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Baking Soda is a multi-purpose product that helps in a lot of cleaning chores. It can be called “An Everyday Miracle” as it is a highly versatile yet easily available product in common households. If you know the right ways to use baking soda in your everyday tasks, you will be amazed. So, in this article, we are sharing the top 5 uses of baking soda in the laundry that you must know.
But, first, we will know what baking soda is.
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is a chemical compound which is originally found in a solid crystalline form. It is ground into a fine powder for laymen use. It is also known as sodium bicarbonate and it is commonly used as a chemical leavening agent. It acts as a mild abrasive and regulates pH levels as well. Hence, it is used in household cleaning chores including laundry.
Now, let’s see how exactly it is useful in laundry.
Don’t use excessive baking soda in laundry.
Detergent boosters are formulated to increase the efficiency of your detergent. They enhance the cleaning power of detergent which helps in easy stain removal of stains. They also helps in using a lesser amount of detergent than usual. Baking soda can do the same job. Hence, you can replace commercial detergent boosters with baking soda.
You can add ½ cup of baking soda to a normal laundry load of 4-5 kg directly to the washer of your machine before putting dirty clothes in it. Add detergent to the washer. Run the wash cycle as usual. Do not put baking soda in automatic dispensers.
In some regions, the water supply has a high mineral content than usual which is commonly known as hard water supply. When hard water is used for laundry it causes stiffness as the minerals build up on the clothes. If you have a hard water supply, baking soda can help in keeping the laundry soft. It regulates the pH level in the water and removes some mineral deposits present in hard water.
Another major reason why clothes get stiff is soap or detergent residue. To combat this issue, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Here is how you can use it:
Mix approximately 15 grams of baking soda with 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water. Pour this mixture into a bucket full of water. Then, add 30 ml of white distilled vinegar slowly. Stir for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the baking soda. Rinse your clean clothes in this bucket.
You must add vinegar slowly because vinegar will react with baking soda and it can cause a fizzy chemical reaction.
You can add 15 gm of baking soda to 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water. Pour it into a bucket of water and then add 30 ml of white distilled vinegar. Once the wash cycle ends, press the “Stop/Pause” button. Let your machine drain the water in the drum. Once the water gets out of the machine, refill the water. Open the lid and add the mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water you have prepared in the bucket. Close the lid and run the machine for the rinse cycle as usual.
If you are using an old machine, then add 15 gm of baking soda to 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water. Once your wash cycle ends. Fill your washer with clean water for the rinse cycle and pour the baking soda mix into it. Then slowly add 30 ml of vinegar. Run the rinse cycle as usual.
If you don’t want a scented smell that fabric deodorizers leave behind, you can use baking soda. It acts as a good deodorizer without leaving a smell of its own. The good thing is it will work on both “washable” and “dry-clean only” clothes. Let’s see how:
You can mix 1 cup of baking soda with a gallon (approximately 3.5 litres) of water. Pour it into a bucket half full of water. Soak your dirty clothes in this water and leave them overnight. The key is to drench every garment, so do not overfill the bucket. Swirl the clothes with your hands to soak them completely. You can add more water to the bucket if necessary. Ideally, 4-5 kg of wet laundry fits well into a 10-litre bucket.
Leaving the dirty clothes in the mixture overnight will give time to baking soda to remove the tough smells. The next morning launder your clothes as usual. It works best on sweat, mildew, smoke and deodorant smells.
Generally, clothes get a musty or sweaty smell after wearing and you need to get them dry-cleaned to wear them again. However, with baking soda, you can skip a visit to dry cleaners as it can freshen up the clothes you have already worn and make them wearable again. Just sprinkle baking soda all over the garment. Make sure you are using very less product as you just have to put on a light layer of baking soda. Put it in an air-tight bag and leave it overnight.
If you don’t prefer to sprinkle baking soda on your clothes, you can pour 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda into a clean sock. Close the open end of the sock using a hair tie, thread or knot. Place the garment in a laundry bag along with this sock and seal it. Place it in a cool, dry place. Leave it overnight so that baking soda can absorb the smell completely.
In both methods, take the clothes out the next morning and shake them to get rid of baking soda. You can also use a soft brush to remove the baking soda from the clothes. Hang the garment under the sun for half an hour. That’s it. Your clothes will have no odour and you can wear them once more without visiting the dry cleaners.
Your “dry clean only” clothes need the best dry cleaner.
Baking soda can effectively remove different types of stains. Sometimes, baking soda alone is enough to get rid of stains. Whereas, sometimes it is combined with other ingredients like vinegar for stain removal. It is safe to use on almost all washable fabrics. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of plain water to create a thick paste. You can increase the quantity if the stain is spread on a larger area. The key is to prepare sufficient paste to cover the whole stained area, just keep the proportion of baking soda and water equal.
You should place a microfiber cloth underneath the stained area to prevent the stain from spreading to another side of the garment. Rub the paste gently on the stain with your fingers or by using a brush for 2-3 minutes. For thicker garments like denim jeans, jackets, etc. you need to scrub the baking soda paste with a little force. Leave the garment for 15 minutes and then rinse off with normal water. If the garment is too delicate like silk, satin, etc. you can remove the paste using a damp clean white cloth.
Generally, stains from oil, grease, dirt, food and several other substances go away by this method. To treat tough stains, you can repeat the process. If the stains still persist you can refer to our stain removal guide, we have explained how baking soda along with other products can be used to remove stains or you can visit your nearest dry cleaners as well.
Apart from keeping your clothes clean and fresh baking soda can clean your washing machine too. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water (2:1). Apply it to the inner surface of your machine using a sponge or clean soft cloth. Rinse manually. Sometimes we don’t check the pockets and leave candy or gums inside. Such things can stick to your machine during laundry. The paste of water and baking soda can be used to scrub gums and candies off using any blunt plastic object.
There is one more method of cleaning the washing machine. But it will require vinegar as well. You can set your washing machine on the hot water cycle & largest load setting. Add 2 cups of white distilled vinegar directly to the washer and run the machine for 1 minute. Then press the “pause” button, open the lid and add ½ cup of baking soda. Run the machine again for 1 minute. Then leave the water inside for 30-60 minutes. Restart the cycle and another 1-2 minutes. Then drain the water out. Your machine will be clean. To get rid of the residue, run another hot water cycle with plain water.
We do not recommend using baking soda on delicate fabrics like cashmere wool and silk fabrics. Because the pH level of baking soda may fade the keratin protein in organic fibres which will make the clothes dull and discoloured.
Baking soda is a natural cleaner. This is why it can remove stains and brighten clothes. So, yes, you can use baking soda to brighten old linen clothes. Don’t worry, it will not damage the fabric. You need to launder the old clothes with baking soda instead of detergent. Use it just like you use your regular detergent while doing laundry.
Just add ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry. If you are hand washing clothes you can mix it along with your detergent. And wash clothes as usual. If you are using a machine, you can fill it in the fabric softener, or any laundry additive dispenser. And run the wash cycle as usual. It will brighten your coloured clothes and whiten the white-coloured ones.
There are various things that leave acidic elements if they are spilt on your clothing, such as:
You can rinse the spills and sprinkle baking soda on the affected area. Leave the garment as it is for 10-15 minutes. Baking soda will neutralize the acid and prevent damage to the fabric. It is ideal to do this before laundering the garment as the acidic elements can gradually damage your machine as well.
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