How to Make Washing Soda from Baking Soda

Do you have recipes for homemade cleaners that require washing soda and want a simple way to make it? I’ve never actually purchased washing soda. I get 15 lbs of baking soda in bulk at a local wholesale store for $7.50, so it is just cheaper and easier for me to make my own. I use it in my Easy, Effective, Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent as well as for other cleaning, so I always need washing soda on hand.

Why Use Washing Soda?

Baking soda and washing soda are both great for cleaning. Washing soda is just more alkaline than baking soda. Some cleaning requires baking soda; while other cleaning does better with washing soda.

On the pH Scale, 7 is neutral, and the higher the number the more alkaline the item. Normal household water is between 7 and 8.5 on the pH scale. Water for washing laundry should be more alkaline in order to wash clothes properly, with a pH of about 10.

Baking soda is more neutral with a pH of 8. Washing soda is more alkaline with a pH of 11.

Key Differences Between Washing Soda and Baking Soda

Washing Soda: Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3)

  • Balances the pH of water and makes cleaning more effective
  • Removes grease and stains
  • Dissolves more slowly than baking soda (so it lasts longer in the laundry but is harder to get off of hard to rinse surfaces).
  • Is more abrasive than baking soda (so you can get those tough stains off easier, but it can also scratch fine surfaces)
  • Using too much can damage surfaces or fade colors over time.
  • Can’t eat it, and it can hurt your skin if you don’t wear gloves

Baking Soda: Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3)

  • Softens water to make cleaning more effective
  • Breaks down stains (more slowly than washing soda) and neutralizes bad odors
  • Dissolves quickly and is easy to wash off.
  • Takes longer to clean than washing soda
  • Is mildly abrasive (so better than washing soda on fine surfaces).
  • Doesn’t usually damage surfaces or fabrics
  • Can eat it, and doesn’t hurt skin

How to Make Washing Soda from Baking Soda

Heating baking soda up to 400 degrees causes it to break down into washing soda, steam and carbon dioxide. Here is how to do it:

  1. Fill a rimmed baking pan with baking soda, making the baking soda 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring a couple of times throughout.
  3. Remove when it turns from feeling silky and powdery to more grainy and dense.
  4. Let cool and store in an airtight jar.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy this Day!

Each day is a gift from God. I hope this simple recipe frees you up to delight in the micro and macro of this day a little bit more. For more you might be interested in, check out:

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