Can You Put Baking Soda in Laundry? [Explained]

Baking soda is one of those incredible products that seem to have endless uses. Not only can you use it for baking, but it also works as a super-efficient household cleaner.

So, if it can be used as a household cleaner, what about laundry? Can you put baking soda in laundry?

Yes! Baking soda can be added to laundry as an affordable whitener and stain remover, a deodorizer, a quick spot cleaner, and a fabric softener.

Buying so many different cleaning products for various applications can be expensive and take up so much space, so it’s always helpful to find out how you can use everyday items for multiple purposes.

This article is going to explore whether or not you can use baking soda in laundry and the best ways to do so to get the best results.

Gomestic Tip: Baking soda can also be used to help clean out your washing machine and rid it of black flakes. Find out how here.

What is Baking Soda?

Before we get into using baking soda in your laundry, I thought it would be helpful to look at what it actually is and why it has such great cleaning properties.

Baking soda is the commercial name for sodium bicarbonate, a naturally occurring chemical compound. It is usually found in a crystalline form that is powdered before being sold.

Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda in some countries.

Besides the gritty texture making it slightly abrasive, baking soda was natural qualities that allow it to regulate pH, absorb odors, and remove stains, among other uses.

Along with these properties, baking soda is entirely skin safe and edible, so it is safer to use than many chemical cleaners, especially when you have young children running around.

Can You Put Baking Soda in Laundry?

Baking soda is beneficial in the laundry for many purposes, including as a whitener and stain remover

The best thing about baking soda is that it is very cheap and multi-use, so it can replace several household items to save you some cash.

So how can you best put baking soda to use in your laundry?

Baking soda can be used in laundry in five main ways:

1.   Deodorize with a Pre Soak

If you have any laundry that has a strong smell, whether it be from smoke, body odor, or contact with pets, they might benefit from a baking soda soak. This is particularly useful for gym clothes or any other clothes that have gotten very sweaty.

Place 1-2 cups of baking soda into a tub of warm water and submerge the clothes. Leave them to soak overnight before running them through a regular wash.

2.   Improve Wash Quality and Whiten

When added to your regular wash, baking soda can help improve the process in several ways.

It will reduce the bacteria in the clothes and in the machine, help the detergents work better by regulating the pH, and brighten any white items significantly.

I suggest adding ½ cup per load directly into the empty tub rather than using the detergent compartment. Wash as usual, and you will be able to see the difference clearly.

Washing regularly with baking soda will also improve the cleanliness of your machine and reduce the chance of bacteria and black flake buildup.

3.   Spot Cleaning

As we have mentioned, baking soda is an excellent whitener and stain remover. A baking soda paste is an effective and fast-acting stain remover that is bleach-free and completely natural.

For any stubborn stains, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a bit of water until it forms a thick paste. Spread it over the stain and rub it in slightly. Leave it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it out with water.

Repeat if necessary.

4.   Controls Suds

Suds bubbling their way out of your washing machine can be quite alarming and cause a real mess!

This may happen because you are using regular laundry detergent in a high-efficiency front loader. To prevent this from happening, you need to buy laundry detergent labeled ‘HE’ for high efficiency.

However, if you make a mistake and you need to get rid of the suds fast, you can stop the machine and sprinkle baking soda over the bubbles to break them down.

5.   Fabric Softener

Yet another excellent side effect of the pH regulation is that it acts as a natural fabric softener.

Adding ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle of your regular wash will prevent the detergent from depositing in your clothes, leaving them feeling nice and soft.

This kind of fabric softener is natural and less harsh than its synthetic counterparts.

Gomestic Tip: Another household item that can be used in the laundry is white vinegar. It can be used to clean clothes, shoes, and the washing machine itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you mix detergent and baking soda?

It is totally safe to mix your baking soda and detergents.

Start by adding ½ cup of baking soda, followed by your detergent. Be aware that if you are using liquid detergent, it may cause your baking soda to foam.

Can baking soda ruin colors?

Baking soda is safe to use with most clothes and colors; however, there are three fabrics that I don’t recommend using baking soda on: wool, cashmere, and silk.

Baking soda may leave behind a white residue on these fabrics, make the texture rough, and potentially fade the natural fibers.

DON’T MISS: Dry cleaning vs laundry – which is better?


If you are looking to slim down your cleaning product stash and use more natural products, then adding baking soda to our cleaning arsenal is a must.

To sum it up, baking soda can be added to laundry to act as a stain remover, fight odors, control suds, and act as a fabric softener.

So instead of braving the detergent aisle to try to find an additive that improves your wash, why not run past the baking aisle and pick up a box of baking soda instead?

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