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Baking Soda — Great for Personal Care

By Larraine Roulston:
Baking soda offers a lengthy list of benefits for personal health.

  • As a deodorizer, it covers many areas. When placed inside a closet, it will freshen the air as well as clothing.
  • In the bathroom, add 1 cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl where it will clean and absorb odors — leave for over an hour before flushing.
  • A pet’s litter box will improve by covering the bottom of its cage with baking soda before adding the litter. Sprinkle it on top of  a cat/dog’s bedding, and vacuum 15 minutes later.
  • Deodorize sports equipment with a solution of warm water and baking soda.
  • To eliminate drain odors, pour some into sinks while running warm water.
  • To clean cutting boards, sprinkle with baking soda, scrub, rinse, pat dry and stand the board on its side to continue air drying.
  • Dusty stuffed toys can be taken outside, then placed in a large plastic bag along with some baking soda. Secure the bag’s top and shake. Brush off.

    From head to toe, baking soda takes care of your beauty needs.

    Shampoo: Since I learned about the “No Shampoo Method” two years ago, I’ve been hooked — no more shampooing twice a week. By frequently sudsing your hair, your scalp releases oil to compensate for what was lost during the soapy wash, thus causing an endless cycle of greasy looking hair every other day or so. Washing your hair with a tablespoon or two of baking soda (depending on the length of your hair) mixed in a of cup of warm water will not only clean your hair and scalp, but also  prevent it from ever looking greasy. Follow with a rinse of apple cider vinegar (same proportions). Your hair will have more body and last for weeks while only rinsing it in the shower. To remove oils from your hairbrushes and combs, place them in a jar of water with a little baking soda. Rinse and let dry.

    Mouth: Use as a mouthwash by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Toothbrushes, dentures and retainers can soak overnight in the same solution. Dab your toothbrush with a little baking soda to
    brush your teeth.

  • Deodorant: Pat on a little baking soda to replace a chemical stick, cream or gel.

    Hands: Rather than using soap, clean away dirt by mixing 1 part water to 3 parts baking soda. This paste will also soften hands and neutralize odors. To brush off dead skin, use the same portion, and with a circular motion, gently rub before rinsing.

    Diaper Rash: Just 2 tablespoons of baking soda in baby’s bath will help relieve the rash. Also, 1/2 cup baking soda in 2 quarts of water will serve to soak diapers thoroughly.

    Insect Bites: Apply a paste of water and baking soda to lessen the effects of the sting.

    Skin: Adding a cup of baking soda to your bath will help to soften your skin and ease any irritations.

    Heartburn: Acting as a safe antacid, baking soda will relieve indigestion. Check package for instructions.

    Tired Feet: After a long day, soothe feet in a solution of warm water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda.

    Simple, inexpensive baking soda has great versatility and should be stocked on retail store shelves along with cleaning agents, skin care supplies and stomach antacids.

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    Larraine writes children’s adventure books on composting and pollinating. Visit www.castlecompost.com

About Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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