We bet you have at least one box at home – and you’d be surprised at just how many ways you can use it.
That magical box? Baking soda!
Consider the following eleven great uses for baking soda:
1. Enhanced Sports Performance: Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” — or taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance, a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading.
2. Foot Soak and Exfoliator: Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak.
3. Hand Cleanser: Mix three parts baking soda with one part of water to make a natural hand cleanser that will scrub away dirt and neutralize odors.
4. Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain: Baking soda works by immediately neutralizing stomach acid, helping to relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain. Dosing is typically ½ teaspoon fully dissolved in a half a glass of water, taken every two hours (do not take more than seven ½ teaspoons in 24 hours, or three ½ teaspoons if you’re over 60). This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.
5. Insect Bites and Poison Ivy: Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin.
6. Natural Deodorant: Try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant. You can also simply brush some dry baking soda under your arms.
7. Relaxing Soak: Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus!
8. Splinter Removal: Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.
9. Sunburn Remedy: Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief.
10. Teeth Whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
11. Tooth and Gum Paste: One review of data from five controlled clinical studies found that toothpaste containing baking soda “enhanced plaque removal effectiveness of tooth brushing to a significantly greater extent” than brushing with a non-baking soda toothpaste. For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt.