As 20-something-year-olds, we are encouraged to live a thrifty lifestyle. It’s the only time in our lives we can successively save and spend our money wisely, for we do not have the worries of providing for a large family or our mortgage rates increasing… yet. Most of us have the luxury of spending our extra time discovering new ways of what I like to call: Beating The System. Readers of sites, like our favorite Love Twenty, are given advice and tricks on how to fully experience their young adult years while wearing killer sample sale heels, discounted designer purses, and rock a reasonably-priced haircut, all with money still in the bank.

Finding new and efficient ways to improve your beauty and health is part of the Beating The System young adult challenge. Beauty products can be pricey, and we all fall victim to Ulta splurges, such as when you shop for “On Sale” or “Two for One” deals twice a month but realize at the register you also picked up three other things you thought you needed and have suddenly spent twice as much money as planned. You ALL know what I’m talking about.

I am a huge fan of DIY beauty regimes because they are affordable, always available at your local grocery store, and they always work if not equally as well as the store products, but even better!

Now, you must meet your new friend: Baking Soda!

I never realized before I started paying for my own groceries that this little miracle product could replace so many things in my cleaning cabinets and on my makeup table. Here are few ideas you can put to test. Let us know if they work for you!

1. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

2. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

3. Use it as a face and body scrub (this is perfect for a DIY microdermabrasion!).

4. Add a cup to bath water to soften your skin.

5. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

6. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

7. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

8. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

9. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

10. Apply it on a jellyfish sting to draw out the venom (a must for swimmering in the Gulf of Mexico!).

In the Home

1. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

2. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors (my grandmother did this her whole life).

3. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

4. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

5. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

6. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

7. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

8. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

9. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

10. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

11. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

12. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

13. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

14. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

15. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

1. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

3. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

4. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

5. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

6. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

7. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

8. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

9. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

1. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

2. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs.

3. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

4. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

5. Remove grease from pots and pans.

6. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

7. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

8. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

9. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.. Clean your shoes with it.

10. Clean garbage cans with it.

11. Clean the fridge with it.

12. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

13. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

14. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

15. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

16. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

17. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

18. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

19. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

20. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

21. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

22. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

23. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

24. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

25. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

26. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

27. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

28. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

29. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

30. Use it to unclog gas stoves.


Which of these uses of baking soda have worked for you?