Baking soda was one of the few products many years ago on the market for cleaning your teeth or settling an upset stomach. While we have many more choices today, baking soda still does the trick for these and dozens of other health and beauty tasks. Try it for shaving and shampooing, for minor burns and cuts, or for relaxation in the bath. In this article, you will see that baking soda can be a key ingredient in your health and beauty routine. Let's start at the top with your hair...
Squeaky clean hair:
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your usual shampoo bottle to help remove buildup from conditioners, mousses, and sprays, and to improve manageability.
- In emergencies, use baking soda as a dry shampoo on oily hair. Sprinkle on your hair and comb through, then fluff with a blow dryer.
- Rinse hair with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1 pint water to remove the dullness or discoloration caused by chlorinated pools.
Combs and brushes:
- Hair spray and oil buildup on combs and brushes can be removed by soaking them in a sink of warm water and adding 3 tablespoons baking soda and 3 tablespoons bleach.
- Remove fish, onion, or garlic odor from hands with a solution of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or liquid soap. Rub mixture in your hands, and rinse off.
- Rub a baking-soda paste onto your elbows to smooth away rough skin.
- Soak tired feet in a basin of warm water with 3 tablespoons baking soda.
- Add 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart warm water, and soak feet for 10 minutes to relieve foot itch.
- Smooth rough and hardened calluses and heels by massaging them with a paste of 3 parts baking soda per 1 part water.
Soothe minor mishaps:
- For sunburn pain, saturate a washcloth with a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart water. Apply to affected area.
- Ease windburn or poison ivy irritation with a paste of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Do not use on broken skin.
- Baking soda added to the bathwater has a softening effect on the skin. Add 1/2 cup to a full bath.
- Make bubbling bath salts with 21/2 cups baking soda, 2 cups cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Mix them together, and store in a covered container. Use 1/4 cup per bath.
- Relieve itchy wintery skin in a bath with 1 cup baking soda and 11/4 cups baby oil in the water.
- Freshen up with a washcloth dipped in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart water.
- Apply cornstarch to your underarms with a powder puff first, then apply the baking soda.
- Clean fingernails and toenails by scrubbing them with a nailbrush dipped in baking soda. This also softens cuticles.
Baking Soda for Mouth and Face Care
- Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part salt. Add 3 teaspoons of glycerin. Add 10 to 20 drops of flavoring (peppermint, wintergreen, anise, or cinnamon) and enough water to make a paste. Spoon into a small, refillable squeeze bottle.
- Sprinkle baking soda into your palm, dip a damp toothbrush into it, and brush your teeth.
- To freshen breath, use 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1/2 glass of water, swish the solution through your teeth, and rinse.
Dentures and other dental appliances:
- Soak dentures in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in warm water.
- Use baking soda to soak athletic mouthguards, retainers, or other oral appliances.
- Scrub dentures, mouthguards, and retainers with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda.
- Soak toothbrushes in a baking-soda solution overnight.
Facial Care - Baking soda can also do wonders for your face.
- Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, and use as a gentle, exfoliating facial scrub after washing with soap and water. Rinse your face clean.
- Mix baking soda with oatmeal in your blender; it makes a great facial scrub.
- Men with sensitive skin may find that a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda in 1 cup water makes a great preshave treatment or a soothing aftershave rinse.
- For instant relief of razor burn, dab on a baking-soda solution.
As you've seen, baking soda is a valuable asset in your health and beauty routine. Keep some in your medicine cabinet.