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Finding a Substitute for Washing Soda

Powdered detergent being placed in front loader washing machine with jeans
Washing soda is an ingredient in many homemade laundry soap recipes. This is a guide about finding a substitute for washing soda.
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January 10, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about making your own washing soda. If you can't purchase washing soda and you need some, it is easy to make by heating some baking soda in the oven.

Bottle of Sodium carbonate.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2010

I'm making homemade laundry detergent, but can't find washing soda. What can I use instead?

By Heather from Brooker, FL

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've found you can get washing soda at a swimming pool supply store, look for "sodium carbonate" that is washing soda.

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April 3, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can use baking soda in place of washing soda by baking it below is the explanation on how to do it.

The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Seriously. Baking sodas chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, one carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). Washing sodas 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.

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The process is really simple. Just heat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C), sprinkle some baking soda on a shallow pan, and bake it for about half hour, until it changes composition. You should also stir it up occasionally, just so that it bakes more evenly.

The process is really simple. Just heat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C), sprinkle some baking soda on a shallow pan, and bake it for about half hour, until it changes composition. You should also stir it up occasionally, just so that it bakes more evenly.

Baking soda is powdery, crystallized like salt, and clumps together. Washing soda is grainy, dull and opaque, and is separate grains.

Hope this answers your questions.

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

Have anybody ever experienced any problems with using washing soda in your homemade liquid laundry soap? (Such as it being too harsh on delicate fabrics, leaching dye, damage to clothes in the long run, etc.) Is there any substitute to washing soda that I can use? (Like vinegar or baking soda. No borax please.)

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I don't use hot water in my washing machine.

Thanks for your kind attention!

By Alphonse from Singapore

Answers:

Substitute for Washing Soda

I've been using washing soda for about 20 years when doing my laundry. I've used it with commercial laundry detergent, and I've added it to home made laundry powder. I've never had a problem with it with any type of fabric. (08/29/2010)

By cett

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August 25, 20100 found this helpful

What can I use as a substitution for washing soda?

By tjlr from Elizabeth City, NC

Answers:

Substitute for Washing Soda

You haven't said what you are using it for? If it's laundry why would you want to replace it? You can use baking soda, but that would be more expensive. Washing soda is one of the cheapest stain removers and laundry refreshers there is. Here in Canada, Arm and Hammer sells "SoClean" and they also make the baking soda. You can google them. (09/03/2009)

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By quiltmum

Substitute for Washing Soda

I found washing soda at my hardware store Ace Hardware, they also had fels naptha. It was available nowhere else. I live in a small area so was thrilled to find it and it was less then 3.00. So try a hardware store, they have some amazing things there and they will give you free paint mixing sticks that are great for stirring your liquid detergent.
(07/28/2010)

By Kelda

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September 3, 20090 found this helpful

I was trying to make my own laundry soap but I cannot find "washing soda" in any stores around me. Can I substitute it?

Jennifer from Illinois

Answers:

Substitute for Washing Soda

Washing Soda is available at Wal Mart in the laundry aisle. (08/29/2006)

By imaqt1962

Substitute for Washing Soda

I live by Wal-Mart's home office, and none of the Wal-Mart stores around here have washing soda in the laundry aisle. They do have baking soda, which can be used in laundry too, in that aisle. (08/29/2006)

Substitute for Washing Soda

Baking soda is the only thing I've seen as a substitute for washing soda. They are different though and will work differently. Washing soda is a cleaning booster. If your local stores (U.S.A.) don't sell it, ask them to order it. It should be available from their distributors.

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Susan from ThriftyFun (08/29/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Substitute for Washing Soda

Arm and Hammer's website has a locator feature for finding this product in your area. (08/29/2006)

By Linda.

Substitute for Washing Soda

Washing soda is sodium carbonate, which can also be found at pool supply stores. There aren't any stores around me that carry the washing soda and I could not justify the shipping cost for ordering it. After some research I found this little tidbit. It cost about the same in pool supply.
(09/07/2006)

By robin

Substitute for Washing Soda

Oxygen cleaner like OxiClean works wonders. It has the sodium carbonate (washing soda) and one other ingredient. This is what I use as a substitution. (09/14/2006)

By Angee

Substitute for Washing Soda

I could not find washing soda in any Wal-Mart near me in TX, but I found it at Brookshire's. (01/09/2007)

By onetam

Substitute for Washing Soda

You can look in the pool supply section of Wal-Mart or wherever and find pure sodium carbonate (a popular brand is pH Up), which is what washing soda is. (01/10/2007)

By jdrinkwater

Substitute for Washing Soda

The only store that I found to carry washing soda is Kroger's. (04/20/2007)

By Paul

Substitute for Washing Soda

I found a thing somewhere called soap nut shells (look on eBay) which are basically enviro friendly, but just release saponin. Can also be made into shampoo etc. Very cheap and economical if you use them 3-4 times per 'lot' (depending on water type). Just put into a sock and tie and then shove in the machine. It's as simple as that. Use about 6 half shells per load for soft water, about 8 for hard. Experiment. (06/05/2007)

By Johanino

Substitute for Washing Soda

I am a SAHM who has returned to college. In a recent chemistry class, I learned that at high temperature like 450 deg for about 4 hours would reduce sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to sodium carbonate (washing soda). It has something to do with the chemical composition and the breakdown rates of chemicals.

Take it with a grain of salt, but I would think that if you would take a small box of baking soda and sprinkle it evenly over say a cookie sheet and bake in oven at 450 for around 4 hours that could possibly work. Although you would have an oven going for 4 hours which may not be that cost efficient. Take it all with a grain of salt. Have a good day. (06/12/2007)

By Kansas Gal

Substitute for Washing Soda

I used 3/4 of a cup of Amaze detergent booster, and 3/4 a cup of baking soda in place of washing soda. It seems to work really well. (08/13/2007)

By Cassie

Substitute for Washing Soda

You can use salt and soap flakes grated from a bar, or you can use soap flakes plus a little sodium bicarbonate, about a dessert spoonful in the powder drawer. Even cheaper and very eco-friendly, use a wash ball.

See my site: http://www.greenfootsteps.com/washball.html for more info on these ingenious devices. (07/10/2008)

By Rona from Greenfootsteps

Substitute for Washing Soda

I have looked everywhere for washing soda and I have yet to find it (actually I am on the phone with Kroger's to see if they have it). Thanks for suggesting sodium carbonate instead of washing soda, I think that it will make this easier finding one of the two products. I would like to use the Oxi-Clean but I am afraid that something might go wrong, knowing me. (01/16/2009)

By Kelly From TN

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October 22, 20050 found this helpful

I want to make the fels naptha laundry soap recipe. I don't want to use the washing power and I don't have the money to purchase right now anyway. Does anyone know of something other than washing soda that I can use in a laundry soap recipe?

Delanie122000 from Oak Park IL

Answers:
Substitute for Washing Soda 10/22/2005
I have used baking soda instead, because sometimes washing soda is hard to find in my area. It seems to work really well.
By wendiesioux
Substitute for Washing Soda 10/23/2005
Washing soda is pretty cheap but hard to find. Arm and Hammer has a toll-free hotline that is just dedicated to this issue. You enter your zip, and they give you names of stores in your area where its available. I make the powdered detergent using washing soda, borax, and grated soap. I use any kind of soap that is free or cheap. The little bars from hotels or any other dollar store soap works-you don't need Fels. Use your food processor to grate the soap.
By Linda (Guest Post)
Substitute for Washing Soda 10/28/2005
You can't really substitute baking soda (sodium bicarbinate) for washing soda (sodium carbonate). They are two different products and perform two different ways. A box of washing soda retails for less than $3. While I make big batches of the detergent (3 boxes of each borax, washing soda, a box of baking soda), you can get by easily for now with one box of each borax, baking soda, and a bar of Fels Naptha, which costs only 1.50. So to make this stuff, you only need to spend about 5-6 bucks. That should last you at least a month or more!

Call the A and H line to find out where to purchase the washing soda.

By Missy
Substitute for Washing Soda 11/01/2005
I remember when I was a child, my grandfather would make homemade soap, grate it up and use it for laundry. In my books on making homemade soap, laundry soap is soap rebatched with borax added, so you could use those two together without the washing soda. While baking soda and washing soda are chemically different, either can be added to a load of laundry. Some people use the bar soap with salt for a homemade detergent. Amy D. said plain water cleans without any soap at all. Use what you can, even if it's just soap in the water.
By susan (Guest Post)

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