12 Surprising Personal Uses for Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for cleaning the house, but did you know there are tons of ways you can use baking soda for personal care as well? Here are the Domestic CEO's 12 favorite ways to use our good friend sodium bicarbonate for natural cleansing.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #114

I’ve talked a lot about the many ways baking soda can be used in your home for chemical-free, organic cleaning. Check out my episodes on How to Clean With Baking Soda and More Uses for Baking Soda.?

Taking care of yourself and your home in a pure, natural way is easy when you incorporate baking soda into your daily routine. Here are 12 of my favorite ways to use our good friend sodium bicarbonate: 

  1. Freshen your mouth: Don’t you hate it when you can taste that onion from your sandwich long after lunch? Here’s a quick and simple way to get rid of it. Simply mix one teaspoon of baking soda with half a glass of water then swish it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Spit and rinse. Those nasty odors will be neutralized, not just covered up.

  2. Soothe an upset stomach:  Did you know you can use baking soda to ease an upset stomach or to relieve heartburn? Just add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 4 ounces of water. Dissolve completely in water and drink. You can repeat this every 2 hours, or as directed by physician.

  3. Get silky skin and feel refreshed: Adding baking soda to your bath will give you silky skin and leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. While running your bath water, add a ½ cup of baking soda and let it dissolve. Now, sink into your relaxing bath and let the amazingness of baking soda help you feel restored.

  4. Underarm refresh: Dusting a bit of baking soda on your armpits will eliminate odor. If you don’t have the time or ability to wash away the odors of your day, carry some baking soda and a few cotton balls in your purse or backpack. This is a handy tip for travelling, especially overseas. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use this little trick to eliminate odors and feel fresh.

  5. Cleaning brushes and combs:  For lustrous hair with more shine, it's important to keep your brushes and combs clean. To remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue, soak your combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a small basin of warm water. Soak for at least an hour and then rinse and let air dry before using. I recommend cleaning your combs and brushes every other month. Try this same technique for cleaning your make-up brushes, too!

  6. Gentle hand cleaner: Skip the harsh, chemical hand cleaners when you’re washing up after gardening or automotive repairs. Make a paste using 3 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Mix thoroughly and use as you would any paste hand cleaner. Not only will your hands get very clean, but your skin will thank you for not using harsh toxins.

  7. Tired foot soak: Are your dogs barking from a long day on your feet? Try dissolving 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a basin of warm water. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. If you’d like to continue on with a pedicure, use the same ratio as the hand cleaner; 3 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Use this paste to scrub your callouses and give a refreshing massage to your achy feet. And for more DIY pedicure ideas, check out: DIY Pedicure: Pamper Your Feet on the Cheap.

  8. Get shiny hair: To get shiny, healthy looking hair add a bit of baking soda to your morning routine. Mix a quarter-sized amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. All the gunk and residue that builds up in your hair from styling products will be removed so your hair will feel and smells cleaner and be more manageable.

  9. Skip a shampoo: It’s good for your hair and scalp to skip a shampoo at least for a day. In order for your hair to feel clean and less oily on the non-shampooing days, take a teaspoon of baking soda in the palms of your hands and rub into your hair, especially your scalp. This will help dry out any oiliness and make your hair smell and feel fresh.

  10. Skin exfoliator/scrub:  Want to give your skin an all-over healthy glow? Mix up that same paste used for the hand cleaner and foot scrub using 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub this in a gentle, circular motion on your face and body. This will gently remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin glowing and smooth.

  11. Stop smelly sneakers: Baking soda is the perfect product to combat the smelly shoe. You can use it in one of two ways: sprinkle some baking soda directly into a stinky shoe after wearing. This will absorb and kill those nasty odors. Be sure to shake out any excess baking soda before wearing again. The other alternative is to fill an old sock with baking soda. Tie the top of the sock with string or yarn. When shoes get smelly, stuff one of these baking soda sock sachets into each shoe. The odors will become history!

  12. Dirty sandal scrub: Now that summer is here, your footwear choice is probably more along the lines of sandals and flip flops than boots. You know those babies can get dirty and smelly. Here’s a quick scrub to remove both those problems: mix 3 tablespoons baking soda with 2 tablespoons water. Use this watery paste paired with a scrub brush or old toothbrush to clean away the dirt and smell from your summer footwear. Use a damp paper towel to remove any remaining baking soda residue and let your sandals or flip flops dry in the sun before wearing them.

These 12 baking soda tips will have you feeling, looking, and smelling clean and fresh. And you’ll be happy you spent just pennies on all these personal care ideas instead of spending a boatload on expensive, chemical-filled products. Baking soda is truly amazing.

Do you have other suggestions for how to use baking soda in your home? Share them with us in Comments below or on the Domestic CEO Facebook or Twitter pages.

Until next time, I'm the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Baking soda image courtesy of Shutterstock.