Reduce Your Beauty Budget With Baking Soda: Tips and Recipes

In this article: Ideas from our frugal readers for saving money by incorporating baking soda into your beauty routine.
Reduce Beauty Budget With Baking Soda photo

Baking soda has hundreds of uses other than baking, and you may regularly use it around the house to save money. But did you know baking soda can help you reduce your beauty budget, too?

Tips and Recipes for Reducing Your Beauty Budget With Baking Soda

We’ve received hundreds of baking soda tips over the years. Here are some of the ways other Dollar Stretchers use baking soda in their beauty routines to save money and help the environment.

Baking Soda as Deodorant

I have not bought deodorant in over 30 years, and I do not have a body odor. My substitute for deodorant is simple baking soda, which I dust under my arms after my shower. A small box of baking soda should last for many months. I keep mine in a pretty wide-mouthed jar on my bathroom windowsill.

I also like using baking soda because the product requires minimal packaging (just a simple cardboard box), so no hard plastics or metals go into landfills. Also, baking soda has no unpronounceable (and questionable) chemicals that could end up in your body.

A Homemade Deodorant Recipe With Baking Soda

Regular deodorant sometimes irritates my skin, so I made my own. If you sweat little or moderately, this should work for you.

I combine 1/4 part cornstarch with 3/4 parts baking soda in a baby powder shaker. While still moist from showering, I sprinkle it on my fingers and rub it in until it almost disappears.

I’ve used this for several years and find it works very well. The cornstarch helps to keep me dry, and the baking soda eliminates odor. You might need to vary the proportions depending on your particular body chemistry. Try adding a little scented powder to the mix for extra freshness, or apply a bit of your favorite body splash before rubbing in the deodorant mix.

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As a Dry Shampoo

I use baking soda as a dry shampoo when I don’t have time to wash and dry my hair. Just put a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in your hands and then rub through your hair. Brush well over the bathtub or sink.

Whiter Teeth With Baking Soda

I brush my teeth with baking soda. It is a slow whitening process, but your teeth should get whiter over time. When I started using it, I had moderate periodontal disease, and now my teeth are stronger, and there is very little tarter that needs to be cleaned. There is something in the baking soda that acts as a germ killer. The only drawback is the taste. You will get used to it, but for the price and the performance, you can’t beat it.

Simple Nail Prep

I actually got this idea from the ARM & HAMMER website:

I make a paste using baking soda and water. Then, I use the paste to rub my hands, nails and cuticles before polishing my nails. It softens my hands and seems to do a fantastic job preparing my nails for their manicure.

A Natural Skin Exfoliant

I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin. Exfoliating is essential to keep skin healthy, but my dermatologist said that washcloths and exfoliating cleansers, like apricot scrubs, can be too harsh (not to mention expensive) for my skin.

Her recommendations were as follows. A few times a week: when washing your face, sprinkle a little baking soda into your hand and mix it with your regular facial cleanser or soap. The baking soda will gently scrub off the dead skin.

I keep baking soda in a little glass sugar dispenser beside my sink. It can’t get much easier or cheaper than that!

For Washing Hair

I use baking soda and vinegar to wash and rinse my hair. I have done this for five years, and my hair has never felt so clean and grown so long! Plus, it stays clean much longer, so I don’t have to wash it daily, which is a real time-saver!

I make a thick paste of baking soda and water. I wet my hair and massage the baking soda paste into my scalp. Then I rinse with warm (not hot) water. Hot water seems to remove the natural oils from my hair. Finally, I rinse the ends with vinegar diluted 50/50 with water and then rinse again with warm water and condition as usual.

This saves time, water, and shampoo (some are pretty expensive!) and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals found in most commercial shampoos.

Editor’s note: Over the years, we’ve had many readers recommend using baking soda in place of shampoo as a way to save on hair care and you can find many online resources that recommend it. However, some also advise against it. Before using it on your hair, you may want to read what experts suggest:

Dry Hair Protection

I have hair that tends to be very dry. My hair stylist recommended mixing my shampoo with baking soda regularly to help restore the cuticle to its natural condition. Gel, mousse, etc., clog up the individual strands of hair, and the baking soda removes them without damaging the hair further. All I do is put the usual amount of shampoo in my hair and then pour a bit of baking soda onto the dollop, mix them, and shampoo as normal. I then follow with my regular conditioning.

It really does seem to help keep my hair healthy. I was afraid the baking soda would be more drying, but it’s not!
Dana W.

A Baking Soda Foot Bath

Once a week, I like to soak my feet in a baking soda solution – about two tablespoons of baking soda to about a liter of warm water. It softens the skin, making removing any tough, dead skin easier using my pumice stone. It is also very relaxing and an inexpensive way to pamper myself!

Caring for Combs and Brushes

Put a spoonful of baking soda in a large jar with lukewarm water. Swish your brush and comb in it to dissolve the stuff that sticks to your comb. Then, leave the brush or comb to soak. Impurities will float off like magic! Finally, rinse and dry.

Do You Reduce Your Beauty Budget With Baking Soda?

If you have a tip you’d like to add to this list, please send it to andrea @

Reviewed February 2024

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