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Washing Soda Uses: My Top Tips for Clean Living

I highly recommend incorporating washing soda into your household cleaning routine. Not only is it versatile and effective, but it’s also natural and affordable. From laundry to the kitchen and bathroom, washing soda can help you achieve a cleaner and greener home.

A jar of baking soda tipped onto a table with a spoonful next to it.

I’ve found almost any cleaning job can be done with a few common household ingredients. Check out my other posts on the many uses of baking sodaunexpected dish soap usescitric acid uses, hydrogen peroxide cleaning tips, and surprising ways to use vinegar.

What is Washing Soda?

Before we explore the many uses of washing soda, let’s first define what it is. Washing soda, sometimes referred to as soda ash or sodium carbonate, is an alkaline compound with a pH of around 11.

It’s derived from common salt through a process called the Solvay method, which involves treating salt with ammonia and carbon dioxide.

The resulting sodium carbonate is highly effective in cleaning and can be used for various household applications due to its powerful properties. Just like baking soda is a versatile household cleaner, washing soda has a higher alkalinity and is more potent.

Washing soda is a fine white powder that is soluble in water and safe for most surfaces. When mixed with water, washing soda forms a highly effective cleaner that is particularly effective against grease, grime, and stains.

Is OxiClean the Same as Washing Soda?

When it comes to cleaning agents, two popular names that come to mind are washing soda and OxiClean. However, they should not be used interchangeably because they are not the same. OxiClean is a brand of cleaning products that often contain sodium carbonate, including washing soda. Unlike OxiClean, washing soda is entirely pure sodium carbonate and does not come with any additional additives.

Washing soda can be mixed with other ingredients to create a variety of homemade cleaning products, while OxiClean is sold as a pre-packaged brand. For those seeking a natural cleaning agent, washing soda would be the obvious choice over OxiClean.

Whether you are planning on cleaning your laundry or wiping down your kitchen, washing soda could be an excellent alternative to traditionally used harmful chemicals.

A woman holding a laundry basket.

Washing Soda Uses for Laundry

As someone who needs to find as many efficiencies in a laundry routine as possible, I highly recommend adding washing soda to your laundry system. Be sure to check out my laundry strategies here.

Laundry Booster Washing soda acts as a laundry booster, amplifying the effectiveness of your regular laundry detergent. Add a half cup of washing soda to your laundry cycle to help remove tough stains, eliminate odors, and brighten clothes. 
Pre-TreatmentFor heavily soiled or stained items, create a pre-soak solution by dissolving ½ cup of washing soda in a gallon of warm water. This effectively loosens dirt and removes stubborn stains. 
Water SoftenerDo you live in an area with hard water? Add one cup of washing soda to your load at the beginning of the cycle. Hard water can make it difficult for your detergent to work effectively. Just like using borax as a laundry booster, washing soda also softens hard water, making it an ideal laundry aid. Homesteading Hack: This trick won’t be as effective if you are using cold water. Washing soda works best with warm and hot water cycles.
A coffee carafe.

Washing Soda Uses in the Kitchen

When it comes to cleaning the kitchen, washing soda has a variety of uses that can come in handy.

Grease RemoverWith its powerful cleaning properties, washing soda can tackle stubborn grease and grime on ovens, stove burners, and pots and pans. Simply apply a paste of washing soda and water to the affected areas. Leave the paste to work its magic for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing the surfaces clean.
DescalerWashing soda can also be used as an effective tile descaler, removing mineral deposits and hard water stains that can make your kitchen look dull. Mix a paste of washing soda and water and apply it to your tiles. Scrub the surface with a brush before rinsing the tiles with water.
DishwasherFor dishwasher cleaning, add a sprinkle of washing soda to your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser to help clean and deodorize your machine. This is especially helpful if your dishwasher tends to build up odors over time.
Trash CansKeep your trash cans smelling fresh by sprinkling them with washing soda to absorb odors.
Coffee and Tea StainsFor those stubborn coffee and tea stains on your mugs and teapots, washing soda can be a lifesaver. Simply soak your stained items in a solution of warm water and washing soda to make them look like new again.
Natural cleaning supplies on a counter with wooden spoon and brush.

Washing Soda Uses in the Bathroom

When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, washing soda can be your best friend. This versatile cleaning agent can help you tackle even the toughest stains and grime in your shower and bathtub.

To use washing soda as a bathroom cleaner, create a paste by mixing washing soda and water until it forms a thick consistency. Then, scrub the paste onto the surfaces you want to clean using either a sponge or a clean cloth, and rinse with water. For tough, stubborn stains, let the paste sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.

With washing soda in your cleaning arsenal, it’s easy to say goodbye to bathroom stains and hello to a cleaner, fresher home.

Baking soda being sprinkled on a carpet stain.

Other Washing Soda Uses Around the House

Aside from laundry and cleaning, washing soda has plenty of other uses around your home. Here are a few:

Carpet CleanerWashing soda can also be used as a carpet cleaner to help remove stains and odors. Simply mix washing soda with warm water until it forms a thick paste and apply it onto the stained area using a clean cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water and blotting it dry.
Drain CleanerTo keep your drains unclogged and free of odors, mix 1 cup of washing soda with hot water and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush it with hot water.
Outdoor Furniture CleanerMix ¼ cup of washing soda with warm water and use it to scrub your outdoor furniture. It will remove dirt, grime, and mildew, leaving your furniture fresh and clean.
Grill CleanerDon’t use harsh chemicals to clean an outdoor grill! Instead, soak the removable grates in one part washing soda to two parts hot water for a few hours, and marvel at how the burned on grease is now easy to remove!
Blind CleanerDo you put off cleaning your vinyl blinds? With washing soda, it’s a snap! Mix 1/2 cup of washing soda with a gallon of water, and use the solution to wipe clean with a rag. If you prefer to remove your blinds, soak them in a bathtub full of hot water with 1 cup of washing soda. Let soak for 30 minutes, rinse, and rehang the blinds allowing them to air dry.
Oil Spills in the Garage Washing soda works great to absorb oil stains on your garage floor. Sprinkle a generous amount of washing soda over the oil stain, and add sprinkles of water until a paste forms. Allow to sit for 24 hrs, and then scrub with a soft brush, rinse, and wipe clean.
Cream of tartar in a clear glass bowl.

How to Make Washing Soda at Home

If you’re unable to find washing soda in stores, don’t worry! You can easily make it at home using baking soda and your oven.

Supplies Needed

  • Shallow Baking Dish – Any oven-safe dish will work.
  • Baking Soda – You can make as little or as much washing soda as you need. Just remember that the baking soda needs to be baked in a thin layer, so plan to use a large dish or multiple batches for large quantities.
  • Airtight Container – My favorite storage containers are glass Mason jars, but you can use any clean container with a tight-fitting lid.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread a thin layer of baking soda in a shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake the baking soda for 30 minutes.
  4. The heat will convert the baking soda into washing soda, which is also known as sodium carbonate.
  5. Once cooled, store your homemade washing soda in an airtight container for future use.

As you can see, there are many ways to discover the uses of washing soda. By incorporating washing soda into your cleaning routine, you can reduce your reliance on harsh and potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, you’ll be using a more natural and safe alternative that is just as effective. So, why not give washing soda a try?

A jar of baking soda, half a lemon and a cleaning brush.

FAQ

What is washing soda?

Washing soda, also known as soda ash or sodium carbonate, is a highly alkaline compound with a pH of around 11. It is derived from common salt through a process called the Solvay method. Washing soda has powerful cleaning properties and can be used in various household applications.

Is OxiClean the same as washing soda?

No, OxiClean is a brand name for a range of cleaning products that contain various ingredients, including sodium carbonate. Washing soda itself is pure sodium carbonate and does not contain any additional additives. Therefore, if you’re looking for a natural and more versatile option, washing soda is the way to go.

What are some uses of washing soda in laundry?

Washing soda can be used as a laundry booster, enhancing the effectiveness of your regular laundry detergent. It can help remove tough stains, eliminate odors, and brighten clothes. For heavily soiled or stained items, create a pre-soak solution by dissolving a ½ cup of washing soda in a gallon of warm water. Additionally, washing soda softens hard water, making your detergent work better and your clothes feel softer.

How can I use washing soda in the kitchen?

Washing soda is a versatile cleaner in the kitchen. Use a paste of washing soda and water to tackle stubborn grease and grime on ovens, stove burners, and pots and pans. It can also be used as an effective tile descaler, removing mineral deposits and hard water stains. In your dishwasher, add a sprinkle of washing soda to help clean and deodorize your machine. Washing soda can also be used to remove tough coffee and tea stains in mugs and teapots.

What are some uses of washing soda in the bathroom?

Washing soda can be used as a bathroom cleaner to scrub away grime and soap scum in the shower and bathtub. Washing soda is a versatile cleaner that can help keep your bathroom spotless.

Are there any other uses for washing soda around the house?

Yes, washing soda has numerous uses throughout your home. It can be used as a drain cleaner when mixed with hot water and poured down the drain to unclog it. Use it as an outdoor furniture cleaner by mixing washing soda with warm water and scrubbing away dirt and grime. It can also be used as a carpet cleaner to remove stains and odors from bathroom carpets.

Can I make washing soda at home?

Yes, if you can’t find washing soda in stores, you can make it at home using baking soda. Spread a thin layer of baking soda in a shallow baking dish and bake it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. The heat will convert the baking soda into washing soda, as both are forms of sodium carbonate. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container for future use.

Homemade glass cleaner supplies and ingredients.
A man and wife smiling.

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