Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is widely used in baking.
This is because it has leavening properties, meaning it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.
Aside from cooking, baking soda has a variety of additional household uses and health benefits.
Here are 23 benefits and uses of baking soda.
Heartburn is also known as acid reflux. It is a painful, burning sensation that rises in the upper region of your stomach and can spread up into your throat.
It is caused by acid refluxing out of the stomach and up your esophagus, the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth.
A few common causes of reflux are overeating, stress and eating greasy or spicy foods.
Baking soda can help by neutralizing stomach acid. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly.
Mouthwash is a great addition to a good oral hygiene routine. It reaches corners of your mouth and crevices of your teeth, gums and tongue that may be missed during brushing.
Many use baking soda as a replacement for mouthwash. It can help freshen your breath and provides antibacterial and antimicrobial properties .
The recipe for baking soda mouthwash is simple. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of warm water, and then swish as usual.
Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that can form inside your mouth. Unlike cold sores, canker sores do not form on the lips and aren’t contagious.
Research has found that baking soda mouthwash is great for soothing pain caused by canker sores .
You can make baking soda mouthwash using the recipe in the previous chapter. Rinse your mouth with this mixture once a day until the canker sore heals.
Many studies have found that toothpaste containing baking soda is better for whitening teeth and removing plaque than toothpaste without baking soda .
This is likely because baking soda has mild abrasive properties that let it break the bonds of molecules that stain the teeth. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help fight harmful bacteria .
Surprisingly, human sweat is odorless.
Sweat only gains an odor after it is broken down by bacteria in your armpits. These bacteria convert your sweat into acidic waste products that give sweat its odor .
Baking soda can eliminate the smell of sweat by making the odors less acidic. Try patting baking soda onto your armpits and you may notice the difference (15).
Some studies show that baking soda can help you perform at your peak for longer, especially during anaerobic exercises like high-intensity training and sprinting.
During high-intensity exercise, your muscle cells start producing lactic acid, which is responsible for the burning feeling you get during exercise. Lactic acid also lowers the pH inside your cells, which may cause your muscles to tire.
Baking soda has a high pH, which may help delay fatigue, allowing you to exercise at your peak for longer .
For example, one study found that people who took baking soda exercised for an average of 4.5 minutes longer than people who didn’t take baking soda .
A baking soda bath is often recommended to soothe itchy skin. These baths are especially effective at soothing itches from bug bites and bee stings .
Additionally, baking soda may help soothe itching from sunburns. It seems more effective when combined with other ingredients like cornstarch and oatmeal.
To make a baking soda bath, add 1–2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath. Make sure the affected area is soaked thoroughly.
For more specific areas, you can create a paste with baking soda and a bit of water. Apply a thick layer of paste to the affected area (27).
Calluses are hard, rough patches of skin that are caused by longtime friction or pressure. Activities that typically cause calluses are frequent walking, gardening or sports.
While calluses aren’t necessarily serious, they can cause pain and discomfort when applying pressure.
People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) slowly lose function of their kidneys.
The kidneys are incredibly important because they help remove excess waste and water from the blood. At the same time, they help balance important minerals like potassium, sodium and calcium .
Research shows that baking soda may help slow the progression of CKD .
In a study including 134 adults with CKD, it was found that those taking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) supplements were 36% less likely to rapidly develop kidney failure than people who did not take the supplements