I absolutely love baking soda. I used it for everything. I brush my teeth with it (with either peroxide or lemon juice for whitening power!), use it for antacid (works great and saves $$), use it as a mild abrasive household cleaner, use it in the cat boxes to reduce the ammonia stink and I rinse my sinuses with it (you need a neti pot). But it has a large list of other uses, many of which don’t matter to me personally for various reasons but may be of use to you. And this has nothing to do with making biscuits or tortillas (which you may use it for if you like!).
You can buy any brand of baking soda, whatever is cheapest, it’s all the same basic ingredient and just doesn’t vary from brand to brand. If there are additives, avoid it! Pure sodium bicarbonate is all you want or need. You can get a basic version store brand at almost any store, from Dollar General to Walmart. Or you can just go with old fashioned, old faithful, Arm and Hammer. I buy several boxes every couple of weeks and usually get them on a 2-for-1 deal. You just can’t beat the price.
Help For Your Hair
Baking soda will remove buildup from other products like soap, shampoo, conditioners and hard water. Just add a handful of it to your next shampoo to wipe out any residue from your usual products. It will even remove the yukky buildup from daily use of hairspray. Your hair will be squeaky and clean when done. And if you don’t feel like getting into a shower on any given day, you can use it as a dry shampoo. You can make a traditional dry shampoo with equal parts arrowroot and orris root that will dry out every drop of grease in your hair and leave it shiny, but I would suggest only using this blend on days when your hair is really gross and you just can’t get a shower. Otherwise, as a regular touchup between showers, use the baking soda. Sprinkle it on your head and comb it through. Quickly fluff your hair to distribute it evenly and then blow dry. Do not forget to blow dry.
So summer is coming and you are going to be in the pool. As a result you end up with chlorine damaged hair, looking horrible and frizzy. Mine ends up looking like a cloud. Do what I do: mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a pint of warm water and rinse your hair after swimming. Nary a spot of chlorine left. Your hair will be dry and clean and will not look stressed but you will need to condition it. I rub a bit of oil into my hair afterward to bring back the luster and shine. It works really well.
And then baking soda is a good way to clean up your hair care tools. Combs and brushes get full of residue and hair oils and can be really icky after awhile. Soak them in a glass or bowl of water with several tablespoons of baking soda. For really tough stuff, toss in a splash of bleach. You can also use baking soda to clean your hair curlers, dryers, picks and rollers. Just remember to only use it on the surfaces and do not get electrical components wet. Just be careful with the water.
Skin Care Secrets
Did you know that baking soda has exfoliant qualities? It is a great soft scrub for hard surfaces so consider that it can also scrub your face.. gently. You can also use it in combination with your favorite cleanser, making it unnecessary to purchase two products! Now, that’s a money saver if I ever saw one. So just mix a dollop of baking soda with your usual dollop of facial cleanser to turn it into a gentle exfoliant. You won’t want to do this every day but when you want to, the baking soda is a great inexpensive solution. Use circular motions, like you do with a regular exfoliant, and be gentle! Rinse as usual and then feel your face! Lovely and soft.
It also has a great softening effect on rough, dry skin. I have skin that was combination oily and dry all of my life, with a balanced surface texture. Now, after menopause, I am dealing with a dryness that beats all.. I mean my skin is getting crepey. Yuk! I live with a bottle of moisturizer next to my bed and use it all the time; something I never had to do. I was spending a lot of money on callous creams for my roughest spots, mostly my feet. But then I tried the baking soda. I just made a thick paste (like I do for the soft scrub recipe) and rubbed it on my skin. I put some pressure into it, though, really scrubbed. And I was amazed to see the rough layers flaking off as I dried my skin afterward. This works really well and is a lot cheaper than callous cream. Although I would recommend starting the process on really rough skin with a commercial product and then maintaining the results with baking soda. It will work.
Cleanse Your Mouth and Whiten Your Teeth
You have probably heard this before, that baking soda whitens the teeth. In fact, you have seen it in a lot of commercial products made for the teeth; toothpastes with baking soda line every grocery shelf. In fact, Arm and Hammer makes its own brand. But you can use it on your own without buying a bunch of possibly toxic and probably overpriced commercial product. If you mix baking soda with water and add a drop of peppermint oil, you will have a non toxic and effective mouthwash. Try it. I use it and love it.
As a whitener, try this idea: dip the brush in something like lemon juice or peroxide and then dust it with baking soda. Brush away. If you do this twice daily for a few weeks you will see your teeth getting whiter and your mouth getting cleaner every step of the way. You can even dip the brush in lemon juice and brush and then dip it baking soda and brush again… polish those teeth good with the baking soda and see them start to whiten. If you follow this with the baking soda-peppermint oil mouthwash you will love how fresh and clean your mouth will feel.
Another method I often use is to mix baking soda with toothpaste. I often need to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth because I have lost a lot of enamel from dental cleanings and dental work. My teeth will sometimes throb after drinking even cold water so I resort to these shelf products for help. If you also must do this, try dipping the brush into the baking soda at the same time and get the double benefit. Your teeth won’t hurt and they will be getting whiter in the process. Double bang for that buck.
After all is said and done, soak your toothbrush in baking soda between brushes. Just a little soda in a small glass of water will do. Don’t soak your toothbrush in the same water you soak your combs and brushes in!
If you want softer cuticles, here are some cheap and easy ideas. Scrub your nails with good old baking soda! Wet a nail brush (or old toothbrush) into some water to wet it and then dip it into the baking soda. Scrub those cuticles to clean them up. Another great softening method that will also remove bacteria is to soak your fingernails in a cup full of alcohol and baking soda. The alcohol will remove any bacteria and the baking soda will soften the skin. Your cuticles should clean right up.
Another idea is to use it as a nail polisher. Sprinkle baking soda on your nail polishing pad and rub each nail. Add baking soda as needed. The abrasion from the pad will make the nails shine and the baking soda will remove any surface scratches or extra nail material, making your nails look perfect!
There just isn’t anything cheaper or more useful than baking soda. Stock up and save lots of money.. and avoid a lot of unnatural, toxic garbage in the process. There is nothing safer.