A baking soda bath can be just what you need to get relief to help yourself stop from digging at those itchy insect bites you get in the warmer season.
Whether you accidentally stepped into an ant’s nest or lost a battle with a swarm of hungry mosquitoes, this bath will give you fast, short-term relief. Better yet, you only need two ingredients–baking soda and orange essential oil.
This trick is a family favorite, going all the way back to my childhood. My mother, sister, and I are all highly allergic to ant and mosquito bites. While most people get a little itchy bump, I get welts that stretch the skin until it becomes painful.
I still struggle with the same allergy despite loving spending time outdoors gardening, going for long runs, and doing DIY projects. I even carry an EpiPen now for bee stings.
Anyways, yesterday I was pressure washing the screened-in porch. As I cleansed pollen off of the screens from the outside, I stepped into a fire ant hill. I didn’t realize until it was too late that they were swarming me and biting my ankles and legs–dozens of bites. I’ve not had this many ant bites on my body at one time….well, ever, because I’m usually so careful of this.
I thought back to my mom’s home remedy–the baking soda bath. I also remembered that orange essential oil is super for repelling bugs, and it is working so well that I wanted to share the remedy with you.
The Science Backs Up This Baking Soda Bath Recipe as Useful for Bug Bites
It turned out my mother’s homespun remedy is backed by science. The Mayo Clinic guide called “Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid” advises making a baking soda and water paste to help relieve itchiness after a sting or a bite.
As for the orange essential oil, that’s mentioned in a 2019 malaria study in India to provide a 99% repellency rate against mosquitoes. So you soothe your itchy skin in the baking soda bath, but the orange oils will linger on your skin and help you beat those pesky bugs while the bites heal.
How to Make a Baking Soda Bath
You only need two things:
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 20 to 25 drops of orange essential oil (however strong you prefer)
Run a warm bath (not hot!), adding the baking soda and orange oil. Relax in the tub for about 25 minutes, keeping the affected area submerged. Towel yourself dry carefully, so you don’t open up your welts. You can then make a paste of baking soda and water for extra relief. This relief is relatively short-term–about two hours–, but when you need comfort, it is just a quick soak away.
The Takeaway: A Baking Soda Bath Can Help Relieve Itchiness
Hopefully, you won’t need this baking soda bath, but the method could be handy to keep in your mental index if the need arises. Hope this works as well for you as it does for my family. Until the next time, have a happy DIY day.