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What Is Washing Soda and How To Use It?

Washing soda is a chemical compound, also known as sodium carbonate, frequently used in DIY and commercial laundry detergents. If you are searching for how to make your DIY laundry detergent, one of the most common ingredients in a recipe is washing soda.

A more abrasive cleaning agent or washing soda should not be confused with baking soda, although the two compounds are closely related since they both contain the mineral trona.

  1. Washing soda and baking soda can be used together in DIY detergent recipes to removes stains, but washing soda has more of a stripping action to remove residues of oils, minerals, and fabric softeners.

  2. The sodium carbonate in washing soda "softens" water to help other cleaning ingredients lift soil from the fabrics and suspend the soil in the wash water. The washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard and allows the detergent to be absorbed into fibers to property clean the clothes.

The following is an even deeper look at washing soda and the role it can play in cleaning laundry and tacking other household chores.

What are the uses of washing soda?

In the laundry room, the high alkalinity of washing soda allows it to act as a solvent in removing a wide range of stains. For home laundry, washing soda can be dissolved in water to create a pre-soaking solution for tough stains such as grease, blood, tea, and coffee stains.

  • Outside the laundry room, sodium carbonate is also used by some textile artists to help dyes adhere to fabric. This is particularly useful when creating natural dyes from plants.

  • Washing soda can be used to remove greasy buildup from pots and pans, oven racks, and drip pans. It is very good for removing coffee and tea stains from ceramics and plastic storage containers. It can even be used in bathrooms to remove soap scum and around the house for general cleaning of hard surfaces. For cleaning, mix a solution of 1/2 cup of washing soda to 1 gallon of warm water.

  • To unclog drains, pour 1 cup of washing soda into the clogged drain followed by 2 or 3 cups of boiling water. Allow the washing soda to work for 30 minutes and then flush the drain well with plain water. Repeat as needed.

  • In the garden, washing soda work well to clean outdoor furniture and decks.

  • It can also be mixed, 1/2 cup to 2 gallons of water, to create a spray to help control aphids, whiteflies, and black spot on roses.

Since sodium carbonate can be dangerous in large quantities, make sure to keep washing soda out of the reach of children and pets. You should wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda because it can cause skin irritation.

Our store have "Epic Washing Soda" available to shop in bulk by $0.25 per ounce. For bulk and refill purchase, we would love to invite to come check it out inside our store located at Downtown Mall Charlottesville, walk way in between the Paramount and Charlottesville Public Library. Click to see our store hours and address.

Differences between Washing Soda vs. Baking Soda vs. Borax

Baking soda is a naturally occurring compound and although you can use it to make washing soda, it is not a substitute for washing soda. Because baking soda is less alkaline, it can be used in baking and sometimes as a gentle household cleanser.

Borax is another naturally occurring substance that is typically mined. It has a pH between baking soda and washing soda and is used for cleaning, never for baking. When combined with hot water, borax does a particularly good job of brightening and cleaning laundry.


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