Most of us have at least a couple of boxes of sodium bicarbonate in our pantry or refrigerators, but we rarely take our mom’s suggestions on how to use baking soda as the literal life-changer it can be. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably tried baking soda for at least one beauty remedy (hopefully it helped) or debated over whether the white, powdery substance can be used as a legitimate toothpaste alternative that can actually make your pearly whites even whiter.
If you’ve been sleeping on the potency of baking soda, then it’s time to give credit where it’s due. Without a doubt, baking soda deserves a more active role in your life than hiding behind the ketchup or collecting dust in a cabinet.
Let’s get into some of the ways you can use baking soda and watch your life change in very small but real ways.
1Add it to your laundry detergent.
Who wants to save money and have cleaner clothes? We do, and so do you, right? You could start by experimenting with Reader’s Digest’s advice to use baking soda to “boost” laundry detergent. Apparently, adding just a 1/2 cup to your laundry detergent will leave you with the highly coveted “whiter whites,” and it could also help you cut down on the amount of detergent you use.
2As a stain remover.
So you freaked out about spilling wine on your favorite blouse (we’ve been there), and now your life is ruined because it was a critical piece of your go-to dress up/job interview/fancy dinner outfit and your bank account is too empty to replace it. This, our friend, is were baking soda and its stain removing capabilities can come to the rescue. The Spruce suggests mixing it with warm water to create a paste and applying it to the material.
3As an exfoliating face wash .
HelloGiggles’ very own Gina Vaynshteyn previously tested baking soda as a face wash for a week and was generally pleased with the results. But before you go slathering baking soda all over your mug expecting it to glisten like never before, test it on a small patch of skin to see if it works for you.
4To freshen up a room.
When it comes to getting rid of bad odors at home, baking soda can be a major game-changer. Apartment Therapy suggests pouring “a few inches” of the substance into uncovered bowls and allowing them sit for a few days. The baking soda will absorb whatever stench is hanging around and leave you with fresh, odor-free rooms.
5To offer relief from insect bites.
Luckily, we’re approaching that time of year where cooler weather will chase away most of the bugs that enjoy feasting on human flesh (yuck), but it’s always handy to have a DIY product to ease the discomfort of insect bites.
Healthline specifically recommends baking soda as a remedy for mosquito bites. Mix a tablespoon of the powdery white substance with water, apply as a paste, and allow it to sit on the bite for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
6As an easy way to clean up vomit.
Whether it’s your kid’s, your roommate’s, or your own, literally no one on Earth willingly wants to clean up puke. It’s grossing us out just to think about it, but luckily baking soda can handle most of the dirty work.
If the icky contents of a human stomach land on carpet, Good Housekeeping‘s advice is to clean up the excess (ugh) before sprinkling the area with baking soda. Let it stand between 10 and 15 minutes and then run a vacuum over the stain. Afterwards, sponge the area with a cloth and dry-cleaning solvent and blot until dry. Magic.