That same pack of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that you kept in your fridge is also an economical way to eliminate odours in cloths, enhance bleach and detergent performance, control detergent suds, soften clothes and clean an iron.
Safe to use in both high-efficiency and standard washing machines, it is one of the top two best product (next to distilled white vinegar) to green your laundry by minimising your dependence on harsh chemicals. So, what are the uses of baking soda? Learn how to:
- Clean an iron
- Soften fabrics naturally
- Control excess suds
- Boost detergent and bleach performance
- Reduce and remove laundry odours
1. Clean an iron
Baking soda is a natural mild abrasive. To scorch deposits and remove built-up starch from the faceplate of cool iron, mix a paste of water and baking soda. Rub the paste on the surface of the iron using a dry white cloth.
For tough build-up, use the piece of fabric to continuously scrub the affected area gently until the build-up is gone. Finish by cleaning off the faceplate with a cloth slightly soaked in distilled white vinegar. Your iron will glide effortlessly making ironing much easier, leaving no tell-tale deposits.
2. Baking soda as a natural fabric softener
Baking soda helps in regulating the pH level in the washer’s rinse water by keeping it from being too alkaline or acidic.
Pouring ½ of baking soda into each rinse cycle functions as a balance to suspend mineral deposits or detergent in the water and keep it from redepositing on fabrics that can make clothing feel stiff.
As a natural mineral, baking soda is not so harsh on the environment when compared to synthetic fabric softeners with perfume that masks odours. This also makes it a good option for people with allergies and sensitive skin.
Baking soda can also be used safely, unlike synthetic fabric softeners that can get in the way of fire-retardant finishes on children’s pyjamas.
3. Baking soda to control washer suds
On TV, overflowing suds from a washer looks funny, but it isn’t much fun when it happens to you in the laundry.
Suds control is a priority, especially with the popularity of the new high-efficiency or HE front loading washers. You see those suds begin to flow if you mistakenly use regular laundry detergent instead of HE detergent.
If suds occur, turn off the washing machine and sprinkle some baking soda directly on the suds to quickly break them down. Cleaning up will be easier as the baking will absorb some of the moisture.
4. Using baking soda to enhance bleach and detergent performance
Chlorine bleach is usually used to help remove odours and general grime in the laundry. for bleach to work more effectively in water that is too acidic and alkaline, it needs a little boost.
By enhancing its cleaning properties, you may be able to use less bleach to get the same results, reducing the bleach’s impact on the ecosystem and saving yourself money.
You can regulate the water so the bleach will function more effectively, add ½ cup of baking soda together with each ½ cup of bleach (make sure to put the bleach at the appropriate time). This will reduce bacteria and loosen the soil.
And when you’re not using chlorine bleach, that ½ cup of baking soda will enhance the performance of your detergent. This is especially helpful if you use a value-priced detergent or you have hard water.
The dry baking soda should be poured into the empty washer tub before adding dirty laundry. Do not place baking soda in a washing machine’s automatic dispensers.
5. Using baking soda to reduce and eliminate laundry odours
Body odours on your linens and clothes are caused by bacteria. The bacteria are removed when the bacteria cells on the fabrics are broken up by detergent molecules so they can be flushed away.
However, pocket-friendly detergents that don’t contain hard-working enzymes to combat bacteria need a boost to work more effectively.
Baking soda helps to regulate the washer’s water pH level by preventing it from being too acidic or alkaline. By pouring ½ cup of baking soda into each load of laundry, detergents can function more effectively and reduce bacteria.
Baking soda should be used in water to pre-soak laundry oozing with environmental odours such as cigarette smoke or heavy odour issues like underarm perspiration. Dissolve 1 or 2 cups of baking soda in a small bowl of warm water.
Fill a large sink or the washer tub with cool water and pour in the dissolved baking soda. Add stinky laundry and leave overnight to soak and then wash as usual.
If you have clothes that need refreshing but they are NOT washable, put them in a sealable container like a storage tub or a bucket with a cover, along with an open box of baking soda. Leave them for about 24 hours – the longer, the better – to help eliminate odours.
These are some of the many ways baking soda can be useful in the laundry; make sure to give them a try the next time you do your laundry and if you’ve tried any of them before, tell us how beneficial it was for you by making use of the comment section below.
We would love to hear from you.