For years I knew that baking soda had a huge variety of household applications. We use it to make a soft scrub for the sink, we deodorize the fridge, it helps our muffins rise and can even be used as an antacid.
But, thanks to a tip from Frugal Babe I tried baking soda as a shampoo. When I first worked it into my hair the lack of suds and lather seemed a little strange. Surprisingly, my hair was actually very soft and clean after the wash—as was my skin. Since then I’ve heard that really oily hair can benefit from a quick “dry wash” with baking soda if there isn’t time for a full shampoo. Just sprinkle the baking soda onto oily hair without wetting it, work into the roots, and brush out.
Frugal Babe also recommends storing vinegar in a spray bottle and spraying it on as a conditioner after a wet baking soda wash. I gave this a try and felt like I was wearing “ode de pickle” all day. Rebecca tried adding a bit of lemon essential oils to her apple cider vinegar spray and found that it worked well and smelled quite nice.
I have to admit that I haven’t tried this next idea, but it sounds rather intriguing. According to How Stuff Works.com, you can make your own toothpaste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part salt. You’ll need 3 teaspoons of glycerin (which can also be used to make homemade bubble solution) and 10 to 20 drops of flavoring (peppermint, wintergreen, anise, or cinnamon). It can all be mixed into a paste and then stored in a refillable squeeze bottle. Although I haven’t tried baking soda toothpaste recipe, I know that just using baking soda on a wet brush works wonders.
Bolstered by my success with baking soda shampoo, I tried using baking soda as a deodorant and found it works better than anything I’ve ever used before—including traditional brands with aluminum-based antiperspirants! I put a bit of lotion on my skin and then sprinkle on a little baking soda. If you use too much baking soda, or put it directly on your skin, it can cause a rash so you have to experiment a bit with it. Baking soda utterly wipes out the smell, so that even though I might sweat a bit there is no scent.
Although there is no direct link between deodorant and breast cancer, spreading aluminum-based antiperspirant on skin that is located near several lymph nodes isn’t appealing to me—especially when breastfeeding. Since high school I have been trying different versions of natural deodorants, only to find that none of them worked. I had switched back to traditional brands but was trying to use them less frequently. It seemed like a difficult choice: do I want to expose my body to toxins, or feel smelly most of the time? Thanks to baking soda, there is solution that works for my budget, my body, and the environment.
What a thrill to get to replace shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and deodorant with more natural, eco-friendly, and thrifty alternatives! It means saving over a dozen plastic containers a year costing around fifty dollars (on the cheap end) with one big cardboard box of ultra-cheap sodium bicarbonate. My baking soda fervor continues next week as we explore how to use baking soda with baby.