Category Archives: baking soda

a beautiful head of baking soda

In the Beginning, there was Baking Soda..

Well, it has now been even longer (7months?) with the no-shampoo washing, and I am still a happy camper!  It does get knotty pretty fast, but with long curly hair that is a never-ending hassle and tussle with me anyway. 

One of my favorite side effects is that my brush has never been cleaner!  You know that wierd waxy, dirt buildup that tends to get in the bottom of combs and brushes if you use them alot? (really hard to clean, and kinda gross)  Gone, gone, gone!  (girls you know what i mean right??)  It took a few months but now my natural wood bristle brush stays nice and woody no matter how much i use it..

I think I have more split ends then before, so I might try putting a little oil on the ends once in a while, or brushing more often to distribute the natural oils.  But it remains nice and curly, bouncy after wetting, and very product free.  I still have some natural spray in conditioner, left-over from the old days, that i use for special occassions, less than once a month.  To be honest, I barely wash it at all anymore, even with baking soda…1-2 times a month —pure laziness!  I love it!

Now who’s the soda-dope?

Upon returning from a trip i came across some strange new form of purified water in my fridge left by the house sitter…as i searched for the ingredients, guess what popped out?? That's right… SODIUM BICARBONATE
(otherwise known as baking soda)
Now, this water was touting itself as being designed for professional athletes so i gots to wonderin'…why would Baking Soda be good in my water?  I knew about the antacid effect for treating heartburn etc. -but that is a rather extreme treatment that shouldn't be used all the time -never mind in my daily drinking water (especially when -as a serious athlete of course- i try very hard to consume 2 liters of  water per day).  So after much searching i found some explanations that both made sense and were not in the form of a chemical formula. 

It actually does stem from its 'ant-acid' or 'buffering' attitude towards life.  What do muscles make when pushed hard to work?  Lactic Acid!  and that's what causes the soreness and apparently fatigue.  So basically, baking soda raises the pH of the blood and buffers the effects of this acid in the body, albeit in very small amounts and it is only really helpful it you are really working hard, not just a stroll around the block! 

This was taken from an article that i thought was funny, yet still informative, as they were worrying about baking soda doping for the Beijing Olympics:

"For optimum effects it should be taken with water, ideally before exercise, on an empty stomach. Most people take about 20g, although it can cause problems."
This idea also went further in explaining why baking soda is good for the teeth, and not just because of its soft abrasion quality, but also in the neutralization of the acid causing bacteria that contribute to tooth decay.

Ok, now the pH factor has been introduced and i am jumping down the rabbit hole…this is one of my favorite mysterious subjects!  One that can be so simple in the imagining and so complex to try to explain.  hwaa hwaa hwaa (villainous laugh)..

tip: don’t take baking soda across the border..

Ok, yes!  This is my advice for the day.  Baking soda is cheap everywhere, so just buy some wherever you are going.   (Apparently border guards think it is suspicious to carry baking soda in its original box, various vitamins all jumbled together and mysterious green powders in unmarked containers… Vive la Health Revolucion!)

Tips you can find on a box of Albertsons Baking Soda:  (and no, brand matters not)

  • Household Cleaner:  scouring without scratching (actually i use nothing else for cleaning the tub and sinks, cheap, safe and awesome!)
  • Refrigerator Freshener:  (we all know this one from Arm and Hammer commercials, no?)
  • Baking Specialties:  see favorite cookbooks
  • For Brushing Teeth: to whiten and freshen (and i've discovered that it can be very useful in the 'oops there is no toothbrush OR toothpaste scenario'… aka fingerbrush)
  • Prevent Litter Box Odors:  Spread whole box over bottom of litter box and cover with cat litter to extend the life of it. (go through a lot of baking soda though, i imagine!)
  • As an antacid:  occasional usage! and well dissolved in a liquid.

(actually i also learned in a herb course that baking soda mixed with water can be used under circumstances where the throat is closing up due to allergic reaction… now i can't find published proof of this, so use at yer own risk… but if i am stuck in a cabin with only baking soda, you can be sure i will try it!)

Maybe it's time to look at how baking soda works chemically huh?

Tune in next week for my continuing obsession with baking soda!

my current hair update

The Rest of the Story:

(for the beginning of the story)

Well, i am now on month 5 and things are maintaining great!  I have tested my head in Vancouver weather (damp and cool), Toronto weather (cold, and dry with central heating), and touring through the midwestern states (sunny, cold and DRY), staying in hotels and swimming in chlorine.  My tendency towards dry flaky scalp remains relatively the same, reflecting more my neglect to take my winter Omega oils and stay hydrated..  I can't remember how staticky my hair was last year, so i will comment that it is slightly electric when subjected to toques, and i might try rubbing some light oil through my hair after showering next time.

In well water (hard water) it performed great, bar soap leaving more of a residue on my body than the baking soda and vinegar did on my hair. i should admit that i don't wash my hair all that often either…Maybe once a week, if that, rinsing in between for a pick-me-up! 

So far i have not got any hygiene comments from family, friends or the general public. My hair remains curly and full enough and brushing it is as much of a pain in the ass as it always was…

create sludge that turns into clay!

gotta love the word sludge…


Baking Soda Clay:

there are many ratio's out there…i picked the simplest!

    2 cups cornstarch
    2 cups baking soda
    1 1/4 cup cold water

Mix powders in pot
add water while stirring
heat, stirring constantly until mashed potatoey
dump onto plate, cover with damp cloth, let cool.
squish and knead dough (kids join in now) and play!

let dry and paint if desired:)

I will get back to you when i have tried the stuff for myself…

Baking soda and the hair

So Bridget has been washing her hair with baking soda for a while now, and her hair is Still dark and beautiful and shiny.  I figure i should really give it a go!  She found a soap free community online which is quite fascinating…  They call it no 'poo , and there are discussions about it here as well. 

(I remember my boyfriend in grade 10, his parents were talking about washing with only water and drinking martinis, not necessarily in that order)…at the time i thought they were crazy, now i will become one of the crazies myself! 

My hair is thick, curly, and on the reddish side of brown/blonde.  I tend to have dry scalp which gets out of control if i'm not careful, and if I don't brush my hair Every day it turns into matts which i just wanna cut off.  I figure if this works for me that is a very good sign…

I already use Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse so i guess I am halfway there:  I find it helps with itchy/flaky scalp, softens the hair, and gets the scalp to the acidic pH our skin is supposed to be at (soap alkalinizes and brings it out of balance). 

Well i keep talking about it so i won't have to actually do it…sigh:


Day 1:  Assemble Supplies  (no, that is Not another way to procrastinate!)

baking soda


apple cider vinegar (i use raw organic)

plastic squeezy bottle


Day 2:  Create Sludge


1Tablespoon of baking soda, a dash of cinnamon (optional)  and 1cup of water


1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1cup of water


NOTE:  mix cinnamon and baking soda together BEFORE you add water or the cinnamon will clump

ok, i didn't find a squeezy bottle, so i used a glass and just stirred it up while in the shower and then dumped it on my hair slowly….
doesn't really feel like much, cloudy water that you are massaging into your scalp.

Rinse with water.

Feels kinda squeaky and like straw, so i move on to the Apple cider vinegar stage using the same cup  (I am a laaazy showeree)

leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing off and

voila!!  Feels like straw that is less squeaky…

i dry my hair and wonder if i actually got all the baking soda out

hair half dry, actually feels pretty good.