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5 Clever Ways to Use Baking Soda


Article by Kate Baxendale

Photography by Kate Baxendale

You probably have a box of baking soda hiding in the back of your refrigerator—it's probably time to get a fresh box, by the way!—but did you know there are so many more uses for it? Besides baking (obviously) and being an excellent deodorizer (more on that in a moment), baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate is an inexpensive yet effective pantry staple that comes in handy everywhere—from your beauty routine to your cleaning products. Read on to learn clever ways to use baking soda in your home.

Clean Your Mattress

Have you ever thought to clean your mattress? Dust mites, dead skin cells, sweat—it all settles deep into your mattress over time. Freshen it up with a 16-ounce box of baking soda. Open the box and add 10-20 drops of essential oil—lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree are good choices. Close the opening and shake vigorously. Strip the sheets and mattress cover. Sprinkle the entire box all over your mattress. Rub it into the surface. Let it sit and work its magic for at least one hour. Run a vacuum attachment over the mattress and voila!

Clean Your Teeth

Your store-bought toothpaste probably has baking soda in it—among many other potentially harmful chemicals. A simple way to eliminate questionable ingredients (and single-use plastic) is to make your own toothpaste with baking soda!

READ MORE: How to Make Your Own Toothpaste

Clean Produce

Rid your supermarket produce of nasty pesticides with a baking soda bath. Fill a large bowl with 2 cups of water. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Submerge produce in bath for at least 2 minutes (although 12-15 minutes is the most effective). Rinse well and enjoy your squeaky clean fruits and veggies!

Treat Acne

According to Medical News Today, baking soda may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

  • Face mask – Mix between 1 and 2 teaspoons of baking soda with a facial cleanser and add a small amount of warm water to form a paste. Massage into the affected area and leave on the skin for 10–15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
  • Exfoliant – Make the same mixture as a face mask, but wash it off right away after application. It is also possible to add baking soda to a facial scrub to boost its pore-cleansing power and get rid of dead skin cells.
  • Face wash – Add a maximum of 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a facial wash. Apply to the face and wash off with warm water.

Be sure to hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer after using baking soda on your face because it can dry it out.

READ MORE: Can You Use Baking Soda to Treat Acne?

Treat Minor Cuts, Scrapes, Burns + Insect Bites

Get relief from minor aches and pains with baking soda. Add a few drops of water to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste. Apply it directly to the insect bite, minor burn or other skin irritation. Take a lukewarm bath with a sprinkle of baking soda to relieve pain from sunburns.