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More Than a Fridge Filler: Clever Uses for Baking Soda

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As elements of spring start to peek through, I’m inspired to freshen up my beauty routine, which has always been minimal. Winter has taken its toll on my skin and hair, and enough is enough!

It’s time to peel back the curtain. Influenced by these ten beauty essentials totaling seventy-five dollars, I started to think about glow- and shine-inducing products that I already have on hand and, my favorite of the bunch, baking soda.

How can my favorite multipurpose (beauty) product enhance your grooming routines? Read on. (More than a dusted-off Redbook list, these applications for baking soda are a compilation of research, polls, and personal use.)

Where to buy? For how much?

  • Baking Soda is ubiquitous. It does not vary by brand nor fall into different price brackets. It’s reliable and will always come to the siren call of your beauty needs.
  • It’s available. You can purchase it at supermarkets, bodegas, drug stores, and gas station mini-marts.
  • The price is right. The average drugstore sells baking soda for less than three dollars.


  • Remove buildup. Mix a small palm-full of baking soda to your shampoo to remove buildup from conditioners, mousses, and hairsprays.
  • Dry shampoo. No time for a shampoo? Baking soda can be used as a dry shampoo when your hair is oily. Sprinkle some on your hair, comb through, then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer.
  • Chlorine-damaged tresses. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1-pint warm water.
  • Combs and brushes. Remove product and oil buildup by soaking your utensils in a bowl of warm water with about 3 tablespoons of baking soda. You can also add a splash of bleach. 


  • Facial Exfoliant. In the palm of your hand, mix some baking soda with your facial cleanser to make a gentle exfoliant. Use circular motions to apply gently then rinse as usual for very soft skin.
  • Rough skin. This also works for the rough skin on elbows and feet. Make a thick paste with baking soda and water (about 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and scrub away.
  • Shaving. A solution of 1-tablespoon baking soda in a cup of water works as a pre-shave product of aftershave rinse for men with sensitive skin.


  • Tooth polish and whitener. Baking soda toothpastes have been long-time shelf staples for a reason. The baking soda works to freshen breathe and whiten and polish teeth. Dip a damp toothbrush in baking soda and brush away. My personal twist, dip a toothbrush with toothpaste in baking soda for mouth cleaning times two.
  • Toothbrush. Soak your toothbrush in a mixture of water and baking soda and let it soak overnight.  


  • Soft cuticles. Scrubbing your nails or toenails with a nailbrush (or old toothbrush) dipped in baking soda will soften and gently exfoliate cuticles.

Have any other beauty tips that incorporate baking soda? Or perhaps another ingredient from your kitchen cabinets or refrigerator? I’d love to know. Who knows, before long I could be making lipstick from cherries, shampoo from apple cider vinegar, and conditioner from mayonnaise!

By Olivia Kuhn-Lloyd of Intent

Visit Intent


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