Washing soda makes a great addition to any natural household. Did you know it’s simple to make yourself using baking soda?
Washing soda offers a nice punch for cleaning since it has a higher pH than its “cousin,” baking soda. Washing soda is sodium carbonate. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda has a pH of 8.4, washing soda a pH of 11.
Just as its name implies, baking soda is great for baking since it reacts with an acid to create an airy, spongy texture. (This is why baking soda, an alkali, is combined with cream of tartar, an acid, to make baking powder.) Washing soda, on the other hand, is great for cleaning since it consumes twice as much acid as baking soda. It is too caustic, however, for baking.
Since the two are closely linked, it’s possible to transform baking soda into washing soda simply by heating it. The heat causes the baking soda to release steam and carbon dioxide, leaving a more alkaline substance behind in the form of washing soda.
Since washing soda is not as readily available as baking soda, it may be simpler to make your own.
Spread an ample amount of baking soda on a cookie sheet or any other baking pan. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper if desired. (Doing so makes it simpler to pour the finished product.) Heat in oven at 400 degrees.
Remove pan after 30 minutes or so. Allow to cool. Transfer to a suitable container. Voilà: washing soda!
You’ll notice the powder has become grainy and more crystalline. In the photo, the baking soda is on the left and the washing soda is on the right. If you’re not sure if the process worked, and can’t see the difference, try tasting both. You’ll know right away!
Looking for ways to integrate washing soda into your household?
Want to stock up on baking soda? I buy baking soda in 50-pound bags from Azure Standard. Check the Azure website to see if they deliver to your area. Costco also sells bulk packaging of baking soda.
How do you use washing soda in your home?
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Deb Gatz says
Hi Andrea! I clicked on the “recipe” for the powdered laundry detergent but the page that popped up said the information is no longer available. Is there another place I can find this info? Thanks so much!!
Andrea Fabry says
Hi Deb. Sorry about that. This is the link.http://it-takes-time.com/2014/03/diy-laundry-soap.html Thanks for the heads up. I’ll fix the link.
Baking soda plus a bit of Dawn detergent make the best soft scrub recipe.
Have you used washing soda in a swimming pool?
I use baking soda in my pool instead of the chemical recommended. I’ll have to see if washing soda would work too.
Thanks for the tip, washing soda is getting harder to find!
Andrea Fabry says
I’d be interested to hear what you find out about washing soda for pools, Diane!