What is Washing Soda?

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What is Washing Soda?

What is Washing Soda?

A Reader asks: “What is washing soda? Is it baking soda?”

Tawra: Washing soda is not baking soda.

Washing soda should be in the laundry section of your grocery store. It comes in a yellow box, made by Arm & Hammer, but it’s NOT baking soda. If you’re interested, washing soda is Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3), baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and borax is Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate (Na2B4O7*10H2O), all different chemical compounds.

You can find it locally at Walmart or in the laundry section of most stores. You can also order it at many places online.


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    • says

      Amarah, you can get Borax at most grocery stores or places like Wal mart. It is with the laundry detergents and often is on the top shelf or bottom shelf with the detergents.

  1. Trudi says

    Use Laundry Soda in your pre-wash cycle in your front loader washer. Use only Hydrogen Peroxide instead of Clorox bleach; Germs are gone, clothes are whiter than ever & you will be amazed at your socks, tee shirts & underarm spots as well as neck rings around white clothing. Tablecloths, towels, sheets all retain their new looking appearances this way. You can buy a 2-Pack of 32 oz. of HP for $1.99 at Costco. Use the same HP to brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth..read the bottle, dentists recommend it for mouth germs all the time, after a week your used to the taste. I also use it on my Kitchen counter tops, sinks, & plastic cutting boards. Use toilet bowl cleaner for hard water stains on windows and shower doors with plastic gloves only! There is NO better hard water stain remover than Toilet Bowl cleaner for $1.99 sold at Walmart. Do not get TBC on on any part of your painted car, ever! White vinegar is the only rinse agent I use in my clothes washer, your towels & sheets and all all colors are just beautiful and soft. There is no vinegar smell left after rinsing either. I save more money with these simple tips than anyone could ever imagine! any person with sensitive skin can easily benefit from Vinegar rinse in your washing machine. The washer is always really clean afterward, no need to ever run a cleaning cycle. Use 1 tsp. of baking soda in both cycles of your dishwasher since they took out the phosphates in our DW detergent. You’ll never see a spot & your dishes just come out so shiny & cleaner than ever!

  2. Angie M. says

    About how much peroxide would I use in the washer instead of bleach? Would I use this only on whites?

    Also, for the vinegar in place of fabric softener, how much? Do I just fill the fabric softener dispenser of my washer with vinegar?

    I’d like to try these two things…

    • says

      Angie about 1/2 cup vinegar. Here is a website on vinegar uses which might help some of you. Also I would put like a 14 cup vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser and the other 1/4 in your bleach dispenser. Clothes always look brighter when you use vinegar because dingy clothes is caused from soap build up and clothes not rinsing properly. I always do an extra rinse for my clothes no matter what I am using. For those of you with more questions I cover all of this and more in our Keepin’ It Clean e book.

      You add the same amount of peroxide to the laundry too. Place it in first before you add clothes and I would be a little careful and maybe just use it on whites or lights because it isn’t color safe. It does act like a bleach in whitening things.

      I also wanted to mention not only is peroxide good for killing germs in your mouth but it also whitens and helps get rid of stains on your teeth. You will find that is the main ingredient in tooth whitening products.

  3. Sherry Sprott says

    I have been looking for Snowy Bleach for years. It was powdered then, but I don’t know if it still is. It is by far the best bleach I have ever seen!! Can you help me please?

  4. Paula Ericson says

    Mt boyfriend works at a local hamburger joint. He is always behind the fryer and does all the clean-up . That’s alot of grease that permeates into his clothes. No matter what I wash his uniforms in and how many times they still smell of grease. You can almost feel it when you touch them. Please help!!!

    • says

      You could try a couple of different things. First soak and wash them in dish detergent like Dawn or one which says it is a degreaser. You could try adding some ammonia to your regular wash let it soak a bit. You can also check at an auto supply place. They are now selling special cleaners for auto mechanics clothes. Plus check your laundry isle for specific degreasers to use. Some have had success with Ivory soap too.

    • says

      My hubby works around tons of greasy/oily items. He gets hydralic fluid on his clothes. The smell and stains are NASTY!! I have gone to using Arm & Hammer laundry soap and a scoop of Sun Oxy booster (Got it for like 5.00 at Wal mart) No smells, feels clean. The stains are lighter. Tide didn’t even touch the stains. I wash his work clothes together and he has a pile of work only clothes. Lestoil works really well, but I think it is full of nasty chemicals.

  5. John says

    Oxiclean is a variation on washing soda – more expensive; is it more effective in smaller quantities because of the sodium percarbonate? Washing soda is sodium carbonate.

  6. Chris says

    Hello Jill,
    Can I use Hydrogen Peroxide and vinegar in the same wash? HP for whitening and vinegar to rinse any residue away. I just wasn’t sure there would be any reaction.

    Thank you,

    • says

      Chris usually the main chemical reactions you have to worry about in cleaning products is mixing a cleaning product which has bleach of some sort and a product that has some sort of ammonia in it. Those are the ones that cause the fumes which everyone hears about. When using Peroxide for the wash and vinegar for the rinse what you need to do is to put the peroxide in the detergent or bleach dispenser and then the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. Basically use the peroxide as a detergent or stain remover and the vinegar as a softener. Hope that makes sense.

  7. Lesley says

    Thanks for posting this, Jill! A few years ago, I was much chagrined to find that every grocery store I went to, even in different towns, had suddenly stopped carrying borax and washing soda. (They’ve got them back now.)

    Ask your grocery store to get them in, or restock them. They might ask you to buy a whole bunch, so go in with friends. That also worked for me many years ago, when I discovered an eco-friendly cleaner that subsequently got taken off the shelves for “lack of interest”. I had to buy a case, but hey.

    Another company whose products you can look for is Eco-Pioneer. They sell soap flakes, borax and washing soda…

  8. getfprfree says

    I have read somewhere online that you can make your own WASHING soda by baking the BAKING soda in the oven in 400F for an hour. I haven’t tried that yet, but am planning to do it when it’s cool enough to use the oven. I don’t use the oven during the summer or whenever the AC is needed. Has anyone tried to make their own washing soda?

    • Tabitha says

      Yes. It works. I live down South so I’ve only tried it when it’s cold, and I’m done baking.

      I figure my homemade brown sugar offsets the price of washing soda AND my kitchen stays cool. :)

  9. Danielle says

    Hi there, I have recently looked up that you can wash your hair with baking soda and rince with an apple cider vinegar dilution. I have done this and it works great. I have recently bought the washing soda from Eco-Pioneer, thinking I could use this for washing my hair too. Can you let me know whether you think it’s safe to do? I know the chemical makeup is different, but I don’t understand the difference.
    Thanks!! đŸ˜‰

    • says

      Washing soda and baking soda aren’t the same. Also, you can buy washing soda at your regular grocery store laundry isle.

  10. ronnie paddock says

    Do you know of any make up (foundation) that is chemical free?

    I have started using your home made shampoo and like it!

  11. Shirley says

    Since I never had chemistry in school I am wondering why washing soda and baking soda should be used for different purposes. This article helped me to know the difference between them but why does it make a difference. When does the author of a recipe know when to post the right one? I think they are used mistakenly all the time as I do and have. Do you have the answers?

    • says

      Shirley washing soda is quite a bit stronger than baking soda. Washing soda is very caustic and should never never be used for baking only laundry and cleaning products. For most practical purposes and simplest terms the only thing the two have in common is they both neutralize odors.
      Some like to use baking soda in the laundry to neutralize odors but if you have a good laundry detergent that really shouldn’t be necessary even for diapers.
      With so much info out there now we tend to take very simple things and complicate them so much thinking by adding this ingredient or that will make the stuff work better but usually it just makes things more confusing.
      Bottom line is keep washing soda in laundry room, using as the instructions on the box say to and baking soda in kitchen for just that – baking.

  12. Deborah says

    The Red Cross suggests 5 Tbls of Washing Soda to 1 gallon of water to treat midew. (We flooded about 3 weeks ago and found this info online) My husband calls it my miricle treatment. It works on porous materials. Bleach can’t go beyond surface mildew on porous things like wood or even concrete. Not sure why, something about molecular density, I think. I’m just saying…it works.

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