baking soda does all the stuff it does because

Science, Style & Self

Why is Baking Soda Good for You?

24 Mar , 2014  

baking soda does all the stuff it does because

I ran into an issue. I drink about 4 cups of coffee a day, drink a lot of diet coke, and will occasionally indulge in the celebratory cigar. As a result, after 20-odd years of life, my teeth have begun to lose their pearly luster (EGADS!). I’m not to the maggot-yellow meth addict level yet, but still, they’ve been noticeably dimmed. Because I’m cheap and hate dentists, I began scouring the internet for at-home whitening ways to whiten your teeth. Because I think that oil-pulling fad is bullshit (spoiler alert: swishing oil around your mouth has the exact same impact as swishing water around it) and drinking bleach didn’t seem like it was worth the risk, I decided to try some good ole’ fashioned baking soda. But this article isn’t about using baking soda to make your teeth white because that’s some Better Homes bullshit, and I am not a Better Homes bullshit kinda guy. I mean, it kinda is, but not really. When I was researching it, I found out that baking soda does about a billion other things for yo’ bod- still, this isn’t going to be some piece of junk list article that mindlessly regurgitates “facts”, what I want to do is *explain* why baking soda does the stuff it does. To me, that is a million times more interesting than a list of surfaces that baking soda can remove stains from.

As an antacid

If an antacid is meant to be reactionary, as to say it offsets the current Ph of your stomach so the juice inside you doesn’t corrode through your intestinal walls, it contains one or a combination of four main ingredients: aluminium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Baking soda works as an antacid because it reacts with the acids in your stomachs, rendering them less potent but also creating Carbon Dioxide as an side-effect, cue to some shit kid feeding seagulls alka-seltzer (glorified baking soda) and watching their innards blow up.

As a deodorant

You know why you stink? Because the decaying/manifested bacteria are taking your hard-earned sweat and breaking it down into acid! What’s even more interesting is that there are two main types of acid created by pit bugs, according to Medical News Today (sounds legit), they are

  • Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is commonly found in sweat – propionibacteria break amino acids down into propionic acid. Propionibacteria live in the ducts of the sebaceous glands of adult and adolescent humans. Some people may identify a vinegar-like smell with propionic acid, because it is similar to acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell.
  • Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is another source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also present in several strong cheese types.

So if a girl smells like cheese, you should probably stay away because that hunny is reeking with staph bacteria. Anyways, baking soda does what it does, and eradicates the acid, per usual. On another note, when used as a scrub, its grainy texture will also clear out whatever weird nooks and crannies exist in your body.

As a toothpaste

I don’t know why websites contain this as a “secret use for baking soda” because there are tons of toothpastes that explicitly market themselves as containing baking soda and people have been using baking soda as a mouth cleanser for like 1000 years but, none the less, why it works is moderately interesting. Following the theme, baking soda takes all the acid that filthy bacteria love and turn it into neutral liquid and air. The bacteria is like “aw shit man, we really like acid” but baking soda is like TOO BAD and then the baking soda kills the bacteria and oxidizes (scrapes the hell out of) your teeth. Baking soda might have a slightly detrimental impact on your teeth’s enamel (but not worse than toothpaste), so make sure you’re teeth are getting a basic fluoride treatment if you’re into that stuff. If not, let your teeth slowly grind away, see if I care. Don’t give me the same rant about how we are over-flouriding the children of America, I literally do not care and there are plenty of fringe lunatics who will entertain your ideas (I mean, this is the internet after all)

Really, every other health use of baking soda comes down to something shown in these three instances. If it hurts your body, it’s probably because you’re creating too much acid. Why does gargling baking soda help? Because it neutralizes the acid in your throat and kills bacteria. Why does rubbing baking soda paste on your skin clear up acne? Because acne is the result of billions of little imps living in your pores, shitting everywhere, writing in their own acidic gunk and if you’ve only learned one thing today, it’s that baking soda makes you a basic bitch, which isn’t even that bad, assuming you’re not a fan of cavities and zits and smelling like garbage.

If you want to know why something else works, email me and I’ll try to figure it out.

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Walter Blake Knoblock By  -    
Walter Blake Knoblock is a lot of things. Follow him on twitter @WBKnoblock and on