Baking Soda Body Scrub and Soap (100% green and gentle!)

Here’s a super simple, super cheap, super easy-to-make in your own kitchen, green body scrub and soap that you can use daily instead of soap! I’ve tried several several different kinds of soaps in my quest to find one that doesn’t dry out my skin and cause eczema, but nothing has been working.

Baking Soda Body Scrub

For many years, I used Dove soap, with recommendation from my childhood dermatologist, which is supposed to be more gentle and moisturizing, but it’s still full of sodium laureth sulfate, so it dried out my skin. Then, I switched to Burt’s Bees body wash and my skin actually got worse! I was shocked. Next, I tried diluting Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (made of olive oil and supposed to be very gentle, love it for cleaning & laundry), and it did help, but I was still having to use lots of lotion and had some eczema. Then, I talked to my boss and she said she was inspired by my post on DIY Baking Soda Shampoo (which my hair LOVES and so does her’s) and decided to use it as a body wash, too, by making it into a paste. I had read many others doing that as well, and for some reason, I’ve been resisting it, but I came to my wit’s end with my dry skin.

The Un-Recipe

So, there’s not really a recipe per se for this body scrub, which makes it even better. Here’s what you need:

  • A container for your scrub (I upcycled an old lotion container)
  • Optional: 5 drops of your essential oil or a blended oil (my go-to oils for the skin are Lavender, Rosemary,
  • And enough baking soda to fill most of the container (no more than a cup) (I’ve heard there is aluminum in Arm & Hammer baking soda, but this one is clean)
  • Water (If your shower water is filtered, then I would use filtered water. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if it’s not filtered.)
  • A spoon


  • To make the paste, you literally dump in enough baking soda to fill about half of your container.
  • Then, slowly add water.
  • With an eye dropper, add about 10-15 drops (or less if you’re sensitive to fragrance) of lavender or another essential oil and stir that in as well.
  • Gently stir and decide if you need more water or more baking soda. (Don’t worry, you can’t screw this up – if you add too much water, you can just pour out the excess and hold your hand over the container to keep the baking soda from coming out! And even if you do, you’ve wasted like 50 cents since baking soda is so cheap.)
  • Keep adding some of each until your container is filled and you’ve made a nice paste.

That’s it! I’ve done the smelly arm-pit test on myself several times after bathing and the pits have passed.  I even use it on the unmentionable areas and have no issues there, except a slight tingly feeling afterwards, which some might like! Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

To use, I just scoop it out with my fingers and rub on. It doesn’t leave a residue. I do miss my loofah and sudsy bath wash, but my skin doesn’t. Baking soda is a natural exfoliant, too, so it’s great to use on your face.

You’ve just saved money, the environment and your health by making a green, cheap and gentle body scrub/soap.

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. wow! can’t wait to try this! thanks for sharing…

    • thanks! let me know if it works out for you, too!

      • Have been searching for a non soap method if cleansing so long can’t believe I’m just finding this post. Better late than never though. I too went natural for over a year now and swear by my baking soda deodorant and hair wash so I tried it on my skin and liked it but wondered if I was doing something wrong because I couldn’t find any info. So happy I can ditch soap all together now especially since I also suffer from eczema and dry skin. Thanks so so much for sharing

  2. Woah, woah, wait a minute! Whattt? I can’t believe i’ve never heard of this before! I mean I use baking soda in my deodorant, as my shampoo, and as a once-a-week facial scrub…but body wash? Hmmm, you’ve definitely piqued my interest with this one. Ok, I’m sold. So what exactly do you do? You scoop some out and just work it onto your skin? Does it take long to cover the whole body? Oh, and I’m cracking up about that tingly feeling comment 😉

    And, to add another notch to the “How the heck can we be so alike” board, I also have some eczema on random parts of my body, but mostly my fingertips, which is such a pain to treat because well, you know, I uh..use my hands for everything! ..including applying body wash in the shower, ughh. So I’m definitely interested in trying this out!

    • Sarah, we just have to meet in person someday! You are just too awesome!! It works so well – I use way less lotion on my body now because this is so gentle and effective. I don’t smell at all :), at least no one’s told me I do! Haha! However, my hands are like your’s still. Constant handwashing does them in- even with Dr. Bronner’s soap. Plus, I think my eczema comes from a gluten allergy…

    • Because of so many women with breast cancer I have been using backing soda for for about 15 years and it work great , never ever have a problem with any body smell, it cleans I mean really cleans the whole body and also use it when I shower because I have very oily skin and if I need any lotion I just put where needed.

  3. Wow! Never thought of Baking soda as a cleanser! I have been using olive oil to wash my face (just smear it on and wipe it off with a cloth; no driness and no acne!!) which I really like, but will have to try this too! I have been wanting to try it as shampoo too but am a bit nervous about it!

    • I’d love to try using the olive oil, too! That sounds so easy, smear on, wipe off! Do you have to use moisturizer afterwards since it’s not drying? I do have a post about using bakins soda as a shampoo! I absolutely love using it because my hair is so healthy and happy.

    • Ok I gave in! I am loving the body scrub! I was afraid it would be harsh but I was amazed at how wonderful and soft my skin felt the very first time i used it! I am hooked!! I still use olive oil as moisturizer sometimes as well as coconut oil, but I didn’t need to use any moisturizer when washing with it. Thank you for your informative posts!!

    • That’s great, Deanna! Baking soda has become your new best friend :o). I think it’s awesome that you don’t even need moisturizer now that you’re using baking soda as a soap. And you don’t stink either, do you? 😉 I don’t think I do, but maybe no one is telling me….!

  4. Anastasia says:

    This is great!

    I made something similar to this, but incorporated colloidal oatmeal and used ACV as the liquid. I don’t scrub with it too often, maybe once a week, so I just blend it in a ramekin right before I shower (funny my bathroom cabinet is stocked with many of the same things as my kitchen). Makes my skin feel extra clean and super soft!

  5. HI,
    I’m sure you’ve seen the homemade deodorant recipes which use coconut oil, baking soda, and arrowroot or cornstarch. I’ve been using it for a while. And I’ve discovered that it makes a great, gentle exfoliating scrub. I use it on my face and the coconut oil leaves it moisturized but not greasy. Try it!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. ok….I’m ignorant….but what is ACV?

  8. i will make this and try it, I have psoriasis and extreme dry skin, just cakes on.. i will little try it on my psoriasis spots, but the dry skin is on my feet, and back of my legs. i have tried every lotion, and now use coco butter, but i have to scrap the dry skin off still with a butter knife. my Dermatologist gave me some sample suppose to help. it was awful feeling and didn’t help. i let you know how it goes, karen

    • Oh, Karen, I’m so sorry you suffer from psoriasis. I have always dealt with eczema, so I can understand a little of what it is like. What has helped me the most is to switch my soap to Dr. Bronner’s (I have a post about it in my Green Homemaking section). It is very gentle soap and I never wash my arms and legs.

  9. Sara- I have been chemical free for a few years now, since I figured out that chemicals, preservatives, etc, affected my daughter. We have overhauled our lives. I too swear by Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda, etc. But I haven’t seen you mention Castor Oil. It is a little miracle. You must check it out. I think it would help your eczema. I have used it in combination w/ ACV to clear up rosacea and acne, It has helped remove skin tags, it has worked miracles on healing my scars. And it helps condition your hair. Also, another “miracle” I have found is Chia Seeds, completely rid me and my daughter of our seasonal allergies. It can also replace eggs in baking recipes or you can eat/drink it for energy and health. Please check it out! I will be so interested in your thoughts. Keep up the good work!

    • Wow, that is great, Jill! You were brave to overhaul your lives. I just bought some Castor Oil per your recommendation! Can’t wait to see how awesome it is. Thanks so much for telling me about it. I have heard great things about it, but this will be the first time trying it. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi Sara,

    Its unlike me to post and ‘speak my mind’ but I just had to ask. Could I use Orange Essential Oil instead of Lavender? I am absolutely crazy over the smell of it! Also could I use this for my baby instead of the Baby Shampoo that you posted? Also Castor Oil? Erm isn’t that supposed to bring on labour like some people said? I know you are expecting, LOL! Many thanks and by the way, I do love your recipes and is looking forward to try your Shampoo recipe. Just something I needed than all the parabens etc… And Almond and Coconut oil, that is just heavenly!! Thanks again…

    • Hi Angelina! Glad you were able to answer your own question. But yes, you can basically use any essential oil you desire! Orange is a great one – I just recently bought it and LOVE it! I would be careful about using it in your baby shampoo, though, as it could be irritating. As much as we love fragrance, my opinion is that it’s best to stay away from it until they learn to close their eyes. Castor Oil can induce labor if ingested, but I have read it’s not a problem when rubbed on the skin.

  11. Hi Sara,

    Sorry I read through and realized any essential oil is alright. What I meant was usually I do not post comments etc but I must say thank you for sharing your green recipes. It’s something so easy that it’s worth trying!

  12. I started to use the baking soda hair wash and I loved it. So I thought why not just use the baking soda paste for my hair and my body. How simple can you get? Well I discovered an added benefit. I didn’t need to use deodorant anymore. Even on the hottest days….no odor. My clothes smell great even at the end of the day. Of course, I don’t eat much sugar and I eat low carb, which helps. Thanks for the suggestion. It is really simple to take a box of baking soda when I travel. I just make the paste up when we get to our destination. No problems with liquids in security. I love it.

    • Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Chris! This is encouraging news – baking soda eliminating your need for deodorant. It doesn’t surprise me at all! I would imagine it will change in the summertime, but for now, that’s awesome!

  13. Thanks for writing Baking Soda Body Scrub and Soap (100% green and gentle!), I was seeking for anything comparable and was relieved to acquire the advice as a result of this particular article.
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  14. Bethann Harris says:

    I LOVE this scrub I started using it a few days ago and my skin feels so nice! my face is still a little dry but at the same time I switched to the poo fre shampoo and ACV conditioner and im not sure if that has anything to do with it! any recommendations on how to make my face feel as good as the rest of my body?!?

  15. Could I add a small amount of perfume in place of the essential oils?

    • I wouldn’t suggest adding perfume if you’re trying to be natural and green – it’s laden with chemicals. The essential oils are not necessary for the scrub, so if you don’t have them, I’d just make it without and you’ll still get wonderful results, just no scent afterwards. I no longer use perfume at all anymore because of all the chemicals in it!

  16. I use baking soda as an exfoliator for my face about once a week, but I follow with diluted ACV to rebalance the pH in my skin. Baking soda is very basic. Then I just rinse the ACV off with water at the end of my shower. I guess you find that not necessary? I wonder what would happen if you mixed the baking soda with olive oil instead of water.

    Also be careful adding any citrus oils to your body wash. They can cause you to be more sensitive to the sun (sunburn more easily) for the next 24-ish hours. But they do smell heavenly!

  17. The wonders of baking soda! Haha, thanks so much for sharing this with us! I can’t wait to try it out! Just one question though. Is this okay to use everyday? Or just once or twice a week?

  18. Hello everybody. Noone mentioned that introducing water to scrubs attracts bacteria and mold. I would use oil instead of water and a natural antimicrobial preservative if am not useing the scrubs fresh each time.

  19. What is the shelf life on this recipe? I noticed you made a rather large tub so I was curious how long I can store it in my shower. I love this idea and baking soda. I use it for face care w coconut oil. I also suffer from bad psoriasis on my scalp so I will certainly try the shampoo version! Thanks so much for this. I’m so inflamed I hope this helps.

    • It lasts a very long time, but I use mine up quickly, within a few weeks. I make enough to fit into a 16 oz. jar, so if you are worried about the shelf life, I’d just make it in 12 or 16 oz. batches. Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

  20. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this scrub!!!!! My son has issues with eczema/ skin rashes from allergies and cant wait to try it on him!!!! I have also switched to baking soda/ ACV for my hair. Is it possible to just use this scrub for my hair also rather than keep bringing a cup og baking soda into the shower each time I wash my hair! Im getting spoiled with the minimal products Im down to!!!!

    • I tried this paste for my hair tonight. First time using baking soda for hair and for the body. It works well! Go ahead and do it! 😀

  21. Thanks so much for this! I actually just tried it and love it! 🙂 I’m a sucker for convenience, so I mixed in some coconut oil as a moisturizer and my skin feels awesome right now.

  22. Ok, so I just stumbled across this! I was aware of using BS and ACV for your hair, but I was looking for soap recipes as well. I just tried this tonight and I already love it! I have horrible dry skin on my feet and my legs and elbows tend to stay ashy and itchy. They feel amazing. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this!

  23. I may give this a try, but for the past month or two I have been using coconut oil and brown sugar for my body scrub and loving it and never needing moisturizer. This might be a nice option in the summer when I’m sweatier but the coconut oil/sugar also passes the armpit smell test. I just keep a brush in my shower to help comb the baking soda through my hair then pull it up off my neck so the oil doesn’t get up in it and rinse my hair after I wash my shoulders. (I had oily hair issues for a week or so and decided I loved being able to comb baking soda through it before I went to work in the mornings.)

    Is this a recipe you’ve had your husband try? Mine is terrified I’ll start trying to get him to use homemade personal products, but if I could man-up the smell of something like this he might give it a shot…

    • Hi Mitzi! Thanks for sharing your tips. Coconut oil and brown sugar would be awesome. I also have a post – Baking Soda Body Scrub – and it’s really easy and cheap, too. My husband has been willing to try many of my recipes. He does use my baby shampoo recipe, but I do not add any scent to it and he likes it that way. A good way to man-up a recipe is to add some earthy, woodsy essential oils like cedarwood and rosemary. I love cedarwood!

  24. Carol P. Heller says:

    This scrub has officially become my “soap.” I love, love, love it. On days when I am working out in the afternoon. I might use a little to freshen up and then as soap when I get a shower later. IT. IS. GREAT!! THANK YOU!

  25. My daughter (9) suffers from Keratosis pilaris (red, raised bumps all over her arms and legs), and we have been fighting with it for a long time. Since it’s summer and she wants to wear shorts, but not show her KP to the world, I went looking for new treatments. Since KP actually gets worse if you really scrub it, most exfoliating treatments only make it worse, so I decided to try a baking soda scrub (which lead me here!). I have to say, after a single treatment, the redness is already gone. The bumps remain, but we’ve only done this once. I really have high hopes for this!

    • Hi Stacey! Wow, that is amazing! Is it still working for you? Thanks for sharing!

      • Sara – Since she’s 9, I’m having a hard time geting her to do it every day, but I have to say that the redness has not returned and there are fewer and fewer bumps with every use. Her arms are actually soft -they used feel like 20 grit sadpaper! If this keeps working, it will be nothing short of a miracle for KP sufferers (who usually are told to use an alpha-hydroxy product, which I refuse to use on a child).

  26. I’m sure that using a baking soda body scrub would be great for some days, but I’m not sure that it would be a wise choice for every day. Baking soda is a base with a pH of about 8. Our skin is naturally acidic at a pH of 4.5 to 6. Of course regular soap already disrupts this natural acidity, but I’m guessing that a baking soda residue would change your skin’s pH as well. You mentioned in another post that you have skin problems, maybe you could go between using this scrub (or your Bronner’s soap solution) and not using anything but water to cleanse. Helping your body maintain it’s own pH and regulate may solve your problems. Good luck!
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    • I totally agree with you. I use it when I need to exfoliate (like when dirt from gardening gets into the skin on my knees). Otherwise, I don’t wash with it and do use diluted Dr. Bronner’s as a body wash. I use it only on the necessary parts (underarms, privates and feet) and water everywhere else. Great advice!

    • What about using a scrub made from brown sugar and coconut oil? It makes my skin so smooth and soft, but not greasy, and it lasts a while so I don’t get dried out. Do you think the pH of that is good?

      • That’s a great idea, Tanya! That’s a popular thing to do as well. Yes, it looks like coconut oil is mildly alkaline but brown sugar is acidic, so it’s not totally pH balanced. But it might be good for your skin every now and then.

  27. So I’m impatient and didn’t ant to read through all of the comments! So please forgive me if I ask a question that someone else has already asked 🙂

    I recently tossed all of my Summer’s Even Femine Wash because it kept causing irritation and even infection (sorry for the TMI). So I said to heck with putting any type of soap down there. So after extensive research, I concluded to use water & white vinegar to clease that area. It has been working wonders and I am not irritated down there anymore and it leaves me feelng fresh all day, no smell neither! But I want to switch things up sometimes too, so I want to try this. Do you just use it on the outside or inside as well? IAnd how has it been working for you so far (regarding down under?)


    • Hi Candra! Thanks for your candidness, LOL! So, I’ve found over time (and should add this to the post) that baking soda is great to clarify and exfoliate, but may not be good for everyday use, especially in sensitive areas. I use diluted Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – the same recipe I have in my baby soap recipe, and it has tons of anecdotal evidence that it prevents yeast infections.

  28. Hello, I’m a fairly new soap maker. I was wondering if there may be a possible and safe way to add baking soda to either the lye solution or at a light trace. Could this be possible?

    Thank You,
    C J

  29. I was referring to body soap.

  30. This is a lovely idea, and I should try it one day.

  31. I can’t believe how easy and effective this is.

    I have a lot of allergies, to parabens, olives and sodium benzoate. (Not SLS though.)

    This is an amazing, cheap, easy and simple solution! Thank you so much!

    • You’re welcome, Vixey! Sometimes the easiest things are the most effective, aren’t they? All those expensive creams, shampoos and soaps are just trying to make money. Nature has already given us so many things that work well and are cheap!

  32. I made my first soap today thanks to you! I boiled some moringa stems/bark, and then I added the baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil and voila! Thanks and God bless.

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  34. Could you also add tee tree oil? (Concerns about sensitive parts) this sounds really interesting. I’ll have to batch some up when I have free time. Thanks for sharing!

  35. So what are the exact benefits of this scrub/ soap?
    Does it help with body acne, scars, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and stretch marks?
    What about odor?
    What improvements did you see?
    And how often do you use it?
    Do you use it with another soap or just by it’s self?
    Sorry for all of the questions; I just need something that’ll really help my skin problems.

  36. My grandson of two and a half years residing in Seattle has skin allergi which is contagious and the doctor told that it will take long time to go.he is suffering from itching and red boils.can you suggest some natural remedies.thank you.may God bless you.

    • Oh goodness, that sounds awful! When it comes to allergies and skin issues, it is almost ALWAYS a gut-related issue. He is probably eating foods or exposing himself to chemicals that are causing major inflammation in his gut (intestines) and he has to heal that before he will find true relief. Start with probiotics for his gut and reduce or remove things like sugar, dairy and wheat. A Paleo diet did the trick for my eczema problems. To ease his skin, I’d make a lotion out of coconut oil and pure essential oils (find them here) like Melrose, lavender, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, and melaleuca alternifolia.

  37. A lot of soap making tutorials mention Lye or the use of Sodium Hydroxide, can we use baking soda instead ? What are the required proportions of water, oil, baking soda needed to make a soap successfully?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Great post!

    • I’m not sure about that one, Ryetika, as I’ve never made soap before. Lye is totally different than baking soda, I don’t think it can be used as a replacement.

  38. What do you use for eczema? My brother has it on his hands and now on his back. He works at a pizza place and sweats a lot. But the problem is he doesn’t like the scent of EO’s because it makes his nose itch. He got an allergy to certain scents from my dad. He also has asthma.

  39. Melanie Brown says:

    How does this work

  40. thanks for this info!! wishing I had found sooner but better late than never. I am gonna try this tomorrow. I have been using baking soda for a few days as a face scrub. I love how it makes my face feel soft. no more spending high dollar on Cetaphil body wash. woo-hoo excited

  41. wow i should try this! is it okey to mix baking soda with sandalwood essential oil only without water? thank you so much..

  42. Calvernia Reed says:

    Thank you for this information!! I’m new to the baking soda cleansing, but I do use bore baking soda facial cleanser. N I just bought a bar of baking soda soap. Kinda pricey but skin feels clean. I was wondering how to make some at home that I can use up daily. So I can make a batch every time for my shower? I’m scared to try on my hair just yet BC I’m AA n natural. I’m not sure how it would do in my curly hair.

    • HI there! You could also check out my no-poo alternatives to shampoo post. I have very curly hair and use Young Living’s Copiaba Lime shampoo and DeVa Curls’s shampoos and conditioners (can get them on Amazon). This method worked great for a few months to transition my hair and scalp off of sulfate-laden shampoos, and then I needed something different after a year or so.

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