Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homemade Washing Soda

Homemade washing soda. Note the graininess.
Compare to the baking soda picture below.
Washing soda, also known as soda ash or sodium carbonate has many uses, from acting as pH stabilizer in pools to acting as a water softener to removing calcification in water heaters to making lye pretzels. Washing soda is a beneficial item to have around the house, especially if you want to make homemade laundry detergent, as it is one of the main ingredients. However, washing soda isn't always so easy to come across (especially if you're living in a far out place like I do).


Fortunately, washing soda is fairly simple to make at home, not to mention frugal as well!

Homemade Washing Soda

Ingredients
Baking Soda

Instructions
1. Fill a wide baking dish with baking soda.
2. Heat in the oven at 400 degrees until all the baking soda becomes washing soda. Occasionally mix it so that this process happens faster and more uniformly.
3. Use as needed!

See- told you it was simple! 1 ingredient. 1 step.

The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Seriously. Baking soda's chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, one carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). Washing soda's chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). When baking soda is heated up to high temperatures, it breaks down to become washing soda, water steam, and carbon dioxide.
By cooking your baking soda, you can easily and safely get washing soda without needing to travel to far flung places to buy it, and you can make as much as you need at a time and don't need to lay out a lot of money on buying washing soda. (If you buy baking soda in bulk as I do, you can make washing soda especially cheaply.)

Baking soda on the left, washing soda on the right
So how do you know if your baking soda became washing soda? Baking soda and washing soda look different, feel different, and taste different. If you make your own washing soda, you'll be able to tell in an instant which baking soda has become washing soda and which has not yet.
But if you don't believe me that you'll know immediately, the differences between the two are this:
Washing soda is grainy, baking soda is powdery.
Washing soda is dull and opaque, baking soda is crystalized like salt and reflects light, i.e. it is semi shiny.
Washing soda is separate grains, baking soda clumps together.

Baking soda. Note the differences between how it
looks and how the above washing soda looks.

Now, what do you do with your newly made washing soda?
Save it for tomorrow when I'll teach you how to make homemade laundry detergent!

Have you ever bought washing soda? Have you ever seen it in a store? How does the price differ between washing soda and baking soda? According to Amazon.com, washing soda is three times the price of baking soda. If you've bought washing soda, what have you used it for?

34 comments:

  1. I buy Calcium Carbonate from a local chemical distributor for about $24 for a 50 lb bag. It is available everywhere as pH Up or pH Plus where pool supplies are sold.

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    Replies
    1. Calcium Carbonate is a different chemical compound from Sodium Carbonate. Sodium Carbonate is what is required to make Washing Soda.

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  2. I use washing soda in my homemade laundry detergent, along with baking powder.

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  3. I've been baking my baking soda for at least two hours. Is it supposed to take that long or longer? I've bought washing soda in the past and it doesn't look like it yet. Thanks Kandy kottonk@yahoo.com

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  4. We love your post! We will be linking to your directions for how to make washing soda in our blog post, 5 Household Uses for Bentonite Clay. Thanks for the tips!
    -Danielle at earthslivingclay.com

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  5. I'd also like to know how long you are supposed to bake the baking soda. Your instructions are missing that important piece.

    Thanks.

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  6. I found some instructions at another site that said put "some" B Soda in a shallow pan and bake at 400F for 30 min. However, there was no measurement given for "some"!!!!! Picture looked like two half filled round cake pans.

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  7. mix washing soda with Coffee, and vitamin C powder to develop color and black and white film.

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  8. Has anyone found out how long you bake it?

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  9. How long do you bake this please?

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    Replies
    1. Bake it 1 hour. Then remove from oven and let it cool completely. Add to your regular detergent to soften water so your laundry gets extremely clean.

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  10. http://chemistry.about.com/od/makechemicalsyourself/a/Sodium-Carbonate-From-Baking-Soda.htm

    These are easy instructions for making sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash, from baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.
    Make Sodium Carbonate
    Sodium bicarbonate is CHNaO3 while sodium carbonate is Na2CO3. Simply heat baking soda or sodium bicarbonate in a 200°F oven for about an hour. Carbon dioxide and water will be given off. Dry sodium carbonate will remain.

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  11. Try 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remember that water boils (becomes a gas) at 212 degrees at sea level. 200 degree oven might not sublimate all the water.

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    Replies
    1. You don't have to sublimate the water. You need to evaporate it. It will evaporate at any normal temperature. Heat just speeds the process.

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  12. I have the instructions for homemade laundry detergent and have the other 2 ingredients, just hadn't been able to find washing soda. Now I can make that AND the dishwasher cubes. Love your posts!

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    Replies
    1. How do u make dishwasher cubes??

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  13. can the baking soda be heated in a pot on the fire?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. You just have to pay attention to the temp. You can find the directions for pot /fire cooking here...http://grandmaw.proboards.com/thread/5659/make-washing-soda-baking. I am doing it this way since I don't have an oven.

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  14. pool store has sodium carbonate and is a lot cheaper and easier than making your own.

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  15. most walmarts will carry washing soda in the laundry aisle right next to the borax.

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  16. Most Wal-Marts carry washing soda, right next to the borax in the laundry aisle.

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  17. My question is my homemade laundry soap asks for I box of washing soda of I do it this was exactly how much baking soda do I use? Second my recipe also calls for 2 cups of baking soda now if I do this method do I still add the additional baking soda even though I baked the baking soda to make the washing soda?

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  18. Question my recipe for homemade laundry soap does call for washing soda 1 box how much baking soda do I use to equivilant that also my recipe calls for 2 cups of baking soda now if I do it this way can I add the additional baking soda? Thank you so much for this info!!!!

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  19. My question is my homemade laundry soap asks for I box of washing soda of I do it this was exactly how much baking soda do I use? Second my recipe also calls for 2 cups of baking soda now if I do this method do I still add the additional baking soda even though I baked the baking soda to make the washing soda?

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  20. I have soda ash at home,and wonder if making a solution of soda ash and water will result in baking soda or still remain soda ash.

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  21. Good question. I wish to know also,if Baking Soda could be made from Soda Ash,and how. Many thanks.

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  22. where do you buy baking soda in bulk from? how much is it per oz.?

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  23. I just came across this page... and i really like it :) So many great tips on here :)

    This question might be dumb but... are we talking about the same bakingsoda as we use in cookies, cakes and bread? ;-) Or is it another kind of baking soda?

    Thanks in advance...:-)

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  24. I just came across this page... and i really like it :) So many great tips on here :)

    This question might be dumb but... are we talking about the same bakingsoda as we use in cookies, cakes and bread? ;-) Or is it another kind of baking soda?

    Thanks in advance...:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. T read some where one can make a dish wash with baking soda!

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    2. Yes, it is the same thing. You can use it 100's of different ways!

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    3. Yes, it is the same thing. There is 100s of different ways that you can use baking soda, and I always buy it in bulk 13 pound bag from costco :)

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  25. Baking soda has a ton of uses. I have recently begun to make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets and I will Never go back to commercial brands. My son's rashes are half way gone since I began doing this about two weeks ago. Although I do not include washing soda I know they carry it in all Raindew stores. Once you start making your own detergent you will love doing laundry:)

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