Washing Soda is an Under $5 Cleaning Miracle | 6 Ways to Use It Around the House

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Get multiple uses out of your Arm and Hammer Washing Soda around the house with these cleaning applications.

arm and hammer super washing soda

Take your house cleaning to the next level. 💪

Have you heard of washing soda? I suspect that some of you have purchased it before to add a little oomph to your load of laundry. But what you may not know is that Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda has many amazing uses in your house beyond the laundry room.

washing soda

What is washing soda?

According to The Spruce, washing soda, also known as super washing soda, is the chemical compound sodium carbonate. It’s commonly used in laundry detergents and other cleaning products. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda is the most common option you will find.

Did we mention it’s budget-friendly, too? In fact, a large 56oz box sells for under $5 at Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens, and other retailers.

pouring baking soda with vinegar

Washing soda vs baking soda

Washing soda is similar to baking soda, but it is different. Washing soda, as mentioned above, is sodium carbonate and has a pH of 11. On the other hand, baking soda is sodium hydrogen carbonate and has a pH level of 8.3.

The two have very similar chemical characteristics, but it all comes down to the amount of water and carbon dioxide each contains. Nature’s Nurture breaks down how baking soda’s chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules) while washing soda’s chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). 

When combines with water and used for cleaning purposes, washing soda is incredibly safe. The biggest difference between the two is you can’t, well, bake with washing soda; it is not edible in the slightest and has a burning effect, so you should always wear gloves when handling it with care.

Once you’ve got your box, here are 6 of my favorite ways to use sodium carbonate in your home!

1. Boost your laundry.

hand holding a box of super washing soda

Kick the cleaning power of your regular laundry detergent into high gear by adding 1/2 cup (or more) of Super Washing Soda to a load of extra dirty laundry! Read more about using it to keep sheets white without bleach.

2. Clean dirty pots, pans, & baking sheets.

dirty sheet pan with baked on debris

I hate scrubbing crusted-on burnt pots and pans! Luckily, this handles these caked-on messes like a champ! I’ve found that the easiest method is to add boiling water along with a few spoonfuls of washing soda and a squirt of dish soap to the dirty pan.

Leave it to soak until the water has cooled. Then scrub. Repeat if needed. Please note that this is not recommended for aluminum cookware.

3. Brighten dingy grout.

tile floor in kitchen

Avoid the use of bleach and use the super washing soda to clean your grout instead! Make a paste of washing soda and water. Dip a bristle cleaning brush (or toothbrush) into the mixture and scrub.

It will bring new life to old, grimy grout without the use of icky chemicals (especially if you have an old Clarisonic laying around!)! And while you’re at it, this is also a great way to polish tile, too!

Hip Tip: Looking for another way to clean that dingy grout? We love this grout cleaner and sealer!

4. It gets rid of unwanted pests.

placing plants into ceramic planter

Combat annoying whiteflies and mites with a solution of 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda to two gallons of water. Then just mist the solution on your plants and trees as needed. For powdery mildew, try a solution of 1/4 cup of washing soda, one cup of milk, and one gallon of water.

Hip Tip: Tired of other pesky pests? Get rid of fruit flies and gnats with these tips!

5. Make stinky shoes smell better.

a box of washing soda being poured into sneakers

Foot odor powders and sprays can get pretty spendy – and they don’t always work either. For a budget-friendly option, try a healthy sprinkle of Super Washing Soda inside stinky sneakers. Just be sure to shake out the excess before you put them back on.

*I would avoid this method for sock-less shoes, as it is caustic to the skin and may cause irritation.

6. Your garage floor will have never looked shinier after using this on it.

garage floor

Similar to cleaning dishes, this product does wonders for any concrete surface. This includes garage floors, basements, patios, workshops, and fireplaces. It targets oil and grease; when you generously coat the floor and sprinkle some water on top, the consistency turns into a paste.

Arm & Hammer’s website claims that after leaving this on overnight, scrub the surface, hose it down with water, and enjoy a new-like shiny floor!

arm and hammer super washing soda

We hope you find these methods helpful!

If you have a favorite way to use washing soda or have a cool cleaning recipe, we’d love to hear from you! For your personal tips and advice, please leave a comment below. Happy washing!

Want to get your sheets and towels cleaner than they’ve ever been? Use sodium carbonate in our laundry stripping solution!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. Lisa

    Is it different than baking soda?

    • Kathy Moore

      Yes, it is!

    • Lisha

      Yes, it is. Whereas baking soda can be used for baking, ingesting you cannot do this with the washing soda. It’s primarily for cleaning.

  2. Kathy Moore

    I recently started adding this to my washer and it has made a huge difference in how my clothes smell. I could never get my towels, especially, to smell clean. This has helped tremendously!

    • Amber

      I use a cup or so of vinegar added to hot water to strip all the detergents and build up from towels and then re-run the load with regular baking soda to freshen it up. They soak up water a lot better and dry better after doing that. They smell better too. I probably do it every 2-3 months or so.

      • Cassandane

        Avoid using vinegar in a washer as it can ruin the seals and void any warranty. Using RLR packets to “strip” laundry in a bathtub soak has better results. HTH!

      • mckeeversmom

        Amber, I have found that not using a fabric softener in the washer (I use Scentsy Washer Whiffs for a wonderful scent) helps my towels stay more absorbent. Maybe it’s just me, but you could try just skipping the fabric softener once to see if it works for you, too.

  3. Jon

    6. Increase the pH and alkalinity of your pool without buying expensive pool store chemicals. (though I will say that I prefer borax for pH adjustments)

  4. jessie

    You can convert baking soda to washing soda by baking it at like 450 for an hour (Google to double check temp and time).

    • Melissaan

      I did that once. I’m glad I did. Interesting process if you understand what is happening on the chemical level. But next time I will just buy it already made. For a diy project, it wasn’t worth my time.

  5. Tig

    Is it used for Top Loaders only?

  6. hillcrest05

    Anyone use this to get odors out? Like stinky kids sports clothing? I often add straight baking soda or vinegar, but it doesn’t get it all! I’d like my kid to smell better! 😉

    • Renea

      I have, when clothes is supper uck. I add half as much laundry soap, 2tbs dish soap(Dawn), and 1/4 c each washing soda and borax. And then use vinegar as fan softener (your clothes will not smell like vinegar).

      • KellZoll

        I wouldn’t recommend using Dawn dish soap in a front loader. My son soaked his white culinary school chef coats in Dawn dish soap in a bucket, then put in washer. We should have rinsed them more because when the load was done there was still bubbly foam in the washer. Luckily it didn’t produce enough foam to bubble everywhere like they show in the movies 🙂
        I really like Oxyclean for sports and tough stains. Sales on it all the time.

    • JD

      A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

      For odors use Lysol laundry sanitizer. Odors in clothes and towels remain because the bacteria is not killed. Lysol laundry sanitizer gets the job done by killing the bacteria in exercise clothes, pet bedding, bed wetting, or clothes you forgot in the washer. Absolutely the best!!!!

      • hillcrest05

        Thanks. Didn’t know Lysol made a laundry product! I’ll try that.

  7. yazzay

    How does this differ from Oxi-clean powder? Do they have similar properties and purposes?

    I recently purchased Oxi-clean’s versatile stainless remover powder (after catching a deal via H2S) and am wondering if it’s worthwhile to purchase this product too?

    Also, would this product be safe to add to my dishwater to boost manual dish cleaning? I occasionally add vinegar to my water as a cleaning booster, but I am wondering if this would be effective. TIA

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