DIY Washing Soda

I know I’m pathetic, and I need to get a life, but I have to admit I felt a little twinge of excitement when I learned that you could make your own washing soda. I found this recipe on Pinterest, it came from Penniless Parenting.

Seriously!!! I did not know you could make your own washing soda! I definitely did not pay enough attention in chemistry class! (Sorry Mr. Minor!!!)

Why am I so excited? (okay, “excited” is really too strong a word, more like “intensely intrigued”)

Why am I so intensely intrigued? Well, because I use washing soda to make my own laundry detergent and my own dish-washer soap. AND…

It’s cheaper to make your own!!!

AND… It’s super easy!!!

AND… It only has one (1) ingredient!!! Baking Soda.

Um… like I said, I didn’t do so hot in chemistry class, so I will let Penny from Penniless Parenting tell you, in her own words, the difference between baking soda and washing soda…

“The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Seriously. Baking soda’s chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, one carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). Washing soda’s chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). When baking soda is heated up to high temperatures, it breaks down to become washing soda, water steam, and carbon dioxide.”

Thanks Penny, for breaking that down for us! :D

All you really need to know is that you need washing soda to make laundry detergent and dish-washer soap, Mmm-kay?

DIY Washing Soda

Fill baking pan (I used a 9×13 cake pan) with 1-2 cups of baking soda and bake at 400° for 30 to 60 minutes, depending  on the amount you use. Make sure to stir a few times during baking time.  You will know the baking soda has turned to washing soda by shining a flashlight on it (or looking at it in sun light). If it looks dull and does not reflect light, then it has turned to washing soda. If it still looks sparkly, like sugar or salt crystals, then it is still baking soda. Washing soda is more granular, while baking soda is more powdery.

The easiest way to remember which is which…

Dull = Washing Soda

Sparkly = Baking Soda

So easy, right?

And while we are on the subject of cleaning, (and this has nothing to do with washing soda, and I have no idea what made me think of this…)

I’ve got one little tip to share…

Do you use Brillo pads to clean your pots and pans?

If you use them like I do, you know that you can only use them one or two times before they start to rust. So annoying!

Just cut them in half.

Not only will you sharpen your scissors in the process, but your box will last longer too. If you are feeling especially fugal you could cut the pads into fourths, and you would have Brillo pads indefinitely! :D

So there’s my little tip, and don’t judge me ’cause I can’t stay focused on one thing at a time! I’m scatter brained, okay? :D

Have a great rest of the week, Peeps!

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DIY Washing Soda — 34 Comments

  1. Very cool! Did you go to Dayton Christian? I ask because I did and my chemistry teacher’s name was Mr. Minor, so I figure that’s too big of a coincidence. Thanks for linking up again!! See you soon on #PinFTW I hope!

    • Jenny, yes I did. My maiden name is Robertson (you may know my sister, Sara. My mom still teaches 3rd grade, there.) I really liked having Mr Minor as a teacher, but I never knew what in the world he was talking about! :D

        • The other day, I saw you mention that Joshua was in second grade this year, and wondered if he would have her next year. I hear she’s a good teacher! :D I know my parents really love spending time with your folks. :D

  2. This is awesome!!! I just found a “recipe” last week and was hoping to make my own detergent, but was not having any luck finding the washing soda. Thanks so much!
    Hopped over here from the Shady Porch, by the way!

  3. Thank you for sharing about the washing soda!.. everything has gotten So expensive and this is so easy!.. I think I will make some of this and try it out.. How did it clean your clothes?

  4. Just found your blog & enjoyed learning all the handy tips. I’m all for being frugal, & I have to add one little tip. If you use baking soda for cleaning, especially pots & pans, you won’t even need Brillo pads! Simply sprinkle baking soda onto the surface of your pots…any burned on foods should be saturated with water & a thick coat of baking soda. Let sit for 10 or 15 minutes & wipe clean. Your pans will sparkle…your hands will love you too. It’s safe for the enviroment!

  5. I’m loving this info on washing soda! It’s the hardest thing to find in the diy recipes. And, I agree with Sandi; I haven’t used any kind of scrubbing pad for years! I just keep baking soda in a jar by the sink, with a little scoop in it. In hot pans with stuff stuck on it, after turning off the heat and dishing out the food, I just add water and a bit of baking soda and put it back on the warm (but turned off) eye. When it’s time to do dishes, the stuff slides off the stainless steel pans (no coatings!)and washes up easy-peasy! For any stray stubborn stickies, a bit of baking soda on a washcloth will polish them right of with very little effort. My stainless pots/pans look like new after years of use…and don’t take up space in the dishwasher!

    • Thanks D’Ann! Such great tips! I use baking soda to scour things all the time, like the stove top. I never thought to use it to soak my pans, but it makes sense! Thanks for stopping by! :D

  6. What a great post, I’ve been wanting to start making my own soaps. I never knew about the washing soaps, baking it, strange but OK if it works. I’ll be using baking soda more often, and good advice on cutting pads in half. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration over at Sunday’s Best.

  7. Thanks for the tip! I went to the store to get the ingredients to make my own laundry and dishwasher detergents, but they were out of borax and did not even carry washing soda. Wasn’t sure what to do, but now I have the solution! Stopping by from Sew Can Do. Cheers!

  8. I have been making my own liquid laundry soap for over 2 years now. When I first started, I also could not find any washing soda. But, after some investigation, I found that the chemical that is used for pools, the stuff that RAISES the pH of the water, is the same chemical. I purchased a container of it, and it lasted me almost 2 years. I now can locally find all the ingredients for my clothes washing liquid: washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha bar soap. I make 5 gallons at a time.

      • Yea, sure does. And I really have 2 families using it. And, as it is really so cheap to make as well as pretty inert, I don’t really care if we use it generously if we need to. We live out in the country, have horses and livestock, and lots of dirt and MUD!. I don’t nec always use more clothes soap on extra dirty clothes. If I can catch it, I try and run my washer on a extra agitate cycle (I have to catch it and restart it). To make the laundry liquid, I use a heaping cup of washing soda, a heaping cup of borax and 2 grated bars of Fels Naptha soap in as close to 5 gal of water as I can. 5 gal of liquid in a 5 gal bucket fills it almost to the point of overflowing. So I probably use 4.5+ gal. Plus, after the water cools, (you have to heat the water for the grated soap, the borax and the washing soda to go into solution) it gels up, and it has to be broken up with a wisk. If its too full, it really gets messy. The original recipe calls for only 1 bar, but at $0.97 a bar, I just throw in another bar for a little extra “oomph”. I have been making this for over 2 years now, and have been extremely happy with how it works.

        • Wow! Your recipe really does go far. I use the powder, but it doesn’t go as far. I could probably use less soap at a time (1 Tablespoon per load), but like you said, it’s cheap to make so it doesn’t bother me to use that much. I like the powder for the convenience of not having to cook the liquid stuff. I know… I’m lazy! :D Thanks for sharing! :D

  9. We have a friend that just started doing this and loves it!! Thanks for linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We would love to have you back!! -The Sisters

  10. Thanks for sharing this on Pinterest! Glad for a way to transform the baking soda, even more frugal for us! Totally on the same page – getting excited about the little things! :)

  11. I get completely excited about little things like this all of the time, so you’re not alone! I was seriously wondering about this and just hadn’t gotten around to checking it out. Thanks! :) Great blog, btw! I’m making the diy dishwasher packets very soon!

  12. So all i have to use in the dishwasher is the baked baking soda? nothing else? I’m confused. I have been looking at other recipies and they say to use citric acid and a few other things…can you please clarify…

    • Danielle, This recipe is for washing soda which is an ingredient for dishwasher soap. Click here for the recipe to dishwasher soap. Or if you’re feeling really froggy, click here for my recipe for dishwasher soap packets. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for stopping by! :D

  13. Thanks for the tip on powder to soda and here’s one for you!If you freeze your Brillo pads they won’t rust. Just place it in a sandwich bag then toss it in your freezer it will still be good as new (with soap on it) the next time you need it.

  14. Pingback: Dishwasher Biscuit Recipe! Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

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