Dirty Tricks and My Love of Baking Soda

Sometimes I think it would just take one little nudge to push me over the edge into full-on hippy.

I am not saying this is a bad thing, just something a little unexpected considering I came from a household where comet, windex, and pledge were used in abundance; essential oils were Wessen or Crisco; and admittedly there were times I ironed my t-shirts in high school.

These days, my family makes our own laundry soap, eat organic through a CSA share, and have not purchased cleaning chemicals in more than 7 years. I have a box with no fewer than 7 bottles of essential oils and don’t iron unless I am sewing something.

All of these might just be trendy if it weren’t for the following clenchers: I teach yoga, had my last baby with a midwife, am a Quaker minister, and my name is Charity. The cherry on top is my love affair with Baking Soda.

I know I don’t have to capitalize it, but it is such a dear friend that it feels like a proper noun…

baking soda41

Baking Soda how do I use thee, let me count the ways:
1. Tooth Brushing- I tried making my own toothpaste with all kinds of different concoctions until one day I took the lowest common denominator and simplified to dipping my toothbrush into a little container of baking soda. I have never had a cavity and my dentist said as long as I use some flouride somewhere I should be fine. Since I take a travel tube of toothpaste with me on trips, I consider this done.

2. Cleaning the Bathroom- Sprinkle it here, sprinkle it there, you seriously can use it anywhere. It is a micro-abrasive and so won’t scratch surfaces but removes soap scum like a boss.

3. Scrubbing Pans- Ok, this is really where it all began. I have Pampered Chef cookware from many moons ago that is non-stick but builds up a little ickiness in the bottom. So, from time to time I would dump about a tablespoon of baking soda in and scrub the ick off. Works brilliantly and won’t scratch the non-stick surface.

4. In the Laundry- Say goodbye to the smellies, and hello to a little brightening.

5. To Wash My Hair- This was a gigantic step for me. I have curly hair. For all of you non-curlies, you don’t even know what a risk changing hair-care rituals can be. I didn’t know if I would look like a sheep or an oily mess of fusilli pasta. Turns out, neither. I heard horror stories of it taking up to a month for people’s scalps/oil production to adjust. I was totally fine after two washes. Now I wash my hair twice a week, no one who didn’t know that I switched even noticed a difference. My scalp is way happier and my curls bouncier.

6. Washing My Face- This was totally an accident. I have, at 34, continuously struggled with irritated, oily, break-out prone skin. One day I had left my face wash in the other shower and so used my Baking Soda to wash my face. It was very scrubby and removed all my make-up, but still left my skin happy without drying it out. Haven’t looked back. And last week while travelling saw in Real Simple Magazine a tip for using baking soda and water as a gentle scrub. Justified!

Anyway, I now buy Baking Soda by the 13.5 lb bag. It is a natural mineral, has an ok track record for mining practices, doesn’t involve carcinogens and works for so many things. And if you combine it with Vinegar…but that is for another post.

What’s not to love?

How Refreshing!


2 thoughts on “Dirty Tricks and My Love of Baking Soda

  1. Ok now i am going to call you! I have been trying to change things as well but, Wash your hair!? How do you do that with Baking soda?

    • Hey, Toni. It is about 1/2 to 1 TBSP of Baking Soda to about 10 ounces of water (I use a water bottle). Shake it up. Pour it on your scalp, top/sides/crown/back. Massage your scalp. Run your fingers through your hair a couple of times, and rinse. Voila! I follow it with an apple cider vinegar rinse which smooths the cuticle and keeps the frizz away. (2 tsp vinegar to 1 cup water, mix and apply to scalp and hair). I also use a botanical conditioner to keep my curls from getting dry.

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