It may sound like an old wives tale, but adding baking soda to your regular amount of liquid laundry detergent truly will make your colored clothing brighter and your whites whiter. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and cleanser and it also softens the water, which means you can actually get away with using less detergent. It also helps keep your machine clean too!
How to Use Baking Soda in the Washing Machine
Whites and Brights: Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash when you add your regular liquid detergent.
The baking soda has been known to give you sharper whites, brighter brights, and odor-free clothing.
Neutralize Acid: Acid spills and stains on clothing can come from various sources, including:
- Drain Opener
- Battery Acid
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Quickly rinse acid spills and then sprinkle baking soda on your clothing to neutralize the acid and prevent damage. If the acid is already dried, you can still neutralize it with baking soda before washing to prevent further damage to your machine.
Tips for Crayons in the Washing Machine: If crayons have accidentally been washed with a load of clothing, there may still be hope for removing the art. Rewash the clothing in the hottest water allowable for the fabric and add a 1/2 box to a box of baking soda.
Tips for Aged Linens: Baking soda can be very effective at removing stains formed by age. Because it is a natural cleaner, your you can trust that your older linens will be whitened and brightened rather than damaged.
Fabric Softener: Instead of using fabric softener, try adding a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle. It acts as a natural softener and is gentler for household members with sensitivities to chemicals in their laundry.
Baking Soda and Odors: Add baking soda to the rinse water. Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle helps remove odors from clothes and also softens them naturally.
Try it with gym clothes, musty old towels that may have a lingering odor, as well as bathing suits that smell of chlorine.
If your clothes smell like sweat or smoke, it's best to let them soak in a baking soda solution overnight. This gives the baking soda time to really go work as a deodorizer.
- Mix a cup of baking soda with a gallon of water in a bucket.
- Add your clothes to the bucket and swirl them around to make sure they are fully soaked.
- Leave the clothes overnight and launder them the next day.
Cleaning the Washing Machine: Use a baking soda and water paste to wash the inside of your machine. The next time bubble gum or candy canes accidentally get loose in the washer, use baking soda and a plastic tool to gently clean the stuck on surprises off the machine.
Increase Bleach Potency: Adding 1/2 cup baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front loaders) will also increase the potency of bleach, so you need only half the usual amount to get the same efficacy.
Here are some more baking soda tips for the Washing Machine.