Can You Put Baking Soda In The Washing Machine? How To Use the Right Way

You probably won’t find a household product more versatile than baking soda. In one moment, it’s part of your go-to baking recipe; in another, you’re using it as a cleaning agent. Given its cleaning credentials, you might be wondering can you put baking soda in the washing machine?

You can put baking soda in the washing machine. Baking soda softens the water, leaving your clothes and washing machine clean and odor-free. When used properly, it is perfectly safe to add to a load of laundry. 

With so many detergent brands on supermarket shelves, you probably wonder why anyone would settle for baking soda. I personally am a huge fan of using baking soda in the washing machine. Something you may now know about me is that I cloth diapered my three kids. This is when I REALLY started to value baking soda for far more than its qualities in baking!

So Can You Put Baking Soda in the Washing Machine? Baking Soda Is an Effective Addition to Many Laundry Treatments

Baking soda is an excellent laundry treatment option. For starters, it’s inexpensive and readily available. I have extensively researched the question and asked some experts in the cleaning field to get the answer for you. Below are some of the main benefits of using baking soda in the washing machine.

  • Softens water: Baking soda has a low alkaline content that softens the water. So, you need only a small amount to resolve hard water that may cause problems in your washing cycles. Baking soda works well with both white and colored clothes.
  • Tough stain remover: Baking soda is acidic. It’s excellent for removing stubborn stains on both white and colored clothes. As I mentioned I use it to get out the most stubborn stains in cloth diapers.
  • Gives your clothes a new look: Baking soda not only removes stains but also gives your clothes a new lease on life.
  • Eliminates strong odor: Baking soda removes odor from sweat, smoke, and pets. If you’re a handyman or work in a factory, baking soda will be a valuable asset when it comes to washing your clothes.
  • Cleans your washing machine: When you wash with baking soda, your washing machine also benefits. Baking soda is a natural cleaning treatment that will leave your machine squeaky clean.
  • Removes rust: If there is rust or any stain on your washing machine that won’t just go away, you can use baking soda to scrub it away.
Can You Put Baking Soda in the Washing Machine

How To Get the Best Results With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a highly effective household cleaning agent for laundry and other household cleaning tasks. However, you must know how best to use it for optimum results. Here are a few tips to help you use baking soda properly:

  • Open the water inlet and allow the washing machine to fill up with water. Then, pour one cup of baking soda powder into the washing machine before adding your clothes. Note that the quantity of baking soda to use depends on the amount of water in the machine. If you’re washing a few clothes, half a cup of baking soda should suffice.
  • Soak clothes overnight in baking soda to remove odor. For difficult odor removal, soak the clothes overnight in water with one cup of baking soda. Use warm water for best results.
  • Don’t overfill the washing machine. Do not put too many clothes into the washing machine; the baking soda will not have enough space to penetrate the fabric properly, and you won’t get the desired result.
  • Sun the clothes. To get the best result from washing with baking soda, dry the clothes under the sun. Using the dryer may not give you the best result. Sun drying removes any remaining odor.

Can I Use Baking Soda To Wash All Fabrics?

You can use baking soda to wash all fabrics due to its high alkalinity. You can use it on various fabrics, including white and colored clothing. However, you shouldn’t wash fiber-based materials such as silk, wool, and cashmere frequently with baking soda.

These materials are not alkaline-friendly. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use baking soda to wash them—instead, it means that once in a while is enough. Apart from the materials mentioned above, baking soda is an excellent go-to cleaning agent, and you can use it as often as you want.

Can I Use Only Baking Soda To Do Laundry?

You can use only baking soda to do laundry. Whether you have run out of detergent or don’t want to use it, baking soda can be an effective alternative.

The properties of an effective detergent are as follows:

  • Alkalinity
  • Effective cleanser
  • Deodorizer 

Baking soda has all of these qualities. So, you can use it to wash clothes and still get the same results, if not better. Just pour a cup of baking soda into the washing machine, add your clothes, and spin. 

While you’re at it, remember that baking soda needs space to penetrate the clothes, so don’t overfill the washing machine. If you have a lot of clothes to clean, wash them in batches for optimum results. You can also leave baking soda to sit on a stain.

Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Tough Stains

We all hate stained clothes and with three kids and a multitude of pets, I see a LOT of stains in my house. I recently thought my favorite sweater was ruined from grubby toddler hands but baking soda has my back.

If you struggle with lingering stains, don’t worry—you can remove stubborn stains using baking soda and water.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Make a paste using one cup of baking soda to half a cup of water.
  2. Apply the paste to the stained spot. Leave it to dry off before removing the baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the stain, leaving your clothes clean.

Baking Soda vs. Laundry Detergent in the Washing Machine

I’ve already answered the question can you put baking soda in laundry and established that baking soda is a great replacement for your laundry detergent, given their similar properties. However, save for contingencies, is baking soda better than laundry detergents?

While baking soda can penetrate clothes and remove tough stains, frequent usage with fiber-based materials isn’t advisable. Frequent exposure to baking soda can degrade these materials after some time. Also, baking soda has high alkaline content, which can make the color of your clothes fade quickly.

The few points above show that laundry detergent is still a better option for your washing machine and especially if you use the right one. However, note that all detergents won’t give you the same results since they vary in quality and ingredients.

Using Baking Soda in Combination with Other Cleaning Agents

We know that baking soda is effective on its own. But how good is it when combined with other cleaning agents? 

The most popular laundry cleaning agents are detergents and vinegar. Let’s see how they work when paired with baking soda.

Baking Soda is Compatible with Detergent

Baking soda is alkaline and contains sodium bicarbonate. Detergents also contain sodium carbonate. The combination of baking soda, detergent, and the right amount of water will give you cleaner clothes. 

BUT you must use baking soda and detergent in the correct ratio and portion for an effective wash. 

Half a cup of baking soda is sufficient when combined with detergent. Using too much baking soda can also bleach your clothes. Don’t use this combination frequently, as it can damage sensitive fabrics.  It is best for stubborn stains and stinky clothes.

Baking Soda Isn’t Compatible with Vinegar

You shouldn’t combine baking soda with vinegar. While baking soda is alkaline, vinegar is acidic. Combining these chemicals in the laundry will only cancel their individual effect and make them ineffective. Keep this in mind when combining baking soda with other cleaning agents.

Final Thoughts

So can you put baking soda in the washing machine? Absolutely! Baking soda is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, but it’s also useful in the laundry. It’s safe to use in your washing machine, it will keep your clothes stain-free and odor-free, and it will also leave your washing machine squeaky clean.

It’s essential to use the right proportion of baking soda relative to water. Soak your fabrics overnight, if possible, to get optimum results.

Remember not to wash your cashmere, silk, and wool often with baking soda. Frequent exposure to baking soda will damage these materials.

Please share if you found this article useful!

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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