
13. Removes Bad Odor From feet
One of the more surprising uses of baking soda is that it can also be effective to cure stinky feet (14). For this, take a bucket, and fill it half with warm water. Add about ¼ cup of baking soda and juice of a lemon. Soak your feet in it for around 15 to 20 minutes and scrub them with a washcloth at the end.
14. Treat Heat Rashes
Heat rashes occur when sweat and bacteria gets trapped in the skin. These are generally common with children, but adults may also suffer from them. The rashes get aggravated when scratched. Before it gets severe, treat them with baking soda (15). Just dip a cloth in water containing baking soda, squeeze out the excess, and put it on the affected skin. Let it stay for about 20 minutes and repeat, several times a day.
15. Soothe an Upset Stomach
One of the most common medicinal uses of baking soda is to soothe an upset stomach.
Bad eating habit, stress, some medicines, etc., can be the reasons behind an upset stomach. Baking soda, being a natural antacid (16), neutralizes the acid in the digestive system and balances the pH of the skin and body, as well.
You can also use baking soda for heartburn, excessive gas, and bloating. For this, mix ½- 1 tsp of baking soda with a ½ glass of water, and drink it instantly. Drink this 3-4 times a day. The usage of baking soda for acid reflux is also favorable.
Note: It should be consumed by adults and not by children.
16. Baking Soda For Cancer
Baking soda alkalizes the body quickly along with the cancer cells. It, therefore, kills the microbes and eventually eliminates cancer. Baking soda also maintains the pH of the body, thereby, it also prevents cancer cells from spreading (18, 19). Just mix 2 tsp of lemon juice, ½ tsp of baking soda with 8 ounces of water, and drink the mix 4 times a day.
17. Improves Athlete’s Performance
Baking soda when consumed before any intense physical activity like swimming, running, etc., increases the performance (20), and buffers the lactic acid. It neutralizes the acid formation in the muscles and reduces the fatigue.
18. Splinter Removal
This is certainly one of the more weird uses of baking soda. Splinters are small, but often difficult to remove. Squeezing it may further worsen the situation.
You don’t have to use unnecessary methods to remove the splinter when you can remove it easily with baking soda (21). Just apply baking soda paste over a bandage, and apply it on the affected area. Leave the bandage on for 24 hours before removing.
19. For Sore Throat
This is one of the more traditional uses of baking soda, a remedy your parents would have known. A sore throat refers to inflammation, itchiness, pain or irritation of the throat. It is generally caused due to a virus and can be treated at home with baking soda (22). Just add ½ tsp of baking soda, ½ tsp of salt to a cup of warm water and use this mixture to gargle. Repeat it thrice a day.
20. Baking Soda for UTI
Urinary tract infection affects the urinary tract (23) and is generally a bacterial infection. It may cause severe pain, which can be treated effectively with baking soda. Just mix 1 tsp of baking soda to a cup of water and drink it on an empty stomach. This will not only reduce the burning sensation but will also decrease the acidity of the urine that causes pain.
21. Baking Soda For Gout Pain
You can eliminate gout pain instantly with baking soda. One of the biggest reasons of gout is the production of uric acid in our body (24). Baking soda lowers the amount of this acid and thus, become useful to treat the disease. All you need to do is, mix ½ tsp of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink it instantly.
1) The maximum dosage is 4 tsp per day.
2) It can also raise the blood pressure. Therefore, you should consult a health practitioner.
22. For Itchy Skin
If your skin is dry and itchy, then relieve it with a baking soda bath. For this, add ½ cup of the soda to a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak for some time and pat dry your body. This will soften and soothe your body and will remove all the issues with the skin.
- Alternatively, use baking soda paste on itches caused as a result of swimming (25).
Miscellaneous uses of baking soda
23. To keep the flowers fresh for a longer duration, add one tbsp of baking soda to the vase.
24. To reduce the effect of chemicals from fruits and vegetables, wash them with water containing baking soda.
25. To create your very own air freshener, mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with a few drops of any essential oil and put the content in a sachet bag. Keep the bags in your room, car, or wherever required.
26. You can also clean your makeup brushes and combs with baking soda. Add one or two tbsp of baking soda to a cup of water, and wash all your brushes and combs with it.
27. Keep it in your refrigerator to remove the unpleasant odor.
28. Baking soda is an excellent pest control tool and is used to kill cockroaches. You can mix equal amounts of baking soda and sugar in a bottle. While sugar attracts them, baking soda will kill the cockroaches.
29. It can also be used to remove paints and corrosion, especially from aluminum panels (26).
30. Baking soda works as a mild disinfectant and, thus, it also removes musty odor from books.
31. It is also used as a biopesticide (27) for controlling fungal growth.
32. Baking soda also removes tarnish from silver, rust from the floor, & grunge from the grill.
33. Wash your footwear and sandals to remove the dirt and smell from them. You can also sprinkle some in your stinky shoes to remove the nasty odor.
34. Carpets are often not washed. To get cleaner carpets, just sprinkle baking soda on them and keep it overnight. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean off the soda, the next morning.
35. If you are running out of a toilet cleaner, then add about a cup of baking soda to your toilet and let it sit for half an hour. Flush off later.
36. Use baking soda to freshen the litter boxes. Just place some amount of baking soda in your litter box before litter.
37. Keep an open box of baking soda in your furniture, cupboard, and drawers to keep the bad odor at bay.
38. You can also use baking soda to clean your blocked drains (28).
39. To remove the bad odor and to clean your pet bedding, just sprinkle some baking soda on it and leave for a couple of minutes before sweeping it off.
40. Add it to your laundry detergent to remove tough stains.
41. You can also use baking soda as a wall and floor cleaner.
43. Wash your trash cans with baking soda water to remove the nasty smell.
44. Sprinkle a mixture of equal amounts of baking soda and powdered sugar in the area where you find the colonies of ants.
45. To clean your chopping board, just sprinkle some baking soda over it and scrub it before washing.
46. As baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated, it can be used for extinguishing a small cooking fire.
47. Put some boxes filled with the soda in your car to deodorize it. You can also sprinkle it directly on seats and accessories and vacuum up after 20 minutes or longer.
48. You can clean your tea and coffee mugs with the soda and remove the tough stains from them.
49. Use it to remove corrosion from batteries of cars, mowers, etc.
50. Remove dirt and grease from your sports equipment, dishes, pots, pans, etc.
51. To repel rain from your windshield, sprinkle some baking soda powder over it.
52. To keep weeds at bay, sprinkle some baking soda on cracks in driveways.
53. It can also be used as the main ingredient in several bath bombs.
54. To neutralize odor from your oral appliances like retainer and dentures, wash them with baking soda.
55. Clean your shower curtains with baking soda. Just sprinkle some on the curtain and scrub off with a damp brush.
56. Use it as a quick fix for holes in the walls. Just mix it with toothpaste, fill the holes and let it dry.
57. You can also deodorize your vacuum cleaner with baking soda.
58. Clean your soft toys and deodorize toys of your kids by washing them with baking soda.
59. Clean all your utensils, crockery, lunch boxes, etc., with baking soda to remove oil and dirt and to give them shine.
60. It can be used to remove poison out of a jellyfish sting. Just apply it on the affected areas.
61. Use it to clean your stuffy nose. Just add 1 tsp of the powder in a vaporizer.
62. You can also use it to provide relief from diaper rash.
63. Use it in your garden for several purposes, such as, keep rabbit and other insects away from plants.
64. It can be used to clean counters also. Just sprinkle some powder and scrub it with a damp cloth.
Caution for the uses of baking soda
1) Baking soda must not be consumed in a large amount (29).
2) It may also cause skin and eye irritation (30).
3) Always perform a patch test on your skin before the actual application.
4) Consult a doctor, if you are taking any kind of medicines.