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32 Magical healthy & zero waste uses of baking soda

Get into sodium bicarbonate’s benefits and its multipurpose toxin-free powers (+Download Printable Infographic)

This white powder has changed my life, for good! It’s a natural source, toxin-free and also incredibly cheap. Find out about all the zero waste uses of baking soda for your household, cooking and personal hygiene products! Promise the way you look at commercial products will shift to free yourself from the burden of chemicals.

This is a very personal article, and I’m writing this because sharing the uses of this basic product is now a must and a big calling. I feel like I had a life before and after discovering the uses of baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate). And soon you’ll understand why! 

It was my mum who introduced some of these “old school” techniques to me. Knowing I’m passionate about natural living and discovering little zero-waste alternatives to incorporate in my daily life, one of the first things she gifted me when visiting her last year was: a packet of baking soda. I was like Uh?!

But then, reading through the brochure, I was truly amazed to discover some of the uses of baking soda. Now it’s become my daily go-to item and it has truly helped me to get rid of a lot of toxic products in my household endeavours. It has also given me some knowledge on how to improve my foods and its cooking methods, as well as how to incorporate sodium bicarbonate in some of my daily personal hygiene products. 

Especially for people like me, who are always on the go and not really settled in a home, travelling around, and running a business… As you can imagine, I simply cannot dedicate my time and energy into buying all the different range of products that commercials make us believe we need!

Sometimes I wonder about all the things that have been hidden from us, and replaced by toxic chemical products, that are actually expensive and mostly ineffective?! Are you with me…? 

We purchase cleaning products for the bathroom, a few extra special ones for the kitchen, not to mention the ones for pets – which expose your furry friends to chemicals that make them incredibly sensitive and most likely ill. 

So let’s leave them all behind, and jump right into zero-waste living alternatives with the many handy uses of baking soda.

A little background about sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, already existed 100 years ago (at the very least).

Nowadays sodium bicarbonate can be found in mineral waters and healing springs. 

Today, in Europe, baking soda is made from natural table salt by replacing chlorine with carbonate = carbonic acid. This process is named “Solvay” after its inventor and delivers a product of the highest purity and a pleasantly mild taste.

Baking soda binds and neutralises all acids, transforming them into neutral salts and bubbling carbonic acid. It also has a mild alkaline effect.

Furthermore, sodium bicarbonate softens hard, calcareous water because its carbonate ions form insoluble compounds with some of the hardness-causing calcium ions.

When dissolved in hot water baking soda loses its carbonic acid and converts to the more alkaline sodium carbonate. 

When used in cooking as an ingredient, legumes and cabbages soften faster. Plant parts made of cellulose are softened and broken down more quickly by baking soda

Let’s dive deeper into each of the simple uses of baking soda and win a (toxin-free life!)

Pro Tip: Download + Print the infographic & pin it on your fridge so that it’s always handy. Share this page with your friends and family on socials, bookmark it for future occasions. This is a go-to-guide to inspire more people in your circle to embrace a more sustainable way of living! 

Uses of baking soda for drinks

  1. Drinking water: a bit of baking soda on a glass of water improves its taste. Test out the amount that is right for you, but I suggest starting with less than ½ teaspoon.
  2. Lemonade: sugar or a sweetener, lemon juice or a little apple vinegar and ½ x teaspoon of baking soda, for a fresh and healthy soda drink.
  3. Coffee: baking soda improves the aroma and makes coffee or tea more digestible. Simply add a bit of baking soda to the filter that contains your coffee; for the tea, add it after it’s been cooked.

Uses of baking soda for foods

  1. Raw fruits and vegetables: you should not eat raw fruits, salads and vegetables without washing them under water. Simply add 1-2x tablespoons for 1x litre of water.
  2. Carrots: once carrots are peeled, you don’t need to wash them and add 1x tablespoon of baking soda for each litre of water.
  3. Green beans: keep the colour of your green beans by adding a bit of baking soda to the water when steaming them. 
  4. Cucumber salad: adding a little baking soda to your cucumber salad and recipes will save you from burping and uncomfortable indigestion for hours. (And from someone who suffers from cucumber indigestion, I’d also recommend you to remove its seeds. A total gamechanger).
  5. Legumes: if you add 1x tablespoon of baking soda for each litre of water when cooking legumes, they’ll get softer faster as well as more digestive. This also applies to all sorts of beans!
  6. Cheese: if you’re a fondue fan in any way or shape, add a tiny bit of baking soda to the cheesy mixture just before serving and it will make it much more digestible. 

Uses of baking soda for baking recipes

  1. Baking: Sodium bicarbonate, like the name says = baking soda, is commonly used for baking recipes. Such as muffins! Simply add 5 grams of baking soda for 500 grams of flour, and add 6x tablespoons of vinegar to the batter just before baking.

Uses of baking soda for personal hygiene & wellness

  1. Baths: Sodium bicarbonate softens the water, refreshes and promotes blood circulation. Simply add between 50-100 grams of baking soda for a full bath. Generally it’s not recommended to have more than two baths per week. 
  2. Nettles & Insect bites: create a paste of sodium bicarbonate with a bit of water  and apply to the affected areas. Let it dry for a while, and rinse off with cold water.
  3. Face wash: if you’re one of those that can’t stand soap in his face (not that anyone should do a facial wash with soap anyway – said by my beautician!) just add 3-4x teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate in your bathroom sink or clean bowl with lukewarm water and let it dissolve. Once applied, do not rinse off any further, and dry with a clean towel. It’ll help your skin become soft and clear.
  4. Mouthwash: simply dissolve 1x teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a glass with lukewarm water and rinse thoroughly. It helps to refresh your mouth and also neutralises bad breath. 
  5. Toothpaste: use dry baking soda on your toothbrush, and wet gently. It helps to clean and polish your teeth.
  6. Gums care: to take care of your gums, dissolve 1x teaspoon of baking soda in a warm glass of water and rinse thoroughly.
  7. Discomfort, malaise, feeling of fullness and indigestion: after ample meals and unfamiliar food or an excessive meal, drink a cold glass of water with 1x teaspoon of baking soda. It will help you with digestion and avoid stomach reflux. I personally used to use ineffective pharmaceutical products, and over time indigestion would get worse while creating more dependency; a never ending expensive and unhealthy circle.
  8. Deodorant: in a small glass, add 1x teaspoon of baking soda. Use a reusable pad to apply in the under pit area once a day. I have to say this is really effective, and gets rid of your BO (aka body odour). Since I use a solution of sodium bicarbonate I no longer need to worry about buying nor carrying natural deodorants.
  9. Burning feet & foot baths: after a long day at work or going for a walk, put your tired and/or hurting feet in a basin with 3-4x teaspoons of baking soda for each litre of water. Once finished, rinse with cold water and rub your feet with a massage. 

Uses of baking soda for your house

  1. Smells: if there’s a fish or onion smell in your hands after cooking as well as your kitchen items (especially wooden ones), simply add a little baking soda to your wash water and… voilà!
  2. Thermos & reusable bottles: get rid of the acidic and dull smell in your reusable water bottles immediately with sodium bicarbonate. Add 4x tablespoons for 1x litre of hot water and fill your bottles. This is a great solution for those who use thermos and drink reusables for different purposes ie. coffee, tea, water etc. Let baking soda do its magic!
  3. Baby bottles, milk dishes & cream dispensers: get rid of the uncomfortable and acidic smell and rinse thoroughly by adding a mix of 2-3x teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate in warm water. 
  4. Deodorise your dishwasher: make a routine to add a handful of baking soda into your empty dishwasher each morning. It absorbs the smells for the rest of the day!
  5. Deodorise your fridge: add a little baking soda in a saucer and put it inside the fridge. It will get rid of the fridge smell for the following 3-4 weeks.
  6. Polish bathroom fittings: get rid of the accumulated calcium residual and water drops from your bathroom by adding a bit of scattered sodium bicarbonate in a humid sponge.
  7. Indoor pets’ smell: spread about 50 grams of sodium bicarbonate in the cat toilet, or the sleeping box of your hamster, rabbit, or guinea pig. It absorbs bad smells much faster, and if done consistently, they may not even appear. The good news is that baking soda is harmless for your little furry friends.
  8. Urine smells on carpet: if you have an indoor pet, such as a cat or a dog, you’ll find that sodium bicarbonate absorbs all sorts of smells stuck in your carpet. Simply add about 1x tablespoon for each 4 m2 and distribute it equally in your carpet. Let it do its work overnight to vacuum it or beat the product out of it the following day. Attention: do not apply wet carpet. If in doubt, check colour fastness before use (Oriental carpets). To test, dissolve ½ x tablespoon of baking soda in half a mug, and apply in a hidden spot. Let it absorb till dry, and vacuum the next day. If the colours change, the carpet is not colourfast.
  9. Insects in car paint or windshield: add sodium bicarbonate in a humid cloth and clean your car effortlessly, getting rid of any old and dead insects stuck to your car.
  10. Deodorise your ashtrays (also in your car): simply add a bit of sodium bicarbonate in the bottom of your empty ashtray.
  11. Flower pots made of clay: unsightly, pore-clogging lime residue disappears if you place the flower pots in a warm bath with a baking soda solution for a few hours. Add 1x Tablespoon for each litre of water.
  12. Clean jewellery, coins and silver cutlery: use a bit of aluminium paper in a soup plate. Then add 1x tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate and 1x tablespoon of cooking salt, to dissolve both with hot water. Once ready, add your items into the solution. Use a dry cloth to polish. 
  13. pH-value: with sodium bicarbonate, the pH value of aqueous solutions can be shifted from the acidic to the neutral or slightly alkaline range. Use a pH indicator, which you can easily acquire in your chemist.

Did you know there’s so much you can do with sodium bicarbonate? I hope this article comes in handy. I use it as my go to guide, so we’ve designed a little infographic that you can print and stick to your fridge. This should work as an easy reminder on how to use baking soda for household, cooking and personal hygiene products! So add “baking soda” to your shopping list, and win a life – free of toxins!

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Maxime Ducker

The powerhouse behind OurGoodBrands. She's a social, eco & spiritual activist driven to create positive change. Her mission is to connect brands with conscious shoppers to show that we can build a new economy, society & world together. She's a big believer in the power of the individual, and the important contribution each creature on this Earth can bring as a part of the whole. Yoga, natural health, plants, astrology, and crafts are Maxime's ways of opening her heart, creating art & raising her to higher consciousness. Besides her simple and minimalist way of life, travel and living in other countries, learning languages and getting to meet new cultures is in her DNA.

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