Quick: what's the one item your family's first aid kit is missing?
Believe it or not, it's probably baking soda. This kitchen staple has dozens of surprising uses, but some of the most creative ones are health-related.
We bet you've never even thought of more than two of these ideas:
1. Treating sunburns
Baking soda soothes irritated skin, which makes it perfect for giving you relief from nasty sunburns.
Pour yourself a room temperature bath (a hot one will irritate your skin) and pour in some baking soda. Now enjoy a nice soak and your skin will thank you.
For spot treatments, you can dab baking soda on a wet cotton ball and rub it on your skin.
2. Cleansing your face
A wash with baking soda will restore your face's natural pH balance. It also clears up clogged pores and removed acne-causing bacteria.
You can make a paste with 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water, then rub it gently on your skin. Remember to moisturize after, because the soda will dry your skin out.
3. Disinfecting cuts and scrapes
Make a paste using the same recipe as the facial cleanser and rub it on small cuts for instant relief.
Not only will the baking soda soothe your pain, it's also a disinfectant.
4. Drawing out splinters
What's worse than a the nagging pain of a splinter? Nothing, honestly.
The next time you get one, dab some baking soda paste on the wound before putting a band-aid over it. The next day, the skin will be slightly swollen, and the splinter should be easy to pull out.
Plus, the entry wound is safely disinfected, and shouldn't be very painful. Ta dah!
5. Treating indigestion
If you regularly get acid reflux, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Baking soda can give you quick relief.
Most antacids use sodium bicarbonate to calm your stomach acids. Bicarbonate is also a main ingredient in baking soda.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of soda in a glass of water and drink it for fast heart burn relief.
Just remember that drinking too much baking soda can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women and children. This is just a sometimes remedy.
6. Soothing insect bites
Here's why baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip: it makes quick work of mosquito bites, bee stings, and other insect bites.
Mix a paste with soda and water and rub it on the affected area.
It will also treat other kinds of rashes or irritated skin, including poison ivy reactions. But it won't treat serious allergic reactions.
7. Making homemade mouthwash
Mouthwash doesn't just keep your mouth clean, it also kills unhealthy and dangerous bacteria. But some people prefer less intense mouthwash, with natural ingredients.
Mix 1 part sea salt and 6 parts baking soda for a safe and effective "tooth paste" that will clean your teeth. You can also swish a mix of water and baking soda to freshen your breath.
8. Soothing razor burn
We all dread shaving, whether it's your face or... more sensitive areas, the fact is it's just not comfortable.
Mixing 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda will make a cream that soothes and protects your skin.
It can be applied before or after shaving, but not both - you'll dry your skin out that way.
9. Keeping your feet smelling fresh
Sooner or later, we all have to deal with nasty foot odors. Whether it's caused by a pair of worn-out runners, or just sweaty feet, baking soda can help.
Sprinkle some in your shoes or soak your feet in a bath with added soda and you won't have to worry about embarrassing smells.
Which one of these are you planning to try? Did you already know any?