How to use baking soda in DIY- cosmetics

Baking soda or Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a very versatile and effective substance for many purposes. Most commonly, it has been used to baking. Baking soda needs acidic dough to function properly in cookies and cakes. Combination of acid and baking soda makes the dough sparkling or rise in the oven. Baking soda can also be used to relieve the symptoms of many diseases. Eco-cleaning and laundry are easily done with the baking soda. It is a safe chemical that should be available in every household.

However, no chemical is ever 100% safe and good for every purpose. This is also the case with Baking soda. The strengths of the baking soda should be identified and used in a deliberate manner in the right situations.

There is baking soda and soda. They are two different chemicals. Learn how to distinguish between them and use them correctly.

What is Baking soda

When we talk about soda we usually mean baking soda. I always mean sodium bicarbonate used in baking when referring baking soda. Soda itself means a different substance.

Baking soda, (NaHCO3), or sodium bicarbonate is a completely chemical product. It is not a naturally occurring substance such as soda or sodium carbonate (Na2Co3). Baking soda is produced from sodium (Na), ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon dioxide required in the process is usually obtained from soda or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). This is what the two substances have to do with each other.

Baking soda is commonly used in baking and other food preparation. As an alkaline substance, it has traditionally neutralized too strong stomach acids. Also, baking soda is used for salicylate poisoning as a first aid. The soda blasting will gently refine delicate surfaces that are sensitive to scratching. Baking soda is a soft substance that does not damage, for example, glass or plastic surfaces.

Baking soda is mildly alkaline. You can find different claims on the net. Therefore, I measured the alkaline level of the Baking soda myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water and 2 teaspoons baking soda. As a result of the measurement, I received a PH value of about 8.5 which is a mild alkaline.

What is washing soda or sodium carbonate

We do not need a real washing soda at all in home cosmetics. I’m telling about sodium carbonate because it is good to know how to separate it from the baking soda and be careful. These two substances are mixed in people’s minds in general.

The actual soda (Na2Co3) is a very different substance than baking soda. Soda or sodium carbonate is a very alkaline substance that can NOT be used in cosmetics. NEVER PUT IT IN MOUTH OR, EAT IT OR SWALLOW IT. NEVER.  Soda is naturally occurring mineral salt but can also be produced industrially. It is suitable for cleaning of surfaces before painting. As such, the soda solution spoils the painted wall. It is so alkaline, almost as alkaline as lye. Soda is used mainly by glass manufacturing industry.

The washing soda was also main ingredient in soap before the lye was invented. Washing soda was prepared earlier for making soap using tree’s ashes.  In the nature, washing soda can be found in Africa as a natural mineral called “trona”. Also, in the USA Trona (Natural Soda) is mined more than it is produced industrially. Granulated washing soda is a product called pure soda or sodium carbonate.

The washing soda is also called crystal soda. It is available in hardware stores and decoration shops selling paint.  Also washing soda is pure soda. It looks confusingly like baking soda. It is white, like baking powder. To avoid mistakes, keep washing soda out of the kitchen. Right place for washing soda is in cleaning closet, in stock or in a garage out of the reach of children. It would be dangerous to use accidentally washing soda instead of baking soda as a food ingredient. Washing soda is so called calcined soda, which is sold in ecological shops selling products for cleaning and washing.

I measured the washing soda solution pH myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water with 2 teaspoons of washing soda. I made the test using pH strips. The measurement scale of strips is from 4 to 10. Liquid was more alkaline than 10. This type of solution is very corrosive and can cause an incredibly bad consequences if you do not understand the strength of the solution. In some publications, washing soda is called a product that is similar to baking soda. This is false. In any case, these products may not be considered the same substance. Always keep all your washing sodas out of reach of children.


For what the baking soda is not so good

Baking soda is a very commonly used chemical in home cosmetics. It is perceived as an easy alternative to many uses. Baking soda is used mostly in Deodorants and Hair care. For both purposes, baking soda is a bad option.

  • Baking soda as a deodorant is popular. However, it is not suitable for everyone. For most users, deodorants containing baking soda cause skin irritations and rashes. When armpits are sweating, the baking soda together with sweat forms very alkaline fluid. The skin does not like long-term exposure to the alkaline substances. Natural skin is acidic.


  • Baking soda is often used regretfully often for hair-washing. The idea is to avoid the chemicals of shampoo. Baking soda, however, is a very rough treatment for the hair. It removes sebum from your hair. Baking soda washing is often completed with vinegar rinsing. I have told the dangers of vinegar rinsing in my earlier post. Vinegar closes the hair scales but also removes grease and moisture. After a few such treatments, your hair is destroyed.


  • DIY toothpaste is often made from baking soda. Baking soda is suitable for tooth care if it is not used very much or too often. However, it is an abrasive material that can slowly damage the enamel of the tooth. Damaged tooth enamel will never come back. In no case, do not use baking soda as a powder substitute for toothpaste alone.
Bath Bombs made of baking soda

How you can you use baking soda in DIY cosmetics

Baking soda, however, has some very useful applications.

  • You can use baking soda for peeling your skin. If you have body acne you can prepare effective baking soda peeling mask that will soothe and treat your acne skin. Alkaline products often soothe acne. The peeling should be carried out very gently on a skin that is not damaged. How to do baking soda peeling scrub, please find the recipe from the Recipes page.


  • Prepare a funny and relaxing bath bombs. You can also make them as a gift. Once you learn the techniques of preparing your bath cubes, they are easy and quick to prepare. You can find the recipe in Recipes page.



  • Baking soda freshens the breath. You don’t have to brush your teeth and damage the enamel on the baking soda. It is enough to mix baking soda in water and to rinse your mouth with baking soda water. A simple and non-toxic mouthwash will refresh the odor of your mouth.


  • You can soothe your itchy skin by temporarily mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoon of basic body cream. Rub the paste on your itchy rash so you can get a sleep. Do not use this paste on damaged skin area. Next morning you should seek the correct treatment from experts. Baking soda cream is just a first aid that you do not scratch your skin during the night.


  • Baking soda cools the skin. If you have itchy skin after sunbath mix a bit of soda with after sun cream. This should relief the itching and the skin gets cooler.


I hope these facts and tips were useful to you. If any of the things are good for you, please comment below this post.

How do you use baking soda in your home cosmetics?

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