Featured,  Health Is Beauty

Give Your Shampoo a Lift with Baking Soda


Using baking soda to boost shampoo.
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels.

Baking soda is most often used for deodorizing refrigerators and, of course, baking. This multi-tasker also has medicinal uses, can scrub your tub and – surprise! – can be used to inexpensively add efficacy to your beauty routine.

Baking Soda as Shampoo?

While some people swear by ditching the shampoo all together and using sodium bicarb instead, (check out how well it worked for Gina Florio at Hello Giggles) my trial of that last year didn’t go so well.

I so wanted it to work, so I could really simplify my routine and pare down the number of products I use. Unfortunately, my scalp’s just plain too oily for that. But it’s worth trying, as it has been a cheap, nontoxic, and easy way to get rid of one of those plastic bottles cluttering up your shower.

Baking soda boxes showing different brands of bicarbonate of soda.
Image courtesy Flickr user Willis Lam.

Baking Soda to Pump Up Shampoo

My favorite use for baking soda is to give my shampoo a little extra oomph on those days when my hair’s gotten so dirty, it needs some super-strong cleansing. Instead of reaching for a clarifying shampoo – which is more than likely loaded with toxins – just pour about a teaspoon of baking soda into your hand, add your usual amount of shampoo and lather up.

According to Aida, Founder at LippieHippie.com, you’ll find that the lather is extra rich, and helps your shampoo go a little further. Work it into your scalp with your fingers for a soothing massage and extra oil-fighting power.

Dandruff an issue? Gina from Hello Giggles shares her hack:

Lemon is known to get rid of dandruff, so if you’re one who regularly finds those white flakes on your t-shirts, it might be time to give your scalp some extra TLC. Either squeeze out the juice of a lemon on your own, or buy a jar of fresh lemon juice from the grocery store. Add several drops to your baking soda mixture, and wash normally.

Other Ways Baking Soda Can Help Your Beauty Routine

You can also mix baking soda with your face wash for an exfoliating scrub that will eliminate oil and leave your skin feeling extra clean. Simple, natural, and oh-so-cheap.

Just remember to always exfoliate gently! Scrubbing your face hard may seem like a way to get extra-clean, but it just causes micro-abrasions on your skin, which can actually lead to breakouts.

Baking soda also makes an effective deodorant when mixed in recipe like this one or this one. For some people, sodium bicarbonate irritates their underarm skin, but many people don’t have a problem with it (our editor-in-chief swears by it as a deodorant).

If you don’t want to DIY your deodorant, you might want to read up about 6 Natural Deodorants that we have Eco-Chick tested here.

This post has been updated since it was first posted in June, 2008. 

Stephanie Rogers is a fashion- and beauty-obsessed freelance writer with an abiding love for kale and organic wine, living in Asheville, North Carolina.