Can You Put Bicarbonate Of Soda In The Washing Machine?

Bicarbonate of soda is one of the all-round products we can use not only in the kitchen for baking but also for keeping things sparkly clean in our home. But did you know that it can also be used in the laundry room?

Yes, bicarbonate of soda can be used in the washing machine for lots of reasons: for cleaning the washer, making clothes clean and smell fresh, and it can even be a good alternative for your fabric softener. 

Let’s learn the benefits of using bicarbonate of soda in your laundry sessions in this article!

Best Ways To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda During Your Laundry Sessions

Here are the amazing ways you can use bicarbonate of soda in your washer and on your garments: 

Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Gone are the days when you had to get expensive washing machine cleaners to refresh your appliance. If you want a cheaper and natural alternative, why not try bicarbonate of soda? 

As you use your washing machine, it’s normal for it to accumulate dirt, soap scum, and, if you live in an area with hard water, mineral deposits. These can affect the efficiency of your washer and ultimately, the cleanliness of your clothes. 

cleaning washing machine exterior

Regularly cleaning your washing machine with bicarbonate of soda can help remove these build-ups, making sure that it will run efficiently and your clothes get thoroughly cleaned. 

How To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda To Clean Your Washer

You Will Need:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Soft-bristled brush (old toothbrush will do)
  1. Sprinkle a cup of bicarbonate of soda directly into the drum of an empty washer, then run a hot water cycle. Do another hot water cycle to remove any residue that may be left in the drum. Once the cycle is complete, wipe the drum with a clean microfibre cloth. 
  2. Remove the detergent drawer (if possible) and sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda around its surface. Add a bit of warm water and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Scrub the surfaces with the brush to remove any build-up, then rinse and air dry. Put it back in its proper place. 
  3. Make a paste by mixing bicarbonate of soda and water, then apply it to the washer’s rubber door seal. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then scrub the areas with a brush. Wipe the paste away with a damp microfibre cloth.

TIP: You can also use bicarbonate of soda to descale your dishwasher and coffeemaker!

Cleaning Your Clothes

Did you know? Adding bicarbonate of soda to your laundry can help remove dirt and odours, brighten whites, and even soften your fabrics, as it will enhance the effectiveness of your detergent! 

bicarbonate of soda in the washer

If you or someone in your household has sensitive skin, using bicarbonate of soda is a good backup to your usual laundry detergent as it’s a natural product that’s less likely to cause irritation compared to some laundry products. 

Adding half a cup of bicarbonate of soda is enough to boost your detergent’s cleaning properties!

How To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda To Clean Your Clothes

  1. Add half a cup of bicarbonate of soda into the drum with your clothes. 
  2. Wash according to the cycle recommended in the garments’ care labels. If possible, air dry your clothes to save resources. 

Removing Stubborn Stains On Clothing 

Do you often have to deal with tough stains on your clothing? If you’re tired of buying expensive pre-treatment products, give bicarbonate of soda a go. 

ink stain

Using bicarbonate of soda as a pre-treatment is effective as it has mild abrasive properties that’ll help lift various stains – even oil-based ones! 

Also, it’s gentle enough that it will not cause damage to your fabrics, which can be a possibility when buying stain removers, especially bleach!

How To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda To Remove Stains On Clothes

  1. Make a paste using three parts bicarbonate of soda to one part water.
  2. Apply this paste directly to the stained area and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or for tougher stains, leave it overnight.
  3. Brush off any remaining dry bicarbonate of soda, then wash the garment as normal.

WARNING: Make sure that the stains are completely gone before putting them in the tumble dryer, as the heat will just set the remaining stains. If unsure, it would be best to air dry. 

Making Clothes Smell Fresh

Do you want your clothes to smell fresh, but not too keen on using too many chemicals? By now, we don’t have to tell you that bicarbonate of soda can do that, too. 

person smelling shirt

Bicarbonate of soda can eliminate foul odours in your fabrics, which will leave your laundry smelling clean and fresh without having to use artificial fragrances. This is wonderful news if you have family members in the household who are sensitive to perfumes, as they can still wear clothes that smell good. 

Also, bicarbonate of soda helps soften fabrics as it can balance the pH level in the water, making it just enough not to be too acidic. [1]

How To Use Bicarbonate Of Soda As A Fabric Conditioner Alternative

  1. Instead of using a fabric conditioner, mix half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with equal parts of warm water, then pour it into the fabric softener dispenser of your detergent drawer. 
  2. If you have a top loader, just pour half a cup of the bicarbonate of soda directly into the drum during the rinse cycle when it is still full of water.

TIP: White vinegar can also be used as a fabric conditioner alternative! 

SEE ALSO: How To Use White Vinegar In The Washing Machine (and why!)

Keeping Clothes Clean And Fresh Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive!

Adding bicarbonate of soda into your laundry routine is a natural, cost-effective way to enhance cleanliness, combat odours, and even make your fabrics and washing machine smell wonderful!

By following the steps above, you’ll be able to safely use bicarbonate of soda in your washer, without having to worry about damaging your clothing. 

How’s your experience with using bicarbonate of soda in your laundry sessions? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bicarbonate of soda and baking soda the same?

Yes, bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are the same. They are simply two different terms for the same substance, with “bicarbonate of soda” often used in the UK and “baking soda” more commonly used in the US.

Is using bicarbonate of soda safe for my washing machine?

Using bicarbonate of soda is safe for your washing machine. Just make sure to wipe or rinse excess residue as it can also accumulate in your washer.

Is it okay to put bicarbonate of soda in my washer’s detergent drawer?

It is okay to put bicarbonate of soda in your washer’s detergent drawer, but it’s best if you mix it in warm water. Adding dry bicarbonate of soda in the drawer can contribute to the build up in the compartment, which just adds to the residue you’ll have to clean.

Does bicarbonate of soda have an expiry date?

Bicarbonate of soda does have an expiry date, typically about 18 to 24 months from the manufacturing date. While it may not spoil like food, its effectiveness for cleaning or baking can diminish over time, so it’s best to check the date if you’ve had it for a while.

Can you mix bicarbonate of soda and laundry detergent?

Yes, you can mix bicarbonate of soda and laundry detergent, as it will help enhance its cleaning properties, resulting in cleaner and fresher clothes. 

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