Homemade, and Personal: Baking Soda Shampoo

Today I want to do something a little different and talk about a personal care product. But don’t worry – it’s not going to get TOO personal, so you don’t have to ask the kids to leave the room! Regular readers will know that my wife and I are into all things homemade, and the area of personal care products is no exception. We’ve been making soaps, lotions and other potions for quite some time.

So let me start this off by making a confession: I haven’t used shampoo in a couple of years now. And please don’t think I’m running around with greasy, grimy, nasty hair either. I haven’t stopped washing my hair  – in fact I wash it daily this time of year when the weather is hot and I’m outside working nearly every day. I just don’t use shampoo any more. Instead, I use a homemade mix of baking soda and water. It’s easy to make and use, you just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water, and keep it in a little spray bottle.

making baking soda shampoo

To wash my hair I wet it first, shake up the spray bottle, then spray on a liberal amount of the baking soda liquid. I work it around in my hair, and then rinse it out. That’s my normal regimen.  I have read where others have gone through an adjustment period where their hair felt greasy for a period of time after giving up shampoo, but mine didn’t. It doesn’t lather up like commercial shampoos, but that’s o.k. It’s still cleaning your hair. Those bubbles are mainly just for show anyway.

Why did I decide to do this? I did it mainly because some of the chemicals that are in commercial shampoos are harsh and irritating, and in larger doses they are hazardous to human health. We’ve been led to believe by marketers that we need their shampoos to make our hair shiny, or thick, or sexy, or whatever. What a load of hooey! And of course I am always into being frugal. For the cost of a spray bottle, and a box of baking soda, I have enough hair cleaner to last for a couple of years. When I’m traveling, I just take a little container or ziploc bag with baking soda in it, and mix with water as needed. And presto – I have shampoo!

And guess what, I have found that my hair is doing just great with this baking soda ‘shampoo’. To be sure,  I don’t have any more of it, but then I don’t have any less of it either. What I have also noticed is that my long time problem of dry, flaky scalp in winter has disappeared. And I have one less expense, and several less chemicals going on my skin. So what’s not to like about that?

This homemade shampoo may not be suitable for some dyed hair, since it can cause lightening or fading of the color. That’s not a problem for me, but it might be an issue for some, so be forewarned. Other folks report it has no effect on their colored hair.

So, has anyone else out there given up commercial shampoos? I’d love to hear what you use, and what you think about it.


Homemade Baking Soda Shampoo Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

1 tbsp baking soda
1 cup water

Combine baking soda and water, stir until soda is dissolved. Pour into spray bottle.

Apply to wet hair, massage scalp and hair, then rinse thoroughly.

Next up in the homemade personal care parade will be toothpaste. I’ll be back in a few days with a couple of recipes I’ve been using.

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6 Responses to Homemade, and Personal: Baking Soda Shampoo

  1. Daphne says:

    My son uses baking soda. I’ve never tried it though.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    This is the first I am learning about using baking soda as a shampoo. Thanks for the info.

  3. Jenny says:

    Haven’t tried baking soda on hair but I love it in laundry and cleaning surfaces together with vinegar. I do have a shortcut for hair on a fly especially when I travel – baby powder. sprinkle it, rub to absorb oil for two minutes and brush it all out leaving hair clean.

  4. I’ve been considering trying something similar, as my skin has been changing as I get older, and I’ve found myself reacting to some shampoos that didn’t used to bother me. Thanks for sharing experience with it.

  5. Charlie b. says:

    I haven’t tried making my own shampoo yet, but I have started using coconut oil as a base for homemade toothpaste and deodorant. This sounds interesting… I was wondering if your wife uses it too?

    • Dave says:

      My wife has not decided to switch over just yet. I guess sometimes old habits die hard, but then she isn’t having problems with her scalp either. I was having to use the coal tar solutions every winter to clear up my flaky scalp, but now that I switched to the baking soda solution that is no longer necessary.

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