Baking soda has thousands of uses. Most people leave a half-open box in the fridge to ward off funky smells. But, there’s a few other less obvious life hacks and ways to use it:
As Dry Shampoo
Baking soda is an excellent alternative to shampoo when you either don’t have any on-hand or when you just want to simplify your morning routine. Sprinkle a few pinches of baking soda into your hand, and work them into your roots. Tousle your hair and run a brush through it to remove the baking soda.
It sounds weird, but it works. Just make sure you get most of the baking soda out or you’ll look like you have dandruff.
This is a great way to wash when you’re camping too.
If you’ve got heartburn, then drinking baking soda can be a good idea. But, you’ve got to be careful with it. Most recipes call for just ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per 8 ounce glass of water along with apple cider vinegar.
It will help calm your heartburn, but will also help your body create the acid it needs so that you don’t get gas building up in your stomach (which is what is ultimately responsible for acid backing up into your throat).
For A Clean Hairbrush
If you take a closer look at your hairbrush, specifically the space between the brush bristles. You’ll probably get grossed out by all the dried skin, hair, and other nasty bits in there. Most people would throw their brush away, but not you.
You’re going to use baking soda to wash all the dead skin, soap, and other ickies out of there. This works the same (in principle) as the dry shampoo idea, except that this time you’re actually going to use water.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda into a small basin of warm water. Soak your nasty brush in there for 20 minutes. Then, rinse and let it dry on a towel before using it again.
If it doesn’t come clean the first time, you can soak it as many times as needed. It might take several soaks if you have a good buildup on there.
As A Facial Scrub
Facial scrubs are big business. But, you don’t need to spend all that money. You can make a baking soda mask and scrub and use that instead. It’s cheap, and it’s very effective.
Make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Rub onto your face with gentle, circular strokes and rinse. Baking soda is naturally abrasive, so it will give you a really good scrub.
Wash it off with warm water and you’re good to go.
As an Artificial Tan Remover
If you made a mistake with artificial tanner, and now you’re regretting everything, don’t worry. There’s a solution for that. Use one part water and three parts baking soda and get yourself a body brush.
Apply the baking soda paste liberally and start scrubbing. It will come off surprisingly fast.
As A Foaming Cleaner
If your sinks or toilets have clogged up, a simple solution is to dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and then chase it with vinegar.
The logistics can be a bit tricky for toilets, however, so here’s how you do it:
Shut the water to the toilet off, or turn it down so that it’s almost off. This will prevent the reservoir tank from refilling.
Flush the toilet. This gets rid of the water in the bowl. Now, just as the last bit of water is going down the drain, dump the baking soda in. Part of it should end up in the trap. This is good.
Now, dump in some vinegar. You only need a little bit to get it to react.
Since baking soda is a base, and vinegar is an acid, they will react rather violently when combined. In this case, it foams and bubbles. You can play with the baking soda to vinegar ratio depending on how much cleaning power you need.
But, the basic idea is to make your drain foam up. Then, turn the water back on and flush the foam away. You can also do some scrubbing if the bowl needs cleaning.
The same idea works in sinks.
As An Itchy Skin Reliever
If you have dry skin, or are suffering from razor burn, here’s a neat trick that works every time:
Take a half-cup of baking soda and dump it into a full bath tub (use warm water, not hot). Soak in there for 20 minutes and your skin will become soft and supple.
Gordon Yates is a yoga instructor and is studying to be a nutritionist. He enjoys sharing his research and ideas online. He recently has started contributing to health and wellness blogs.