Laundry is a never-ending chore, and it can be expensive to buy all of the different detergents, stain removers, and fabric softeners you need. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is affordable to whiten and brighten your laundry, but you don’t know how to use it.
Not only does baking soda help remove stains and odors from your clothes, but it’s also a great way to whiten them without using harsh chemicals. Learn more about how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed and killing crabgrass with baking soda on our blog. We also recommend checking our guide to the best laundry whiteners for your delicate, white clothing.
Baking soda isn’t only affordable, but it’s also a gentle, natural product that can be used in a variety of ways to improve your laundry experience.
Here are some of the incredible uses of baking together with baking soda in your laundry room.
Baking Soda Can Be Used as a Fabric Softener
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry during the wash cycle to help soften your clothes. Baking soda is a natural fabric softener that will not leave behind harsh chemicals like some commercial fabric softeners. And if you’re looking to make a DIY laundry detergent such as fabric softener, baking soda is a great product to use.
Baking Soda Can Help Remove Stains
Pretreat stains by making a paste with baking soda and water. Make a paste with six tablespoons of baking soda and a 1/3 cup of warm water, rub it into the stain and let it do its thing. The baking soda will lift the stain out of the fibers. Discard the baking soda before you put the item in the washer. For oily stains, sprinkle baking soda directly on the stain and let it sit overnight before washing.
Removing Shoe Odors and Laundry Odors With Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline, neutralizing many of the nastiest odors, such as sweat, urine, and vomit. You can deodorize clothes by adding 1/2 cup baking soda in the rinse cycle. Remove cigarette smoke in your clothes by soaking them in a baking soda and water solution overnight.
If you have a tough odor problem, try this: Soak the garments in a mixture of 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup Borax dissolved in 2 gallons of hot water for 30 minutes. Then wash as usual. This is also an excellent way to remove perspiration stains.
If you’re washing sports bras and leggings, use baking soda and vinegar in the laundry. Add 1/2 cup each without detergent and then wash on a regular cycle. Removing shoe odors with baking soda is also easier as baking soda is great at getting rid of odors once and for all.
Baking Soda Brightens Aged Linens and Other Fabrics
Soaking yellowed or dingy fabrics in a baking soda solution can help brighten and soften them. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a gallon of water and stir to dissolve. Submerge the fabric in the mixture, let it soak for about 30 minutes, and then launder as usual. You can also pre-treat your linen by rubbing them with baking soda and water paste.
Boost Bleach and Detergent Performance
You always use chlorine bleach to help remove odors and general grime in your laundry. However, if the water is too alkaline or acidic, your bleach will need a boost to work more effectively, and that’s where baking soda comes in. By boosting its cleaning properties, you’ll be able to use less bleach to achieve the same results, saving yourself money and reducing the bleach’s impact on the environment.
Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda for each 1/2 cup of bleach, as this will help regulate the pH level in the water, allowing bleach to work more effectively to reduce bacteria and loosen the soil. If you’re not using chlorine bleach, that half cup of baking soda will boost the performance of your detergent.
This is very important, especially if you have hard water or use a value detergent. You should add the dry baking soda to the empty washer tub before adding your dirty laundry. Avoid placing baking soda in a washer’s automatic dispensers.
Baking Soda Neutralizes Acids and Alkalis
Baking soda is a salt composed of sodium cations and bicarbonate anions. When mixed with water, it forms a mildly alkaline solution. In this way, it can neutralize both acids and bases, making it ideal for laundry use.
Baking soda also helps brighten faded clothing, while the acetic acid in vinegar is strong enough to dissolve soap and detergent residues, leaving your clothes softer. You don’t need to worry since it’s mild enough that it won’t harm four fabrics. You can rinse it quickly and use baking soda to neutralize the acid and prevent damage.
Baking Soda Helps Keep Your Machine Clean
Just as baking soda can help remove stains and odors from clothing, it can work on your washing machine. Over time, detergent residue, fabric softener Build-up, and mineral deposits can leave your machine less than clean. A monthly cleaning with baking soda can help get rid of all that grime.
You can mix distilled white vinegar and baking soda to thoroughly clean and refresh your washing machine. Set it on the hot water cycle at the largest load setting, then add four cups of vinegar.
Run the machine for a minute, then add 1/2 a cup of baking soda. Run the machine for another minute, stop it and let it soak for an hour. After soaking, restart the machine on the longest cycle and let it finish. This will help cleanse your machine of the built-up residue and deposits, leaving it clean and fresh-smelling.
Baking Soda Helps to Clean Irons
Baking soda is a natural gentle abrasive. To remove built-up starch and scorch deposits from the faceplate of a cool iron, mix a baking soda paste and water. Use a white cloth to rub the paste over the face of the iron.
Use the cloth to scrub gently and repeat until the build-up is gone for the tough build-up. Finish by wiping the faceplate with a cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar. Your iron will glide smoothly, making ironing much easier and leaving tell-tale deposits.
Baking Soda Helps to Control Excess Suds
Too much sudsing in the laundry can be a nuisance. It can also lead to clothes not being washed as effectively as they should be. Baking soda can help minimize sudsing and give you cleaner clothes as a result. Simply add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle the next time you do laundry.
You’ll see suds begin to flow if you mistakenly use regular detergent instead of high-efficiency detergent. If this happens, turn your washer off and grab your box of baking soda. Sprinkle the powder directly on the suds to break them down. The baking soda will absorb some moisture, making the cleanup easier.
Use Baking Soda to Sanitize New Baby Clothes
If you’re expecting a new baby, you’ll want to take extra care when washing their clothes. Washing baby clothes in hot water can cause irritation and even rashes. Opting for a baking soda solution is safer to cleanse new clothing.
To use, simply add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your wash cycle. This will help remove any irritants that may be present in the fabric.
Deodorize Sports Gear with Baking Soda
Your workout gear can start to smell pretty rank after a few uses. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your normal wash cycle to keep them smelling fresh. The baking soda will help to absorb any sweat or dirt that’s been left behind.
FAQs on the Baking Soda Uses in a Laundry
Does baking soda damage laundry?
No, baking soda is a gentle cleanser and safe for use on all fabrics. However, if you add baking soda or vinegar to the wash along with your laundry detergent, it increases the risk of poor performance, as detergents are optimized for a specific pH level, which is altered by the presence of baking soda and vinegar.
Can I use baking soda in the washing machine?
Yes, you can add baking soda to your wash cycle. Just be sure to add it before you start the cycle. Allow the clothes to soak in baking soda and water for at least 30 minutes before completing the wash cycle.
Final Thought on the Baking Soda Uses in the Laundry
Baking soda is a versatile product that can be used in the laundry to help remove stains and odors. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adding it to the wash cycle, as overuse can lead to poor performance.