The Difference Between Baking Soda and Washing Soda

Don't get these similar sounding products confused. While baking soda can be used for cleaning, don't add washing soda to your cookie recipe. This is a page about the difference between baking soda and washing soda.


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August 16, 2008

What is the difference between washing soda and A and H baking soda? I am wanting to make the ivory laundry soap, as it is the only type soap my husband doesn't have an allergy to.

Mary Kay from Fort Benton, MT


By gretchen (Guest Post)
August 25, 20081 found this helpful

I found A&H washing soda at my local Publix super market (in Florida) also the washing soda makes my detergent suds up more in my high efficiency washer is this normal?

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By Jeannie (Guest Post)
August 28, 20080 found this helpful

Bonnie mentioned how pool companies don't want you to know about certain grocery items that you can use to help maintain your pool. How true! A friend of mine recently told me about the BBB Method for keeping your pool pristine and saving hundreds of dollars a season! It's been a week now and my pool has never looked better! The difference in clarity and savings is phenomenal.


I use 20 Mule Team Borax to boost my PH, liquid bleach (cheap 6% stuff -- Walmart brand) and baking soda to boost my alkalinity. There is a website called that tells you how much you need of everything. If anyone is interested in learning more just do a google for BBB Method. Lots of great sites and very friendly helpful people.

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October 30, 20080 found this helpful

You can buy Washing soda at your local southern states of farm supply store. It is commonly known as soda ash. I comes in large quantities so share with your friends and split the cost. Washing soda is sodium carbonate and shouldn't be comsumed. we buy a large bag and split it with frienda to defer the cost

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By Julie (Guest Post)
November 2, 20080 found this helpful

I read on if you heat baking soda to 350 - 400 degrees it quickly turns into washing soda. I boiled my water while watching the temperature, once the water heated to 355 I added baking soda.


Much to my surprise it quickly became soapy. There's just one thing, you need to have a deep boiling pot because when you add the baking soda it reacts like a volcano. Other than this my recipe came out great and my clothes are CLEAN.

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By durson1 (Guest Post)
December 4, 20081 found this helpful

I would like to know how the first Post accomplished this: "water heated to 355"
Since water turns to steam at 212. Unless it was in an extremely high pressure chamber.

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By april guest (Guest Post)
February 3, 20090 found this helpful

I noticed my box of 20 mule team according to the box contained sodium tetraborate decahydrate and my Safeway [grocery store brand] Oxyclean contained sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate. So would it be a safe guess that the oxyclean products are the new washing sodas?

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April 17, 20090 found this helpful

In response to April Guest's post:

20 Mule Team is borax (sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate), not washing soda. It's important not to confuse the two! In fact, some cleaner recipes use both of them.


The most common washing soda you'll see in grocery stores and the like is Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. It is also called soda ash, but its chemical name is sodium carbonate. It's not the same as baking soda, though, and is more caustic.

As for Oxy Clean, it is an oxygen bleach. If its main ingredients are sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate, that's just hydrogen peroxide and washing soda! (Sodium percarbonate is peroxide and washing soda.) Interesting that's Oxy Clean is so expensive....

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July 20, 20101 found this helpful

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). If it isn't sodium bicarbonate, don't ingest it or use it for cooking. It can be used for baking, as well as added to the laundry. In fact, since Dial Corp. began sneaking down the size of their boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax some 15 years ago while leaving the price the same or even raising it, I've been boycotting their product. Instead, since we have very hard water where I live, I buy a 10-pound package of Arm & Hammer baking soda from Costco and leave that next to my washing machine, adding about 1/2 cup to each load as a water conditioner and detergent booster.


It works fine. When I need some baking soda for other purposes in the house, I go to the box in the laundry area and get some. It's not how many carbonate groups there are in the molecule, it's the sodium that does the job.

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September 16, 20160 found this helpful

Technically Oxyclean with sodium percarbonate is washing soda, but with hydrogen peroxide added.

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September 23, 20160 found this helpful

D/f b/t washing soda and soda

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July 23, 20171 found this helpful

Can you use the laundry booster arm and hammer in the pool

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July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Impossible!! Water stays at the boiling pt temperature once it reaches it, which is about 212 degrees.


Turning up the flame only makes it boil faster - it does not raise the temperature of the water. Water above 212 degrees is steam -and- no longer a liquid.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 16, 2008

I notice people placing postings for homemade cleaners and laundry detergent, could you please tell me what is "washing soda"?



What's The Difference Between Baking Soda And Washing Soda?

I contacted Church & Dwight (makers of Arm & Hammer) and asked the difference between the two. This is their reply:

ARM & HAMMER® Super Washing Soda is 100% sodium carbonate and is used as a
laundry booster and general household cleaner. ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda
is 100% sodium bicarbonate and has a myriad of household cleaning, personal care, and deodorizing uses, as well as being a leavening agent.

It is important to note that these two are two distinctly different products and cannot be substituted for one another. (06/27/2007)

By Shirley

What's The Difference Between Baking Soda And Washing So

Thanks for the information.
Now what is the difference in the box we use for the frig and the other we consume? (06/27/2007)

By Dorie Crews

Editor's Note: Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) can be used in baking, for an upset stomach and for the refrigerator. It's good for many cleaning uses.

Washing soda Sodium Carbonate is NOT edible, is caustic and is good for laundry and some cleaning mixtures (not for the refrigerator).

What's The Difference Between Baking Soda And Washing Soda?

Daroyal, if you would like a homemade easy "tarnish remover" try mixing together baking soda (or washing soda which ever you please) with boiling water, about a 1/4 cup of the "soda" per 1 litre of water should do, but remember to submerse the silver fully, then leave in for about 10-15 minutes (05/05/2008)

By Alberta

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June 26, 2007

I'd like to know what the difference between Arm & Hammer baking soda and washing soda is? I have looked everywhere for washing soda and have had no luck finding it. Is baking soda close to the same thing? will it work in recipes for laundry detergent?

Chas from WV


What's the difference between baking soda and washing soda?

Washing soda is sodium carbonate. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY. It is also a skin and eye irritant. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and is safe for human consumption. Washing soda can also be found in the pool department of Wal-Mart (or any pool supply outlet) under the name "pH Plus". 5 lbs. is $6-7. This is what I use for laundry since no stores in my area carry "washing soda".

By Seagrape

What's the difference between baking soda and washing soda?

I am not sure of the difference but was on the hunt a few weeks ago for washing soda by Arm and Hammer. I needed it for a jewelery cleaner that I had bought. I also looked everywhere and found it at a local grocery store. The chain is called "Kroger"...not sure if it is in your area. It is fairly cheap (approx 3.00) and I used the extra in my washing machine as a presoak. Hope this helps.

By daroyal

What's the difference between baking soda and washing soda?

There is a difference. Arm and Hammer has an 800 number with a "product locator" for the washing soda, which is little tricky to find. I use it to make a homemade, very concentrated dry laundry detergent.

What's the difference between baking soda and washing soda?

I found washing soda at a local Reasor's grocery store (I'm in Tulsa, OK) I was having a very hard time finding it as well, but found that they do carry it. The local Albertson's also told me they would order it for me if I wanted. There is a real difference, even though they come in the same "Arm and Hammer" box. Be careful, it is caustic and can burn your eyes. I use it for everything, go online to the arm and hammer website, I think you'll be amazed! Happy hunting... btw, I have substituted baking soda for a couple of dry laundry mixes I have made, one was a box of Tide, two 1-pound boxes of baking soda and a box of salt... really stretches your laundry, softens the water, and the baking soda actually helps clean very well!

By Glenda

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