Baking soda or Sodium Bicarbonate is an extremely handy and economical alternative to hazardous chemical cleaners, industrial cosmetics and deodorants. Here are 20 sustainable swaps we can make using Baking Soda.
**1. Skin Cleanser for Irritated Skin: use as an exfoliating scrub on irritated skin, allergic reactions and skin affected by dandruff. Take 1 spoonful of baking soda and gently exfoliate, rinse well. I use this frequently in the winter as my skin becomes more break out prone and I haven’t found any other cleanser or cosmetic that works as well.
**2. Dry Shampoo: don’t have time to wash, dry and style your hair? Use baking soda to eliminate oil from roots in between washes. Sprinkle a small amount on the roots, let sit for a minute or two and brush out. Don’t go overboard on quantity especially on dark hair, just a pinch or two.
**3. Limestone Removal: baking soda eliminates limestone build-up from hard water on shower doors, kettles, grout lines –you name it. Just sprinkle it on wherever it’s needed and then scrub with an abrasive sponge and rinse.
**4. Sink and Counter Cleaner: same concept as in limescale removal but with any other surfaces that need a good cleaning. Especially greasy or extra gritty areas in the kitchen or bathroom. For an extra element, add a few sprays of vinegar.
**5. Toothpaste: As an occasional alternative, baking soda can be used to polish and clean teeth as well. Dampen your toothbrush and dip it into a jar of baking soda (I have one specifically for this use on the bathroom countertop) and brush gently. Your teeth will be left extra squeaky clean and you may notice that stains from coffee (& wine) also begin to disappear.
**6. DIY Deodorant: use baking soda in homemade deodorant. I know that some people apply baking soda directly, but it’s too harsh for me and causes too much irritation. Instead I create a mix of shea butter, coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch and essential lemon oil. All these ingredients are mixed in a food processor and poured into an old deodorant tube.
7. Laundry Detergent Booster: add a few spoonfuls to your laundry for extra white whites and odor elimination, on gym clothes for example.
**8. Unclog Drains: pour baking soda down your shower/sink drain followed by vinegar and watch the reaction! The mix creates a bubbling reaction that helps to disintegrate whatever is blocking your drain. I do this about 1 to 2 times per month.
9. Vegetable Wash: disinfect and eliminate toxins from fruits and vegetables by washing them first under running water and then leave them in a baking soda/water mix for a few minutes. This practice can be very helpful for washing fruits and veggies susceptible to pesticides.
**10. Sinus Steam Vaporizer: bring water to a boil and add it into your vapor inhaler or a ceramic bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of baking soda and breath deeply for 5-10 minutes. If using a bowl, cover your head with a towel as you lower your face over the water. This will help to liberate sinuses and disinfect blocked airways.
11. Clean Coffee Makers: espresso makers and american coffee makers alike build up limescale or coffee residue over time. To eliminate old coffee smell or residue, clean with baking soda in place of normal dish soap.
12. Clean Scorched or Greasy Pots & Pans: the worst greasy pans or burnt kettles can be remedied with baking soda and vinegar. Put a little of both where necessary and let sit for a few hours or overnight. The stains or scorched areas should be much easier to remove.
13. Clean Cutting Boards: Sprinkle baking soda on cutting boards along with a few drops of lemon juice for a deep disinfecting clean.
14. Deodorize Dishwasher: if you notice that after a certain amount of time of non-use your dishwasher has an undesired smell, run a cycle with a half cup of baking soda. It will remove the odor and leave your dishes shiny.
15. Bug Bite Relief: Pesky bug bites can be treated with a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to bites and leave for a few minutes before rinsing.
16. Sore Throat Relief: gargling warm water and baking soda helps to relieve a sore throat, reduce canker sores and prevent infection. (do not swallow)
17. Oven Cleaner: use baking soda and water to create a paste. Spread this paste all over your oven for a deep clean or only where needed for spot cleaning. Let this mix sit overnight. The next day, pass a damp towel to get rid of the baking soda. Spray vinegar where there is leftover baking soda and wipe until clean.
**18. Antacid: Sodium bicarbonate acts as an antacid helping to reduce heartburn, upset stomach and indigestion. Simply dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a large glass of water and drink. (This is not a solution to long-term stomach problems)
19. Sponge Cleaner: Soak your sponges in a baking soda rinse overnight to get rid of odors.
20. Gym Shoe Neutralizer: Sprinkle baking soda in smelly gym shoes and let sit overnight. Simply shake the shoes out before use.
** My personal favorites that I use regularly.
What can’t this wonder product do? Well, I’m sure there’s something! However, I guarantee that the results I have obtained using baking soda for these 20 household tasks and cosmetic uses are more efficient than the expensive and also highly toxic chemical cleaners. Plus, this product is often sold in a paper carton (plastic free is always a yay) and can be found in bulk.
Have any other clever uses for baking soda? I am convinced there are many many more. Let me know what you think about this Sustainable Swap.
Author: Ali @ Sustainable Psyche
My name is Ali. I am an American living in Italy. I am passionate about delicious food that is also ethical, healthy and sustainable. I love pasta and pizza, traveling, horseback riding and exploring the vibrant city of Milan that I call home.