Learn how to make washing soda for your homemade cleaning recipes. Hint: it’s easier than you think!
Several of the homemade cleaning recipes here on Nature’s Nurture call for the use of washing soda.
But what exactly is washing soda? Where you can find it? And what can you do if you can’t find it in stores (or online)? Let’s find out.
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What is washing soda?
Before I answer that question, it’s important to clarify what washing soda is not.
Washing soda is not the same as baking soda. They are two different compounds and are used for completely different purposes.
Washing soda, aka sodium carbonate (or soda ash), is a natural cleaner and a powerful water softener. It’s very basic with a pH of 11. The Environmental Working Group gives it an “A” on their scale, so it passes with flying colors, making it safe and non-toxic.
However, it’s very caustic and not edible. Make sure to wear gloves if you’ll be touching it with your hands, and try not to inhale the tiny particle dust that might fly up if you stir it too fast.
Where can you buy washing soda?
Here are a few places to look for washing soda before you decide if you need to make it at home.
Grocery or big box stores
It’s usually in the laundry aisle next to all the laundry boosters.
Pool cleaner aisle
The brand name is AquaChem. Just make sure the only ingredient listed is sodium carbonate!
You can also find it at Amazon. Or for my fellow Canadian readers, I get mine from Well.ca.
What if you can’t find washing soda in stores or online?
For those who live in rural areas, or without large grocery stores, washing soda can be hard to track down.
So in my search for the best place to buy washing soda for one of my readers, I stumbled upon this idea from Penny at Penniless Parenting that you can actually turn baking soda into washing soda – simply by baking it!
As Penny explains,
The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Seriously. Baking soda’s chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). Washing soda’s chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). When baking soda is heated up to high temperatures, it breaks down to become washing soda, water steam, and carbon dioxide.
So, the steam and carbon dioxide are released during the cooking process, leaving you with… washing soda! See? Now, don’t we sound all smart and science-y? 🙂
How to Make Washing Soda
The process is really simple. Just heat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C), sprinkle some baking soda on a shallow pan, and bake it for about half hour, until it changes composition. You should also stir it up occasionally, just so that it bakes more evenly.
So how do you know when it changes into washing soda?
That part takes a little more work; just a closer, watchful eye. Once you know the differences between the 2 sodas, you’ll be able to tell in no time.
Baking soda is powdery, crystallized, and clumps together.
Washing soda is more grainy, dull, and it doesn’t clump as easily.
You can see the difference below: baking soda on the left, and washing soda on the right. See how the baking soda likes to clump together, and the washing soda is more flat and spread out?
That’s it! See? I told you it was simple!
Now you can go make these non-toxic household cleaners without worrying about where to score your next box of washing soda:
And a word of caution:
Washing soda should be handled with care, as it is very caustic. Always wear gloves if handling it directly, and never inhale the dust particles directly.
Thanks for this info, since Arm & Hammer is probably stopped making it stores have stopped selling it cuz it takes up too much space and real estate on shelves.
Is there a special way of disposing left over washing soda? Or does it never go bad, and it can be used till gone?
That’s a great question, Kathleen! As long as it’s stored in a dry environment, washing soda should stay good indefinitely.
Even though my local stores carry washing soda, I have found it is a lot more economical to buy baking soda and create it.
I just started making my own laundry soap. I use castile lavender bar soap and use baking soad and oxyclean mixed in it. I use vinegar with lavender essential in it for fabric softener. Is that ok? Non toxic laundry soap is expensive no matter where you buy it. No emails please.
You’re right, unfortunately non-toxic detergents are more expensive than conventional ones. Your homemade recipe looks just fine. I used homemade laundry soap for a long time before I stopped for good because I felt it was causing a buildup on our laundry. You can read more on that here, if you’re interested.
Can you put the baking soda on wax or parchment paper? Thank you.
Parchment paper should be fine!
Thanks for all the help you give. I need to make home made toilet cleaner, could you kindly tell me what to include?
I’m working on a recipe specifically for toilets, but for now I use my all-purpose cleaner sprayed into the toilet, then I pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda in the toilet, and scrub with a brush.
For those who can’t find washing soda locally, I buy it on line from rural king. Now just a concerned question. I use washing soda with my laundry detergent I didn’t know it was dangerous. Do I risk harming family by using it in the washing machine? I tend to use with warm or hot water washes, not cold. I appreciate your reply.
Hi Barbara, it’s totally fine to use it in the washing machine since it is very diluted and it’s rinsed away, so it never comes in contact with your skin. As long as you’re not eating it, rubbing it all over your skin, or inhaling it directly, you should be ok. 🙂
Hola Sarah, muchas gracias por compartir tus recetas con productos no tóxicos , saludos desde Monterrey, México
Por nada, Tenchis!
For Canadian readers: I buy my washing soda from Home Hardware. It is listed as “Arm & Hammer 3kg So Clean Laundry Detergent”. It is a blue box that says “So Clean! Super Washing Soda” and is 25% cheaper than buying from well.ca. Once you know what the box looks like (look at it online), you might find it in another local store.
But if you are already buying other stuff from Well.ca (they are great and I use them regularly), it is not an expensive item either way. They also sell a smaller package (2 kg) which may be your preference.
I have also found it listed in pool stores and at online chemistry-supply stores, but I love going to Home Hardware – an old, cramped store that has EVERYTHING and still looks like it did when my Grandfather used to shop there. The sales clerks can put their finger on anything immediately among all the piles of stuff and will gladly order something if it is not in stock.
That was super helpful, Wendy, thank you! It’s funny, I’ve been living in Canada for over 8 years, and I’ve never gone into a Home Hardware store even though I see them all the time! I think you just motivated me to check it out, haha 😉
Sounds like Washing Soda is a dangerous powder if inhaled or exposed to your skin. Is it as dangerous as I am implying??
If you have sensitive skin, you should definitely handle it with gloves. But if you’re just scooping it with a measuring cup and not actually digging in with your bare hands, it should be fine. Also, it tends to make lots of dust if you’re stirring it vigorously, so that’s why there’s a warning about inhaling it. Basically, don’t mix it with your bare hands (use a spoon or cup, etc), and don’t put your face right over the pan and inhale the dust directly, and you should be fine. 🙂
Why do you use two forms of Castile soap one flakes and liquid castile soap?
Hi Lucy, the bar soap is added to help give the end result a slightly thicker, gel-like consistency. You can probably replace the bar soap with liquid (though I don’t know how much to use), but I’m not sure how it will turn out since I haven’t tried it. I’m fairly sure it would still work, though.
Thank you for the clear instructions!
You’re welcome, Kathleen!
Wow, this great! Thank you! I am so excited to do this with my daughter!
You’re welcome, Lynsey! Just remember that washing soda should be handled with care – so wear gloves and don’t breathe it in directly.
How can I clean my pillows in a front loading washer?
A quick Google search has a long list of results, but this one has a great tutorial: http://askannamoseley.com/2014/09/how-to-wash-pillows-in-a-front-load-washing-machine/
Thanks so much, I was getting desperate. This information is a lifesaver.
Glad I could help!
How much Washing Soda do you put in with your Laundry Detergent?
You can find links to all the recipes that use washing soda, at the bottom of this post. 🙂
Thanks! Been, making my own for years but finding the washing soda has become more challenging as supply seems to not be keeping up with demand and the shelf is more often empty than not anymore. Now I can buy that huge bag from the bulk distributor and make it. Awesome!
You can tell if you have washing soda as it chemically reacts with hard water. It precipitates the calcium and the reaction heats the water. Baking soda and water do not react. It stays the same temperature and settles on the bottom. It’s an easier way for me to tell if it’s changed.
Thanks for that info, Sara! Someone commented before that washing soda felt hot on her wet hands, so this explains it!
My daughter and her friends shared your site with me. They all love it! It’s rather lovely and I needed this one on the washing soda. Thank you!!
Thanks Mommasita4 🙂 To be fair, Penny did also contact my privately about this issue. At the end of the day, it was still my fault for not making sure my post linked back to her site. But all is well, it’s in the past now, no hard feelings.
P.S. Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad to have you as a new follower! 🙂
I tried this. I cooked it for 2 hours because it wouldn’t change. I have washing soda on hand and feel its almost a gritty feeling. after baking it still is powdery feeling. Has anyone had this problem? I don’t know what to do.
Thank you so much! U have no idea how much this post helps me! I’ve been wanting to make my own paper naturally, but every recipe calls for caustic soda or washing soda. But all the companies that sell those use chemical processing to produce them. But I have a Bob’s red mill baking soda that uses NO chemicals. So now I cant just making my own washing soda and use that to finally complete my goal! Thank you again! And God Bless You!!!
I am looking for washing soda so I can dye some fabric. I will try changing plain old baking soda into washing soda and see how my colors turn out from dyeing them.
Great experiment, Ruth! Would love to know how/if it worked out!
Cool! I used to be able to find it at my local walmart but now I can’t find it anywhere! Thanks I can make my own detergent again! 🙂
Here is some back-up in case anyone is doubtful:
Since we can’t set our ovens to 392 deg F (or maybe you can), 400 deg F is the way to go.
we just use baking soda in our washing machine – what is the advantage of washing soda versus baking soda for laundry?
It’s just a stronger, more alkaline version of baking soda, and packs a stronger cleaning punch. It also works great on getting mildew smells out of towels. Lots of people just use baking soda in their detergent recipes, so if it works for you, no need to change a good thing! 🙂 I actually use both – washing soda in the detergent recipe, and I also add 1/4 cup of baking soda to help soften clothes and regulate the ph level of the water.
I love this tip! I never see washing soda in the stores and there’s so many recipes I want to make that use it. Thanks!
You’re very welcome, Tracy!
Thanks! Needed washing soda for a science experiment, and this saved that day!
I have a quick question. If I put the converted baking soda to washing soda in a seal container will it remain washing soda. I am experimenting with different recipes and don’t want to use it already. I also am having a difficult time finding washing soda. Do you have a recipe for dishwasher detergent?
I’m not sure, but I think if it’s stored in a cool, dry place it should be ok.
And there’s a dishwasher detergent recipe in this post: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/02/07/greener-household-cleaners/
I have been experimenting with the “baking Sodium Bicarbonate into “Sodium Carbonate” procedure for a little while… I have 2 potential tips and/or questions 🙂
1. With the “recycling” concept in mind, I did try to recycle my old “fridge baking soda” as others have mentioned and it doesn’t seem to make a difference with in the final product, the odors probably disappear with the heat and evaporation.
I googled it several times and just found the question/proposition, but never an actual answer… While in the fridge, it absorbs odors as well as water from condensation. I would assume it doesn’t change it’s chemical structure and that you would just need a little more time in the oven to achieve the same results…
—> can anyone corroborate this with scientific facts?
2. I didn’t calculate the cost effectiveness as far as the energy used by the oven while making soda ash, but I agree that, in the winter, residual heat for the house could be an argument… 🙂 ) From that thought, came my next idea: I have a self-cleaning oven (extremely high temperatures reduces food grime to ash ), I don’t use it often, but it works. I thought I might as well turn other good thing to ash next time I do it – which should be pretty soon – and putting baking soda on the bottom part of the “clean” broiling pan that came with the oven ei coated for this process!
—> My question is: Does anyone know if it can be over-baked, both in time and temperature, kill it all together or produce something else? Any thoughts?
I doubt the latter but…To be safe, I searched this as well, never found an answer. The proposed times vary from 30 min to 2 hours and there are some arguments about what temperatures are “too low”.
3. (oups! I lied… 3 questions) Besides the visual aspect, is there other clues to verify one has succeeded in transforming it? I haven’t used it in soap recipes yet…
Why does baking soda need to be converted? Why can’t you just use the baking soda instead??
Baking soda and washing soda are two completely different products. Some recipes for detergents and soaps call for washing soda, which is why it would be converted if you can’t find it locally.
Valda De Dieu
I LOVE your site, get you by facebook as well as your newsletter.
Thanks for the great work you do….
Thank you thank you what an awesome tip my followers will be thrilled!!
Thanks for the very cool tip my followers will be thrilled!!!
The word you want is ‘bear’ not ‘bare’, unless, of course, you are inviting your readers to disrobe. This may seem nitpicky, but people who do not use words correctly are perceived as being less credible and less likely to be believed.
Thank you! It’s not nitpicky at all, I can’t stand mistakes like that either, so I’m a little embarrassed at the typo 😉
I can easily get Washing Soda at my local Walmart – but I cannot pay for it with my food stamps like I can with white vinegar. I use white vinegar to clean just about everything, and/or baking soda. Since I cannot work, and am waiting for disability to come through, there is very little assistance that I qualify for (no matter HOW much I have paid into the system over the years) So, for me to fork out cash money hurts.
Now I know how to turn baking soda into washing soda!!! Yaaayyyy!!
Will it harm bread if I am baking at the same time (hate to waste a hot oven)?
Honestly, I don’t know about the bread thing because I’ve never tried it. If you do try it, I’d love to hear about it! Take care 🙂
Very serious issue with a lot of these natural DIY recipes. It isn’t necessary to use Arm and Hammer. If you have ever seen an animal having chemicals burn their eyes while in a head vice you would know there is nothing natural in that. Bob Red Mill is a little more, but frugal shouldn’t mean cruelty. Sorry to be a downer, but someone has to speak for the voiceless and defenseless.
Please consider humane when choosing ingredients.
Diana, no need to apologize. You’re absolutely right, and I only just recently came to know about these issues with Arm and Hammer. We use Bob’s Red Mill for not just baking soda, but lots of other things like arrowroot powder, oats, etc. I really need to get on it and create a new graphic for this post. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you so much for pointing that out, and yes it is a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. This was my quest, to find a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that didn’t use borax so it would be cruelty free. Then people started saying about A&H testing on animals and now they could make cruelty free products and I wondered how when it was still A&H baking soda too!! I did not know that there was any other brand of baking soda besides A&H. I have never seen Bob Red Mill baking soda. Is there any other brand that is cruelty free?? I would feel SO MUCH BETTER using one that is. I really hope that the day will come soon when there will be NO TESTING ON ANIMALS FOR ANYTHING!!!! It is very barbaric and inhumane and needs to be stopped. Thank you so much Diana for speaking for the voiceless!! Kudos and much appreciation to you.
I know, Beverly – I hope we see that day sooner rather than later as well. You can find Bob’s Red Mill online at Amazon or at your local health foods store. I’m not sure what other brands are cruelty free. Hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking about doing a whole blog post on this!
Oh my goodness…. thank you for this very informative post. I am looking for washing soda. However, I live in Spain and have just realised that I have been using washing soda to bake with, because they more or less don’t bake here, and if they do, they don’t use baking soda!!! I had been wondering why the “baking” (not) soda here looked more grainy, and far too often left a salty taste in my baking. Thank you for explaining. Now if somebody could just tell me how to turn bicarbonato sodico back into baking soda – lol!
Wow, this is just brilliant. I live in a big city and I can never find it. I will have to try this.
I love this. I can’t find store-brand washing soda, and because I do my very best to avoid the bad companies that do animal testing (like Arm & Hammer), I love that I can make washing soda now, reducing waste and at least letting ME be cruelty-free. (Next…finding grass-fed beef…somewhere…)
Thanks for the helpful helpful post. Just curious, how long will it take to bake the baking soda into washing soda?
I’ve made my laundry soap for 30 yrs.I finally got my 40 something daughter to make some as her daughter has allergies from hel* an was sick all last yr. My daughter washed EVERYTHING in it and guess what healthy as a horse!!! Now she has 5-10 gallons at all times ready to go. Haha kids 🙂
It would be lovely to know YOUR recipe. 🙂
Thank you….I get the big bags of A&H Baking Soda at the wholesale warehouse thinking I can use it in all my cleaning recipes….now I can! Please check out my wellness page on FB as you can add EOs to your recipes as well! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/creatorsoils
Just an extra tip: hunting for washing soda in your supermarket might be a pain, but soda ash (also sodium carbonate), can be found easily at any pool cleaning supplier. It’s used in reducing chroline levels.
This did not work for me.
I’ve been using a washing soda, Dawn, and Borax mixture for laundry for a couple of months and it is every bit as good as any commercial detergent for pennies instead of dollars. Both my husband and I think it’s better, actually. Thanks for publishing the difference between those two….but I’ll buy the washing soda because I can get a much larger box of it than I can the baking soda.
Is washing soda supposed to get really hot when water is added to it? I never noticed before but recently I had some water on my hand and touch some of my homemade washing soda and it was extremely hot! I know washing soda is caustic but I didn’t think it would heat up like lye!
Wow, never had that happen before! But I’m usually pretty cautious when working with these ingredients. Thanks for the heads up though!
I love this idea. I’ve been looking for another brand of washing soda since I went vegan three months ago, and decided to start making my own cleaning products. Arm and Hammer tests on animals, and I can’t contribute to that. I’m favoriting, and will definitely refer back to this article many times. 🙂
I sent my husband to the store for me (obviously a mistake lol) for washing soda to make detergent. He comes back with 3 huge boxes of baking soda. You just saved his butt! Lol
Just a silly question, when using baking soda in the fridge/freezer for odors they recommend changing the box every month – can you make washing soda with this “used” baking soda with this method? It seems like such a waste to just toss the baking soda…
Not a silly question at all, Tm! It’s actually a great question, but unfortunately I’m not really sure. I tried to do a quick search just now but didn’t find anything. I don’t use baking soda in the fridge so I’ve never tried making washing soda out of it either. We buy our baking soda in bulk because it’s a main component of our household cleaning, so it’s very cheap. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. :-/
I would imagine if the baking soda in question has been sitting in your refrigerator for that purpose, it probably won’t impart a fresh smell to your laundry; I know mine isn’t too pretty smelling when I toss it. It’s not bad, but not neutral, either.
You might, however, still use it as a scrub for pots an pans or for bathroom surfaces, in lieu of kitchen cleanser, as it shouldn’t lose its abrasive properties. Try mixing in a little dishwashing liquid to slightly emulsify it and help its cleaning properties.
Or, instead of dish washing liquid, use a little vinegar.
Founder & Editor of theREALmeMAGAZINE here. I just published a laundry soap recipe on my Financial Tips & Tricks page. I will include the above information, as well. theREALmeMAGAZINE is the new interactive, online magazine that informs, encourages, and celebrates today’s REAL woman!
I know these are old posts but I was told we could but very hot water on baking soda and that it does the same thing if you let it sit for a bit. Has anybody heard if this is accurate? It would just save a step in the laundry soap making process. It makes sense too that it would work! Thanks for the info!
hi there! Just a quick question (or bit of feedback). I did this just now, I baked 1 c of baking soda at 400, I stirred every 10 minutes for about 50 minutes (in a convection oven). The consistency slightly changed, but not dramatically. Tired of waiting and unsure exactly what I was looking for, I went ahead and took it out, thinking it must be done. I used it to make the liquid laundry detergent, and as I am making it, the detergent is not coagulating. Could it be b/c of the improper conversion of the baking soda to washing soda? I am going to try and use the uncoagulated detergent anyway – as I have a lot of time invested into this little project! Thoughts?
Hey Jolee, Hmm, not sure what happened. 50 minutes seems like more than enough time in the oven. Maybe it was an older box of baking soda? There is a definite difference between the unbaked and baked soda, if you look at them together under some light, it’s very clear.
I would’ve gone ahead and tried the detergent anyways as well, so I’m interested to hear how it worked out for you!
I have a washer that needs HE soap. Do you know if this would work and how much I’d need?
Natalie, you can check my laundry detergent posts for info on HE washers here:
Hope that helps!
P.S. Just checked out your blog, love it! 🙂
Thanks Sarah! I’ve got some soap nuts on the way, so hopefully they’ll work well. If not I’ll be baking some baking soda. 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
That’s great! I’ve been meaning to give those a try. I just tried the SmartKlean laundry ball which uses no detergent whatsoever and loved it! Here’s my review on it, if you’re interested: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/11/28/smartklean-detergent-ball-review-giveaway/
What a horrible powdery mess! Not worth the extreme cleanup and sneezing episode. Never again!
I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, Barbara! I’ve never had problems with a powdery mess… Wondering where the issue may have occurred.
I’m sorry–but I don’t know where in your post it says to “make a paste.” I’m reading your directions as “sprinkle baking soda into a pan and bake it at 400 degrees.” Further up-thread, it’s suggested that the evaporating process of baking the baking soda means the powder gives up its water content. Could you please clarify? Thanks!
I’m so sorry and thanks for bringing this to my attention! My response to the other commenter (Barbara) was actually wrong. I thought she was referring to another post (one on making a baking soda scrub for blackheads!), so please disregard my comment…I’ve gone back and edited it to reflect that. So, just to clarify again, there is NO PASTE here! 🙂
Thank you for clarifying! My baking soda is poised above a cookie sheet just now!
Try spreading out the baking soda on parchment paper, enough paper to go up the sides of your tray or baking dish. Then you can pick up the edges when cooled and pour it into a storage container (I use metal peanut can from Costco peanuts because it’s a good size and comes with a nice plastic lid–or a home food storage can from powdered milk and the like is the same thing, just usually taller than the peanut can). Reynold’s brand parchment paper can handle 420 degrees Fahrenheit but not higher, so this will work with the recipe/instructions here in this blog. Bake the baking soda according to the parchment paper requirement (which may be below 400 on a different product and in which case it may need more time.) I also found similar information for baking your own washing soda at http://hollythehomemaker.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-make-washing-soda.html. Hope this is helpful. Washing soda really helps with cleaning laundry both of dinginess and of smelliness (great for little ones’ accidents when they are learning to use the potty).
You could also use foil on your pan, instead of parchment paper, the parchment paper just makes a nice funnel, more easily than foil.
I was actually standing above my stove, parchment paper in one hand, foil in the other. I wasn’t sure if the bit of slickness from the parchment paper would leech into the soda, so I opted for foil. If it works w/parchment paper tho, that’s easier to cut for me. Thanks!
I saw online that u can find washing soda at ACE Hardware. looking to make my own laundry soap to save money. hope this helps. most small towns have at least 1 ACE.
I tried it! thanks! can’t wait to use it. well, yes i can…Ha ha!
Hi! Ican use baking soda (for odors) in the refrigerator, to create washing soda?
I would say yes, reuse that baking soda! Also, the BEST thing I’ve used for refrigerator odors (and we’re talking failed-fridge-on-vacation-come-home-to-nasty-awful-stuff type of odors) is charcoal (WITHOUT LIGHTER FLUID ALREADY IN IT!!!!!!!) One can clean up from a mess like that with almost anything (baking soda, vinegar, surface wipes, bleach, etc.) but there’s no way to get into the insulation, etc. The charcoal absorbs this in a couple of days, sometimes a little longer. You can put it in your fridge like baking soda all the time for the normal odors, just change it regularly as you would baking soda. I’ve even used it in the barbeque for candle making so I don’t waste it. I’d say the everyday use of it in place of baking soda in a clean fridge could be reused to cook with on the bbq, too. Some say it can be composted and I would agree (see http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg11205547592.html a few posts down the page by david52 about the content of charcoal briquettes)
I used this article, and posted a link to your directions on my blog here:
I also thanked you there 🙂
Thanks db! Love the name of your blog, looking forward to checking out some more. 🙂
By the way, I grew up in south Florida 😉
Then hook me up with some pointers! Been here 15 years, and I’m still waaaay behind the learning curve!
really. i make laundry soap going on 5 years now. i took 2 different recipes and made my own version and then added more to it.
Thank you soo much! I live in the Seattle area and can’t find washing soda anywhere! I have been checking online, and it is not so cheap, around $8 for 32oz. I can get 16oz of baking soda at the dollar store for .59, so there is no beating the price of making my own!
I’m in a suburb of Seattle and Fred Meyer has Arm & Hammer Washing Soda in the laundry aisle near the Borax and Fels Naptha, but this make-your-own stuff seems to work great. Don’t really know if it’s cost effective as far as the energy used in the oven, but probably is because the baking soda is SO cheap (I’ve gotten it at Fred Meyer-their brand-for .69; Costco also has those huge bags of baking soda), and we use the residual heat for the house (leaving the door open AFTER baking — NEVER HEAT YOUR HOME WITH THE OVEN, ESPECIALLY WITH GAS!) if you don’t want to make it, try Fred Meyer, or I’ve heard Walmart has it but I haven’t checked. I have to wonder about what baking soda is doing in cookies, especially if overdone. . .
Try Winco or Fred Meyer it’s at both down here in S.Puget Sound.
Thanks for the awesome tip! I love this blog!
Hi Sarah! I just found your blog today and love it! I’ve been making my own laundry soap for 3 years. I use a variation of the Duggar Family recipe. I’ve also had a hard time finding washing soda. I think I’ve only seen it at Walmart once and no where else. However, the Duggars say in their recipe that washing soda is sodium carbonate, which you can find anywhere that sells swimming pool chemicals! Just look for Sodium Carbonate. I paid around $7 or $8 3 years ago for a canister of it and just ran out on my last batch ( we have 4 kiddos and 2 adults, that equals ALOT of laundry!)
Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! And thanks for the info on washing soda! I’ve heard you can find it in the pool aisle, so I’m glad someone’s actually found it there and confirmed for us 🙂
This is interesting use for Baking Soda, I am trying to raise awareness in the UK about the many uses of baking soda. (Its not very common here.)
Is it ok for me to link your website? I love this post in particular.
Of course, Jess! Link away 🙂
Hey I applied this tip and its really amazing my bit yellowish shirt is much better much white then before thank you:)
Great tip, Sarah. While looking for homemade recipes in lieu of expensive store-bought dishwasher rinse aid, I stumpled upon this. Seems so many things are now offered as synthetic, chemical substitutes, and the average person is no longer aware of the basic, fundamental ingredients that actually work as well or better than the fancy stuff – any usually far cheaper.
Just a note – I read through the instructions two or three times, but no where does it mention mixing the baking soda with water prior to baking, although it’s implied (water steam).
Hi Ron! Yes, that’s why I started this blog, to remind myself and others that most commercial (and chemically laden) products can actually be made right at home with basic ingredients!
With regards to your note, you’re not actually adding water to the baking soda. The water and carbon dioxide just bake off during the heating process. Hope that helps clarify, and thanks for stopping by!
I like this idea, however I always just throw baking soda into my laundry soap it helps with those terrible smoke odours that my fiancee has from smoking….also helps make my whites white lol….but I am definatley going to try this!
Absolutely! I like to throw in 1/4 cup of baking soda in the wash as well! My laundry freshening post shows how I use vinegar and baking soda to help freshen laundry:
I’ve been buying washing soda for years, but the last time I went to buy it, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Went to lots of places with different Supplies (my Dad was a Grocer, so I know which stores are supplied by whom) , before finally finding some at Walmart (which was my last resort). I can usually find either Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, or Amaze by Sunlight.
It was weird. I bought 2 boxes, so I haven’t been looking since then, but it makes me wonder if there was some sort of problem with the supply chain.
I know what you mean! I’ve had times where I couldn’t find it anywhere, and others where it was all over the place, LOL. That’s why I’m so happy I found this recipe, because baking soda is so readily available, even in big bulk bags too! 🙂
Oh and I am grabbing your button! I need to make myself one but then there is that tricky HTML thing again. 😉
Thanks Chele! I just perused your blog, and I LOVE it! I’m adding you to my “Blogs I Love” page and just subscribed to your RSS 🙂 Looking forward to reading more! Take care and God Bless…
Thank you for your honesty and transparency. It is your desire to share that keeps me coming back here.
Hear hear, Barbara.
I did a search for a good recipe, and my search (after looking at 7 other posts / recipes) brought me here. So thank you Sarah. Love the recipe. My new dish-washing liquid is cooling on the counter. I can’t wait to use it. Actually I already did 🙂
Hi! Thanks for sharing this post. Any suggestions on substitutions for borax? I cannot get it where I live & and want to try to make laundry soap. Thanks!!!
I’m glad you liked this little tip of mine. I would be nice though, if you copy parts of my post and use it word for word, that you gave some credit to me in my post.
Dear Penny, Please know that it was NOT my intention to withhold credit where credit was due. I meant to link the “stumbled upon this idea” part to your post and in my editor it did indeed look like it was linked (even when I checked it now), but it seems there was an error in the html. Please accept my apologies for this, as I would never attempt to steal someone else’s work. If you read my other posts, you will see that for most posts, I credit back to the original author.
Again, please accept my apologies openly, and publicly here on my site. I hope this doesn’t create a rift between us or leave any negative feelings or vibes.
With my humblest apologies,
Sarah @ Nature’s Nurture
Apology accepted. I know what html snafus are like…
I also have to add that its not always easy to know what the terms of netiquette are, and I wish there were a book out there that would detail word for word when you should credit people and how, because its not so easy to know that!!!
You have a great blog here, and I look forward to coming back to check it out again.
Ran this by my chemist husband. This is his response:
“Chemically, we can convert NaHCO3 to Na2CO3, but I would be very surprised if we could accomplish that at 400F. I’d have to look up the heat of activation for each of those and calculate the temperature.
This would be an interim step, though, so if we heat it too long it would continue to degrade into NaO + CO2, which is not what we want. So we would need to have an indicator as to when to stop the heating process.
My question would be – why would you want to do this?
If it’s to save money, then we would need to verify if the difference in cost between the two plus the energy to run the oven for 30 minutes merits this.
But it’s an interesting idea.
Hope this helps!”
I explained to him the “Why?” of not being able to find it in the store. So I guess bottom line is if you can find it buy it but if you can’t give this a go.
Bless you… I was just wondering about that! I CAN find it. All of the grocery stores in my area carry Washing Soda right next to the Borax and Fels Naptha bar soap (the 3 ingredients for making laundry detergent)
I am glad so many can find it in thier area. As for me I have to drive over 40 miles to a bigger store to find it. Sometimes its sold out when I get there. This is a fill in for those who would like to make it when they can travel over 40 miles or more (Amarillo is 120 miles away)
Thank you for another solution and keep up the helpful hints.
The 99c Store (we have them in California) sell boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for $0.79 each. That makes it more cost effective to make than to buy Washing Soap IF one can find it. 🙂
what is nao? i tried googling but all i find is na20. I ask because i cooked some baking soda, and now whatever i have made heats up when water is added to it (i guess its called heat of solution?). I am curious if i made something besides sodium carbonate. can you ask your husband?
Agreed, not actually running the reaction, but seems to be not really a chemical change.
This link addresses the chemistry:
This link addresses the cost comparison:
Anne @ Quick and Eas
That is seriously the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday, and come back next time to see if you were featured!
Hello! This is my first time participating. I’m #21 on the list.
I posted about your blog hop here:
and linked to it here – http://simply-saving.com/frugal-simple-living-blog-hops-link-parties/
Welcome, Joanne! Thanks for sharing your tip! Also, thanks for sharing my link everywhere 😉 I just went ahead and Liked your FB page, following you on Twitter, and subscribed to your feed 🙂 Hope you’ll join us again next week!
No kidding! I never knew that you could bake it like this. Brilliant.
Thanks so much for linking up with Feed Me Friday this week. Looking forward to reading more from you!
It really is brilliant, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by, Emily! That cole slaw recipe looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it 🙂
Hi Sara I’m new to your blog and am from South Africa. Thanx ever so much! Found it all very interesting. Want to share the coleslaw recipe? Fresh cabbage has an ingredient which fights tumours big time! So its a favourite in our house. Does your eczema get better or worse when you swim in the sea? There is a company in the US called Sportron International. They make a Spa liquid for home use. It contains seaweed…hence the q about swimming. I used it on a 2 yr old boy who had seriously weeping open eczema with amazing results within 2,3 days. All you do is put a cap full in your quite warm bath water and soak for 20 mins. Seaweed sloughs dead skin and stimulates regrowth of new skin. You can message me on FB Clematis Scholes, if you have questions.
Thanks for hosting!
Thanks for the wonderful tip. I use regular baking soda with vinegar to clean the sinks and bathtub, but didn’t know how to use baking soda for washing clothes. It’s such a natural and inexpensive way to clean!
I’ve been looking all over the place for washing soda so that I could make homemade laundry detergent, so this post is just what I’ve needed! Thanks:)
Aww, yay! Glad it helped!
Can you use it in those high efficiency washers?
That is so awesome! I am constantly hearing people say they can’t find washing soda…so happy to have a tip to share with them now. Thanks!!!
Ok, girlfriend… this is for serious awesome. I dont actually follow all that many blogs because it seems like 90% of the posts arent that useful but Im telling you each one of your blog posts is useful. this is great… I was just at Costco yesterday looking at the price of their eco-friendly laundry detergent and thinking maybe I should give making my own a try when Im done with my current bottle. This is a great tip, Sarah, thanks!
Im excite d to join the carnival today. I posted two “tips”, one from my archive and one I did today. thanks for starting this, I look forward to reading everyone elses stuff tonight when kiddo is in bed. God bless!
Aww, I’m glad you find my posts useful – I really try hard to keep them relevant and practical 😉
And please, do yourself a favor and try making your own detergent – you will never look back, I promise!
Thanks for linking up!
I still don’t get it.. What does the soda become and how does help clean the clothes.?
The baking soda becomes washing soda which is a common ingredient in homemade laundry detergent.
The washing soda has a higher PH than baking soda, and it is supposed to deodorize and clean.
So neat! Hope you have time to check out my blog.
Thanks for linking up! Heading over your way now 🙂
The Accidental House
That is a seriously cool tip! You do sound very sciencey 😉
Thank you for posting this. I’m not particularly science minded so have a gazillion things to learn still. I buy baking soda from Costco in HUGE bags so always have it in stock. Now the washing soda was something I was getting at Amazon so now I can be even MORE frugal, less of a footprint (“green” thing) and even though I don’t understand the chemical formula I can know this simple thing by heart and save exasperation when I’m only missing the one thing for a recipe/formula in cleaning. Head bowed in gratitude for what will be with me the rest of my life. clap clap clap (and to Jerica from Sustain, Create & Flow.