Tips on how to use baking soda in laundry

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

What is the compound of baking soda?

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Baking soda is used to make the preparation of baked goods such as bread and cakes fluffy and to help remove stains such as ink or tomato sauce from fabric by deodorizing and making water alkaline.

It is commonly used as a leavening agent in cooking (by reacting with acidic components like buttermilk, yogurt, cocoa, etc.) or in cosmetic products (by reacting with acid). It was invented to be used in baking and has been used for cooking and cleaning since the late 17th century.

What does baking soda do to clothing?

Baking soda is a base that neutralizes acidic stains such as tomato sauce or wine, which will help it remove tough stains from the fabric. It also functions similarly to soap (a salt) by making water alkaline (basic). Water with a pH value of more than 7 (neutral) is considered basic while values below 7 are acidic.

Water with high concentrations of certain ions like calcium and magnesium can actually make it harder for stains to be removed because these minerals react with soap molecules, leaving less available soap to remove the stain. Baking soda's alkalinity helps it work better in hard water conditions.

What does baking soda do to the environment?

Since it deodorizes and makes the fabric softer without releasing any chemicals or heat, using baking soda results in less energy use and carbon dioxide emission compared to other products used for cleaning and fabric softening. It doesn't contain harmful chemicals like phosphates which can pollute freshwater systems.

Baking soda is biodegradable and can be used with septic tanks. It can also be used to deodorize the fridge or freezer, which saves more energy since they use electricity continuously even when turned off.

How does baking soda remove spots?

Pure baking soda helps clean clothes in two ways. First, it acts as a gentle abrasive, which means that when you add it to your laundry in place of bleach or fabric softener, you're adding tiny little particles to help scour away stains and discoloration. Secondly, if there are any smells lingering in your laundry after the wash cycle is complete, the baking soda will work to neutralize those odors.

Baking soda can be used for more than just getting rid of smells and stains - it does an excellent job of brightening whites and removing red wine stains. It can also remove tough grease stains, although this works best when you mix the powder with some liquid dish soap first.

What stains can you remove with baking soda?

Greasy spots, dirt, grass stains, coffee and tea stains, blood stains, mildew, rust - baking soda can be used to remove all of these. This is because it acts as a gentle abrasive to help lift up dirt and stains. It also works well on stained white clothes to brighten them up.

How do you use baking soda in the laundry?

Mix one-quarter cup of the powder into the soap before adding it into your washing machine for heavily soiled clothes or linens that are stained beyond belief. You can either have this pre-mixed with your soap before starting the wash cycle or mix it in manually at the start of the cycle. If there's no need for heavy-duty cleaning, simply sprinkle some baking soda directly into your washing machine before adding in the clothes.

If you use liquid laundry soap, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water and shake it up well to dissolve completely.

If you use powdered soap instead, mix two tablespoons of the powder and two cups of water and stir until it's smooth and not grainy anymore. You can also add a quarter cup of baking soda directly into the dishwasher when doing dishes for a good scour without harsh chemicals.

How much baking soda do you put in the laundry?

1/2 cup (about 75 g) of baking soda for a normal load is sufficient. If the clothes are quite stained, you might want to use more than that. You can dissolve it in warm water first and let the garment soak to make it work better.

What are the steps?

  1. Use baking soda in your laundry by adding one cup of baking soda to the load;
  2. Add vinegar to soften your washer's water;
  3. Using baking powder for washing clothes is a good idea for an easy recipe. This will be helpful to clean white-colored garments, towels, and other cloth materials without using detergents.

How long does it take to work?

It varies wildly - sometimes stains are removed right away, while other times they will only start to fade after being washed several times. It depends entirely on what kind of stain you're dealing with - if there's lots of grease or oil, the baking soda won't have much effect at all.

Blood also stains are notoriously difficult to remove - sometimes they will only be lifted after being washed twice. It's best to start out with a little bit of dish soap mixed in first, but if this doesn't work after washing once or twice, it's probably not going to come out.

How often can you use baking soda?

This varies based on what you're using it for. If you've used an entire cup of baking soda as part of your laundry routine, don't bother doing another load until the washer has drained completely and been filled up with fresh water again.

You should also consider replacing your old baking soda box if there are signs that ants are getting into it. If you're just using a little bit for spot cleaning or to add into the dishwasher, you should be okay to use it as often as needed.

How do I store baking soda?

In an airtight container in a cool, dry place so that your stuff doesn't take on a musty smell. If there are any concerns about ants or other pests getting into your stash of baking soda, either keep it in the freezer after putting it in a sealed baggie or keep it tightly closed at all times and put it somewhere where pets and small children can't get into it.

What if I don't have detergent?

When doing your laundry without detergent, there's no reason not to use baking soda instead. It's dirt cheap and just as effective as other, more expensive cleaning products that you can buy in the store.

So, go ahead and give it a try next time you're doing the wash without soap - it won't make any difference at all and will help keep your whites brighter long enough for you to find some laundry detergent on sale!

Can baking soda be used on silk or wool?

It should generally be okay to use baking soda on silk under most circumstances. Wool clothing should never be treated with baking soda, as it will leave the clothing stiff and scratchy.

Can you put baking soda in a HE washing machine?

Yes, but you need to use it sparingly and you'll need to treat your clothes with a little bit of vinegar before putting them into the machine. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water and add several drops of dish soap into that mixture before popping it into your machine.

Use half a cup in your pre-soak cycle and use this solution for regular loads only when you're running low on detergent or don't have any at all. You can also add three tablespoons of vinegar to the fabric softener compartment instead if you want.

What are the benefits of using baking soda in the laundry?

Baking soda is a natural alternative to chemical fabric softeners and it doesn't contain the chemicals that can harm septic systems (and therefore environment). It deodorizes clothes effectively, making them smell fresh.

Baking soda has bleaching properties too, but unless the garment is heavily stained it's better not to apply more bleaching agents because they can damage some types of fabrics. Using baking soda reduces the need for detergents since it can be used as one (if the washing machine is on top-loader). Also, sometimes using only baking soda increases the number of washes until the stain comes out completely.

What are the disadvantages of using baking soda in the laundry?

Baking soda is slightly abrasive and can damage delicate fabrics such as silk.

Where else can you use baking soda?

  • Clean iron

That is an amazing offer, but you can also clean the iron with this amazing thing! Just take some water, put some baking soda in it and clean the iron with it. You can even add a little bit of lemon juice to that mixture.

  • Deodorize fridge

Another great offer! Baking soda is perfect when you want to get rid of unpleasant smells from your fridge.

  • Scrub toilet bowl with baking soda and vinegar

This is a way better deal than scrubbing your bowl with chemical cleaners. This mixture is cheap and it will leave your toilet shining like a new one. Just take half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar, pour them both into your toilet bowl then use a brush to clean it.

  • Clean carpets with baking soda

You can remove numerous stains from your carpet by using baking soda. All you need to do is sprinkle some of this amazing cleaner all over the stain, wait for one hour then vacuum it up. You can also make baking soda paste (just take some water and two tablespoons of baking soda) if needed.

  • Wash the dishes

Before all those Fairy and Ajax scourers and bars appeared, we used to wash dishes with baking soda. Mix the powder with a little bit of water (just one tablespoon per cup) and scrub your pans or any other metalware with it. You can also mix up some salt and baking soda and use that paste for washing.

  • Clean sink, bathtub, and tiles

Just take half a cup of baking soda and pour it into your dirty tub/sink/tile then add a few drops of soap. Scrub those surfaces once again just as you did before. If this is not enough, you can use the same mixture but instead of soap match a few tablespoons of vinegar - the results will be even better!

  • Shampoo replacement

As baking soda is good at removing greasy spots, then it will surely help you to wash your hair. Take half a cup of water and pour a few tablespoons of baking soda in it (use more if you have long hair). Then, use this mixture to scrub your scalp.

What should I remember about using baking soda in the laundry?

You should never use too much baking soda as this product can cause fabric damage and the machine can be easily clogged. We also don't recommend you to use baking soda with chlorine bleach as the results can be damaging your clothes (or even ruining them).

Also, keep in mind that using baking soda too often for your laundry may cause problems with your septic tank. If you have one, it's better to use baking soda once or twice per month.

Moreover, you need to know that baking soda is slightly abrasive so it may damage delicate fabrics.


Baking soda is one of the best cleaners out there. It's environmentally safe, cheap, and easy to use. It consists of natural minerals that are way better for cleaning purposes than chemical cleaners. Baking soda has numerous uses in households, for example for stain removal or polishing. It's also good at deodorizing places where you need freshness or neutralized unpleasant odors.

Using baking soda is not very complicated, but if it's your first time don't use too much of the product because it can damage delicate fabrics and the machine can be easily clogged.

Baking soda is perfect when it comes to stain removal, especially oily stains that are usually quite problematic. Always remember that baking soda can be abrasive so avoid using this product with chlorine bleach.