8 Reasons Why You Should Always Keep a Box of Baking Soda Near Your Washing Machine

We always keep a box of baking soda near the washing machine

Do you own a box of baking soda already? This white powder gets used in a lot of baking recipes to make sure the baked goods end up nice and airy. But you can also use that same stuff you put through your food for a ton of cleaning tasks. In a previous article, we already wrote about all of the benefits of cleaning with baking soda and we’ve also written about what not to clean with it. This time, we’re focusing on the use of baking soda in your laundry routine.

1. Odours

Bacteria and sweat can leave behind some nasty odours in our clothes. Different kind of towels and cloths can start to smell after a while as well. Usually, your regular old laundry detergent isn’t sufficient to get rid of these smells because it doesn’t contain enough enzymes to handle the bacteria. Luckily, we’ve got our baking soda nearby! Add half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine. It will regulate the pH value of the water and this will help the detergent do its job. Do your clothes have a particularly pungent sweat or smoke odour about them? Soak them in a bath of warm water and one or two cups of baking soda before washing them in the washing machine.

2. Combined with bleach

If you use baking soda in combination with bleach, the bleach often works much better and you’ll need a lot less of it too. For every half a cup of bleach, use half a cup of baking soda as well. Sprinkle the baking soda into the drum of your washing machine and then add the dirty clothes. Don’t put the baking soda in the laundry detergent compartment.

3. Fabric softener

If you live in a place with hard water, your clothes and towels can come out of the laundry feeling a little tough and stiff. That’s why a lot of people use fabric softener. However, fabric softener isn’t actually very good for your laundry! It can leave behind soap residue, which actually causes the clothes to become smelly more quickly and it also makes your clothes wear more easily. Instead of fabric softener, use baking soda! This will soften the water and make your clothes nice and soft as well. Baking soda is also much better to use if you have a perfume allergy or sensitive skin. Children often can’t deal very well with the perfume in fabric softener either.

4. Iron

Apart from using it in the laundry, you can also use baking soda to clean your iron. It’s a soft scouring product which you can use to mildly scrub away soap and water stains off your iron. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and rub this onto the iron in circular motions using a clean cloth. When all the stains are gone, apply some white vinegar to a cloth and use this to wipe away the baking soda residue.

5. To Save on Detergent

Because baking soda gives detergent a boost, you can get by with using less detergent. Or you can forego detergent altogether by adding a full cup of baking soda in its place. Not convinced? Try it on a load or two and see if you’re satisfied with the results. If it works well enough for you, you’ve found a simple, eco-minded alternative to conventional laundry detergent!

6.To Clean Up a Laundry “Oops”

If you’ve had a laundry mishap, such as a stray red sock getting mixed in with your load of white underwear, or a crayon or other waxy item getting left in a pocket, baking soda just might be able to come to the rescue.

For a crayon or other item that has colored all the clothes, and possibly left marks on the inside of the drum, rewash everything in hot water with a cup of baking soda added. To get that pink tinge out of all that underwear, try soaking the clothing in a bath of warm water, baking soda and salt before washing.

7.As a Stain Remover

According to baking soda manufacturer Arm & Hammer, baking soda and water are a potent duo for stain removal.

Make a paste with six tablespoons of baking soda and 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, Reichert recommends sprinkling baking soda directly on the stain and letting it sit overnight before washing.

8.For Extra-Clean Clothes

A half-cup of baking soda added to a load of laundry will create a cleaning boost. “It will help lift dirt and grime from clothing,” says Reichert. Don’t put baking soda in your washer’s detergent dispenser, however. Instead, sprinkle it into the empty drum of your washer, then add clothes and whatever detergent and fabric softeners you’d normally use.