HomeGreen lifestyleThe ultimate guide to using washing soda and baking soda: 88 helpful hints


The ultimate guide to using washing soda and baking soda: 88 helpful hints — 16 Comments

  1. I used washing soda as a laundry detergent and 3 black knit pants now have big blotches all over them. They weren’t that way when I put them in. I used cold water and unfortunately dried them in dryer. I was told that all my chemical cleaners need to be thrown away and use washing soda instead. Apparently it’s not good as a replacement for detergent? I’m so upset. These were pants I wear all the time

  2. I’m sorry about your pants. I once put baking soda on a place where my dog peed on the carpet, but I didn’t wait till the carpet dried after the cleaner I used. So now I have a spot on my carpet that’s noticeably lighter than the rest. Soda is alkaline and acts as an oxygen bleach. I used baking soda, which is much less alkaline than washing soda.

    Whoever told you to throw away all your “chemical cleaners” is misinformed. Washing soda is a chemical. For that matter, so it water. You want to be careful of what chemicals you use, but you can’t avoid using chemicals. I have seen recipes online for detergent substitutes. I haven’t tried any, or looked at any to write this comment, but I expect washing soda is an ingredient in at least some of them. Along with other things that will have the effect of making it less harshly alkaline.

    Washing soda is intended as a detergent booster, not a detergent substitute. The instructions say to add a certain amount to the laundry along with the detergent.

    Again, I’m sorry about your pants, and I certainly hope nothing I wrote misled you.

  3. Hi,
    Is there anything that helps lower the Ph value of washing soda?

  4. Do you know where I can find out if soda ash used in chemical pump for well water damages hair or leaves a residue? I have searched everywhere and find no answers.

  5. Soda ash is anhydrous sodium carbonate. It is washing soda without water in its crystalline structure. When added to water it will give out a little heat as it recrystalises.
    I’d stick with baking soda for the body as it’s pH is nearer to neutral and the chemical is less caustic. Washing soda irritates the skin , it’s pH is too high (alkaline) for hair. It will damage it.
    I use baking soda as a deodorant and as a toothpaste .

  6. Thank you for putting this information together – so far, it is the most complete information I’ve found, particularly regarding the pros/cons of using washing soda and why. That said – more detail would sure be greatly appreciated in terms of container size used. Example – what size of “bucket” are you stipulating? A 2 gallon bucket? A 5 gallon bucket? Makes a big difference. And…what size of spray bottle? A 32-ounce? A 16-ounce? Bottom line is that when using formulas – I really need to know how much chemical to add to how much water? There is a fast=growing community of people who are severely afflicted with what is beginning to be known as “MCS/CIRS/ES” – an affliction that demands a scrupulously “green” environment – pretty difficult to obtain these days. However, to remove fragrance chemicals from clothing, many of us have discovered that rubbing the clothing with a paste of washing soda/water removes the fragrance chemicals from the fabric. Damage to the fabric itself is not a concern for us, since, the item is unusable and will need to be thrown away if the fragrance chemical cannot be removed. So – washing soda is a staple in our homes. But – we do need information as to how to safely use it. You’ve provided some great info in this regard. Thank you!!!

  7. Thanks for this comment, Kristi. This is already one of the longest posts I have ever written, but you have made a suggestion for improving it. I’m not sure when I’ll get to it, but it’s definitely on my to-do list. [Finished!!]

  8. Hello. Thanks for the article. I need to get rid of cat urine on the couch and I have only washing soda. Should I run to the store and buy some baking soda, or is washing soda equally effective in getting out cat urine and the odour from the couch? Thanks.

  9. The two are pretty much interchangeable except for whatever the article specifies as differences. I see I recommended baking soda for pet beds, so you might prefer it for your couch if your bare skin is likely to spend much time where the spot is. But please don’t run to the store for any single item. It wastes gas.

  10. You have not done enough research, or you have done it at the wrong places. Baking soda and washing soda are NOT “basically interchangeable”!! With a pH of 11, washing soda is 1,000 times more basic than baking soda. This makes it a very powerful tool for cutting through difficult stains, built-up grease, etc. But it also makes it very caustic – it can damage many materials and surfaces, including human skin.
    Choosing between these two cleaners should be based on anticipated efficacy, not just cost. Speaking of which, you state that washing soda is cheaper than baking soda; perhaps that’s true for you, but where I live, it’s the opposite. At the cheapest, washing soda is half again as expensive as baking soda. Examples:
    The cheapest baking soda here is 5.2c/oz. It ranges from 79c/1 lb (store brands) to $1.19/1 lb or $1.69/2 lb (A&H), or I can get a 12 lb bag for $10 (used for the swimming pool) at Home Depot.
    The cheapest washing soda I can buy locally is 7.9c/oz – it costs $9.50 for 26.5 oz (Nellie’s) at one large grocery chain or $4.34 for 55 oz (A&H) at another.

  11. Thank you for your cost comparison. Costs can indeed vary from one part of the country to another, from one store to another, or perhaps even from one time to another at the same store. As for your opening,I’m not easily finding where I said the two are basically interchangeable, although I didn’t look through the whole post. I did easily find where I discussed the difference in pH and the link I made to a source that explains it in more detail. Some uses do indeed require one of the other. Many don’t. Right now, I have baking soda and no washing soda. I’m not going to look for washing soda unless I need it instead of baking soda for some reason. When I’m out of my baking soda, I’ll buy whatever I find. I don’t always find both at the same store and I’m old enough to prefer shopping in person when I can. If I have washing soda by my washing machine and need a quick deodorant or antacid, I can use the baking soda I have in the kitchen.

  12. I’ve been using washing soda around the home for a few years now & love it!! It’s a powerful cleaner that is ridiculously cheap compared to retail cleaning products & I continue finding new uses for it. Your list is extensive & contains many uses I hadn’t yet seen, thank you.
    I highly recommend replacing most store bought cleaners with washing soda to anyone interested in a cheaper more effective cleaning product that is super versatile. Be cautious with delicate items/surfaces though, washing soda packs a punch that can be too harsh for fragile stuff.

  13. Thanks for stopping by. And, of course, if washing soda is too strong for some uses, baking soda may work.

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