Making ingredients last: 10 uses for baking powder

With an increasing awareness of the impact that disposable plastics, one-use packaging and unnecessary chemicals we use have on our planet, there’s never been a better time to go back to basics.

Simplicity is key: embracing all-natural ingredients means we can regain control of what we’re putting into and onto our bodies, as well as making sure we’re getting maximum usage out of each ingredient we invest in and reducing waste at every step possible.

We’ve picked out 10 of our favourite surprising tips for using baking soda – why not try one today?

1) Salve for cuts and grazes

Apply a paste of baking soda and water to help cuts and grazes heal more quickly. To make the paste, put 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a small bowl and stir in about 1 teaspoon of water. Apply a thin layer of paste to the skin, leave it to dry, and wait 30 minutes before rinsing off with water.

2) Athlete’s foot treatment

You can soothe athlete’s foot by sprinkling baking soda between the toes each day. Just make sure the foot is clean and dry – and always visit your doctor if home remedies aren’t working.

3) Foot care

Long day at the office? Soothe aching feet by adding 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a washing-up bowl of warm water. Set it on the floor, sit in your comfiest chair, soak your feet and settle in for 10-15 minutes. For a boost of relaxation, add several drops of essential oil for fragrance and aromatherapeutic calm.

4) Adjusting fake tan

Cosmetic mishap? Not to fear – you can mix a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in with a good squeeze of lemon juice, gently applying in a circular motion to any areas of uneven or patchy fake tan. This is an abrasive mixture that works as an exfoliant, so make sure your mixture isn’t too gritty to be kind to your delicate skin. Very gently rub the paste off with a cloth before showering and apply a thick, hydrating moisturiser afterwards for buffed, baby-soft skin.

5) Cleaning cosmetics brushes

Product can build up on hair and makeup brushes, leaving unwanted residue. To combat this, fill a bowl with warm water and add 2-3 tablespoons of baking powder. Soak the brushes for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and laying out on a clean towel to air-dry.

6) Removing bath rings

To clean a ring of grime on a bath tub, make a simple cleaning paste by mixing 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water, and stir until a paste is formed. Add a few drops of lemon, tea-tree or lavender essential oil if desired for a pleasant fragrance.

7) Tackling dishwasher odours

Help prevent unwanted odours by filling the dishwasher powder/ tablet dispenser with baking soda and following up with a rinse cycle.

8) Keeping whites white

Help to whiten your white clothes by adding 100g of baking soda to the washing powder dispenser of your washing machine.

9) Removing grease stains

Get rid of grease on clothing by applying a paste of baking soda and water (see above), leaving for 30 minutes, then adding 100g of baking soda to the washing machine along with liquid detergent. Run your cycle as usual and marvel at the results!

About the author

Dr. Penny Stanway practised for several years as a GP and child-health doctor before becoming increasingly fascinated by researching and writing about healthy diets and other natural approaches to health and wellbeing. Penny has written more than 20 books on health, food and the connections between the two.

The Natural Apothecary series shares the endless benefits of using natural products in your everyday life. Each title contains over 40 recipes, D.I.Y. beauty routine suggestions and top household tips to help you use these accessible, all-natural products with ease.

Dr. Penny Stanway
The Natural Apothecary: Baking Soda (RRP £8.99)
Available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble and other good bookstores.