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DIY Cleaning Recipes: Make your own Washing Soda from Baking Soda

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You may have noticed that Washing Soda is a popular ingredient in some of our DIY cleaning product recipes, including our Homemade Laundry Detergent recipe and the Homemade Dishwasher Detergent recipe

It can usually be found in the laundry aisle (frequently under the Arm & Hammer label), but it’s not baking soda. 

In this picture, the washing soda is in the big yellow box, and the big orange box to the left of it is baking soda.  The last time I headed to Walmart though, there was a big empty spot between the baking soda and the Borax.  Bummer.

Leave it to the internet to help me find a solution.  Without going into a whole chemistry lesson here, baking soda and washing soda are very similar chemically.  When baking soda is heated, some water molecules evaporate, leaving behind washing soda.

If you want do try this little chemistry experiment on your own, spread baking soda on a cookie sheet and bake it at about 400°. 

You’ll know it’s done when you can see a difference in the texture.  It’ll change from the fluffy, more crystallized look of baking soda to a more grainy, matte finish of washing soda.  Depending on the amount you’re baking, it should be done after 20-30 minutes.  Keep it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. 

Have you tried our other DIY Cleaning recipes?  They’re low in chemicals, super frugal, and do a great job.  Check them out:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Vinegar & Dawn: Soap Scum cleaner, Carpet spot treater, and much more!

Versatile Vinegar: tons of uses for vinegar all over the house, plus a recipe for great-smelling Orange Infused vinegar

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  1. Lindielee says:
    Thank you so much! I can’t Arm and Hammer baking Soda anywhere and borax is really hard to find too. I’m going to try this recipe.

    Much appreciated!

    • I find my borax at Walmart, with the laundry supplies. (they usually have washing soda and big boxes of baking soda close by the borax too). Look for it near the stain treaters and the Oxi-Clean. I also noticed someone with it in their cart at Giant Eagle yesterday, so hopefully it’s becoming a little more common again and won’t be quite as hard to find! :)
  2. Danielle says:
    You can find a ton of this stuff at the dollar store as well. :) We have made the homemade cleaning solution and also use tea infused water with olive oil in it also to clean wood. I think my fave is the homemade de-wrinkle spray LOVES IT!!!!
  3. Janet Stevens says:
    Awesome info. Can’t wait to try and share THANK YOU. I have used the vinegar and dawn in a dishwasher wand and cleaned my shower and tub. This was awesome as well. ….
  4. has anyone had any experience using the frugal laundry soap in a HE washing machine? I think the HE soap is concentrated and low suds.


  1. [...] used in the past. Homemade Laundry Detergent 2 cups Washing Soda (found in the laundry aisle or make your own from baking soda) 2 cups Borax 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, grated. Once grated the bar of soap gives [...]
  2. [...] Washing soda: This is *not* the same as baking soda. Baking soda is sodium carbonate, and washing soda is just sodium carbonate. You can buy washing soda from the laundry section of your local grocery store, but you can also just make baking soda into washing soda by heating it up. [...]
  3. [...] to just make it yourself from baking soda! I used this tutorial from Penniless Parenting and this post from Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring to make the washing [...]

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