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How To Convert Baking Soda Into Washing Soda

Updated on July 16, 2015

If you're a DIY kind of person, you have probably dabbled in the idea of creating your own cleaning supplies. There are quite a few home recipes all over the internet to help you get started, and you may notice repeating ingredients in a lot of them, whether you're searching recipes for a mop solution or for laundry detergent!

One of those ingredients you may notice is Baking Soda. But what about it's cousin, WASHING Soda? That, too, is often suggested in DIY cleaning solutions. However, have you ever gone to the store and tried looking for Washing Soda? Not all of us have the best of luck finding it on the shelves... even when we do, it tends to cost a bit more than what we would pay for Baking Soda (which, can be found at the $1 Store -- just sayin').

Today, you're going to learn how to make your own Washing Soda in 4 very easy steps, using just one ingredient: BAKING SODA!

A side-by-side comparison of packaging for Washing Soda and Baking Soda.
A side-by-side comparison of packaging for Washing Soda and Baking Soda.

What Is Washing Soda?

Washing Soda is a sodium carbonate, Na₂CO₃. It is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. In other words, it's great for using on tough stains!

So what's Baking Soda, you ask? Well, Baking Soda is a sodium BIcarbonate, NaHCO₃ (that "Bi" part is key to separating one soda from the other). In other words, Baking Soda is great for baking, cleaning and toothpaste, but it isn't necessarily as strong and powerful as Washing Soda.

Still not clear on the difference? Essentially, Washing Soda was cooked at a higher heat than Baking Soda, before being packaged, in order to give it a stronger power. Pretty interesting, no?

So, if Washing Soda is just Baking Soda heated up, then..... the way to convert Baking Soda into Washing Soda is simply by heating it up! There is your awesome science lesson for the day!

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Amount of Baking Soda = Amount of Washing Soda

Which Do you Prefer Cleaning With?

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Ingredients

  • 1 Box Baking Soda, (or more to your discretion)
  • 1 Baking Sheet

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 400* F
  2. Pour baking soda onto a shallow baking sheet, spreading it out evenly
  3. Bake for 30-60 minutes. If you need to bake it longer for the full conversion, adding more time will not harm anything. (You will begin to see a slight change in consistency as your powder makes its conversion. It will start to crystallize more. Baking soda has more of a sugary look and feel to it, whereas washing soda tends to seem a bit more like salt.)
  4. Once you pull the Washing Soda out of the oven be sure to use it in your cleaning solution as soon as it cools down, or else store it immediately in an air-tight container until you are ready to use it. NOTE: Once you allow Washing Soda to be exposed to air and to cool down, it will simply convert back to baking soda as it releases its heat and you will have to restart the process.
  5. VOILA! You have your Washing Soda!
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A close-up of the baking sodaA close-up of the baking soda, after it's been baked into washing soda
A close-up of the baking soda
A close-up of the baking soda | Source
A close-up of the baking soda, after it's been baked into washing soda
A close-up of the baking soda, after it's been baked into washing soda | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Baking Soda/Washing Soda Conversion

More About The Author

I am always searching for fun DIY projects to do around my house that will save our family time and money. I also love to cook for my family, and they love me cooking for them. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes any chance I get. If any of my projects and recipes are successful, I try to post them on my hubs to share with others!

I'm a young mom (well, kind of) of three and a happily devoted wife to a hard working man. Nothing brings our family together at the end of our busy days quite like dinner! That's why it's important to me that my meals taste good and that it's something everyone will look forward to and enjoy eating.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and are interested in more DIY projects or yummy recipes, check out some of my other featured hubs:

DIY Dishwashing Detergent

Momma's Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Asparagus Pizza Squares

Pasta With Asparagus

As I said before, I love trying new project and recipes so if you have a good one that you want to share, please feel free to post in the comments below!

© 2014 April

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    • Marina7 profile image

      Marina 2 years ago from Clarksville TN

      This is so interesting. Is Washing soda, does that have Borax in it?

    • Mom In Gods Hands profile image
      Author

      April 2 years ago from Fort Myers

      It doesn't have borax in it, but is often used with borax for other cleaning agents.

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