Health & Wellness
12 Surprising Benefits of Baking Soda for Health and Beauty
You probably already use it in the kitchen, and maybe even to tackle household cleaning projects. But have you heard of the benefits of baking soda for your beauty and health? Check out these easy tricks.
DIY Dry Shampoo
Whether you’re running late in the morning or giving your hair a break from washing, dry shampoo absorbs grease and refreshes hair—no shower necessary. You can buy dry shampoo, but it’s easy to make at home, too:
Mix equal parts baking soda and corn starch (just enough for one use, or store a bigger batch in a jar). Use your fingertips to massage the powder into your scalp and roots. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the starch to absorb oils, and brush out. Did you know that apple cider vinegar makes a good natural shampoo?
Brush Your Teeth
You may already use baking soda to scour and brighten countertops, and the same cleaning action applies with your teeth. Baking soda provides a gentle abrasion that cleans without the chemicals found in many mainstream toothpastes.
To brush with baking soda, simply wet your toothbrush, add a sprinkle of soda, and brush teeth as usual. As always, use a soft brush and don’t brush too vigorously.
If you’re not ready to give up the minty freshness of traditional toothpaste, you can still take advantage of the dental-polishing powers of baking soda. A teaspoon of baking soda dissolved into a half cup of water makes a refreshing mouthwash. Check out more natural breath fresheners here.
Exfoliating Face Mask
Boasting both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, baking soda can give skin a deep, exfoliating clean. Enjoy a soothing ritual by applying a DIY baking soda face mask. Here’s our favorite recipe.
Don’t have time to DIY? Biore’s Blue Agave + Baking Soda Cleanser ($6) does just the trick.
DIY Natural Deodorant
Baking soda doesn’t just mask odor—it actually absorbs it. Many natural deodorants rely on baking soda to banish odor without harmful chemicals. Make your own DIY deodorant at home: Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with four tablespoons cornstarch. Stir in six tablespoons of coconut oil to form a spreadable paste. Add a few drops of essential oils to add fragrance. This will keep indefinitely in a jar; apply with a finger as needed.
The proverbial box of baking soda in the back of the fridge is a pro at soaking up strong smells. You can actually zap smelly shoes with a sprinkle of baking soda! You can also use baking soda in the laundry hamper or to deodorize your workout bag between uses.
Relief for Irritated, Itchy Skin
Have a minor rash or pesky bug bite? The alkaline level of baking soda helps to neutralize toxins, which can relieve itching. Wash the bite with soap and water. Then, blend baking soda with enough water to form a paste and apply directly to the spots. (Mix with witch hazel for extra soothing relief.) Cover with a bandage and let the baking soda work its magic. Here are 50 more ways to use baking soda around the house.
Calm Stomachaches and Heartburn
Baking soda is a natural antacid, which means it can neutralize the stomach acids that cause aches and heartburn. For adults, mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Sip slowly. (Psst! Most popular over-the-counter effervescent tablets also contain some baking soda.) Find more heartburn remedies here.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock
Easy Splinter Removal
Don’t dive after a deep splinter with tweezers! This easy trick coaxes the splinter out on its own, resulting in less irritation. Make a soak by dissolving 1/4 cup baking soda in a cup of water. Then, soak the affected area until the splinter is easy to remove.
Migraine Pain Relief
To relieve migraine pain, and even nausea that can accompany a migraine, try drinking a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda stirred in. Or, if you’d rather try a topical approach, a soak in a baking soda-laced bathtub can provide relief.
Clean Brushes and Beauty Tools
Let baking soda loosen the gunk on combs and makeup brushes, no scrubbing required. Combs, brushes, makeup applicators and other beauty tools are easy to clean in a baking soda bath. Mix four tablespoons baking soda with a quart of water and leave to soak overnight. Rinse and wipe clean.
Love natural cleaning tips? Try these 30+ vinegar ideas.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.