Ode to Soda

Incomplete. Please don’t publish 🙂


I was standing in the bathroom – wet, shivering, and shaking my deodorant in the vain hope of squeezing out a few final droplets – when my eyes lit upon some baking soda languishing by the sink.

‘Aha!’ There I was: no deodorant; no Hopsack nearby; Emergency! Would it work? I applied a small handful to clean damp skin … and hey presto! I discovered the best natural deodorant I have ever used.

Now, I did know – in theory – that baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda, to give it its formal title) has an excellent rep as a deodoriser. I use it often in the kitchen. But I had questioned its personal care credentials, for I had used products made with it that were frankly useless.

I just hadn’t tried The Real Thing.

The Real Thing is wonderful: Snip-proof, odourless, and capable of removing long-standing smells from clothing reluctant to yield ancient pong to the power of the washing machine.

And it is very easy to use. After bathing, shake a teaspoon or so of bicarb into your hand, mix with a few drops of water, and apply. When it has dried, tap your skin a few times to remove any excess before putting on your clothes. If you don’t, or if you use too much soda, it will pay homage to the ’80s by leaving white rings on your tops. They wash out but constitute a fashion disaster in the meantime.

A word of caution. People with sensitive skin can feel burning if they use straight baking soda on their skin, especially in the delicate underarm area. This has not happened to me (in spite of having fairly sensitive skin) but it is worth doing a patch test on a small area first. Several Internet sites I have visited suggest mixing it with cornstarch to render it kinder to sensitive skin.


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