Medical uses (Please consult your doctor prior to use)
Sodium bicarbonate is used in an
aqueous solution as an
taken orally to treat
acid indigestion and
It may also be used in an oral form to treat chronic forms of metabolic
acidosis such as
chronic renal failure and
renal tubular acidosis. Sodium bicarbonate may also be useful in
urinary alkalinization for the treatment of
aspirin overdose and
acid renal stones. It is used a the medicinal ingredient in
gripe water for infants.
An aqueous solution is sometimes administered
intravenously for cases of
acidosis, or when there are insufficient sodium or bicarbonate ions
in the blood.
In cases of respiratory acidosis, the infused bicarbonate ion drives the
carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer of plasma to the left and, thus, raises
the pH. It is for this reason that sodium bicarbonate is used in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Infusion of bicarbonate is indicated
only when the blood pH is marked (<7.1-7.0) low.
It is used as well for treatment of
hyperkalemia. Since sodium bicarbonate can cause
alkalosis, it is sometimes used to treat aspirin overdoses. Aspirin
requires an acidic environment for proper absorption, and the basic
environment diminishes aspirin absorption in the case of an overdose.
Sodium bicarbonate has also been used in the treatment of
tricyclic antidepressant overdose.
It can also be applied topically as a paste, with three parts baking
soda to one part water, to relieve insect bites.
Adverse reactions to the administration of sodium bicarbonate can
to sodium overload,
congestive heart failure,
hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic
hypertension due to increased sodium. In patients who consume a high
calcium or dairy-rich diet,
calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as
calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can
milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in
kidney stones, and
Sodium bicarbonate is also used as an ingredient in some mouthwashes.
It works as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizes the
production of acid in the mouth and also as an
antiseptic to help prevent infections occurring.
Sodium bicarbonate can be used to cover an allergic reaction of
poison ivy, oak, or sumac to relieve some of the itching that is
associated with it (an alternative to buying hydrocortisone cream).
Sodium bicarbonate can be used as an exfoliant. Its particles are
rounded and fine in texture, making it both effective and gentle on the
skin. Using baking soda as an exfoliating scrub will remove dead skin
cells, which can be discolored from hyperpigmentation and scarring.
A paste made from sodium bicarbonate and a 3%
hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to
toothpastes, and sodium bicarbonate in combination with other
ingredients can be used to make a dry or wet
Sodium bicarbonate is a common ingredient in alternative and natural
brands of toothpaste and deodorant. It may also be used as a shampoo.
Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate have been shown to be useful as a
supplement for endurance athletes,
but overdose is a serious risk.
As a cleaning
A paste from baking soda can be very effective when used in cleaning
For cleaning aluminium objects, the use of sodium bicarbonate is
discouraged as it attacks the thin unreactive protective oxide layer of
this otherwise very reactive metal. A solution in warm water will remove
when the silver is in contact with a piece of
Baking soda is commonly added to the rinse cycles of washing machines
(together with the detergent) as a replacement for softener and also to
remove odors. Sodium bicarbonate is also effective in removing heavy tea
and coffee stains from cups when diluted with warm water.
Sodium bicarbonate is sold as a
feed supplement, in particular as a
buffering agent for the
Sodium bicarbonate can be used to extinguish small grease or
electrical fires by being thrown over the fire.
However, it should not be applied to fires in
deep fryers as it may cause the grease to splatter.
Sodium bicarbonate is used in BC
fire extinguishers as an alternative to the more corrosive
ammonium phosphate in ABC extinguishers.
The alkali nature of sodium bicarbonate makes it the only dry
chemical agent, besides
Purple-K, that was used in large scale fire suppression systems
installed in commercial kitchens. Because it can act as an alkali, the
agent has a mild
saponification effect on hot grease, which forms a smothering soapy
Dry chemicals have since fallen out of favor for kitchen fires as
they have no cooling effect compared to the extremely effective wet
chemical agents specifically designed for such hazards.[citation
Sodium bicarbonate is used in a process for cleaning paint called
It can be administered to pools, spas, and garden ponds to
and it may be an effective
fungicide against some organisms.
Since it acts as a neutralizing agent it can be used to absorb odors
which are caused due to strong acids.
It is a tried-and-true method of used booksellers. The baking soda will
absorb the musty smell, leaving the books less odorous.