Washing Soda vs Baking Soda vs Borax for Laundry, POOL, Electrolysis etc.

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The main difference between washing soda and baking soda is water and carbon dioxide. It’s as simple as that!

When baking soda gets heated to high temperatures, it breaks down to become washing soda, carbon dioxide and water steam.

Both products can be used for laundry, alongside liquid laundry performance for cleaner, fresher clothes. However, baking soda can be consumed when used for baking and as an antacid or dentifrice while washing soda cannot be used in baking, in or on the body.




Washing Soda Or Baking Soda in Pool

Using baking soda to raise PH will cause your TA to increase too much. Baking soda Primarily increases TA, while washing soda impacts both TA and PH.

Baking Soda Vs Washing Soda For Laundry

Washing soda is meant for washing, and cleaning and not consumption while Baking soda can be used for household cleaning, and can be eaten.

  • Washing soda alkalinity element aids in the removal of grease and stains. It can also balance the pH level of water to make detergent’s effectiveness even better.
    • Since washing soda is extremely blessed with alkaline, too much of it can damage surfacesfade colors, and eat away at fabric/surfaces over time.
  • Mildly alkaline baking soda can help in neutralizing odor causing acids, breaks down stains and proteins, and softens water for increased detergent’s effectiveness.
    • Since baking soda is a mild alkaline, in most cases, it does not usually damage surfaces or fabrics but can take longer to clean.
  • Household water has a pH range of 7 to 8.5. Optimal water pH for laundry is around 10.
    • The pH of water can be raised with either the baking soda or washing soda. But, using too much washing soda can weaken or fade fabrics.
  • Washing soda and Baking soda must NEVER be mixed with acidic cleaning ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice.
    • The bubbling reaction when the ingredients are combined is the acid neutralizing the power of the alkaline cleaner. Thus, rendering the solution ineffective.
    • Alkaline cleaners need to attack acidic household soils to work well. Neutralizing their power with acidic cleaning ingredients makes them less ineffective.




When Washing Soda Vs Baking Soda Vs Borax?

Baking soda, borax, and washing soda are effective water softeners, alkaline cleaners, and deodorizers. However, this is when to use each:

  • Choose washing soda when cleaning:
    • Hard fabrics or surfaces that are simple to rise (bathtub, shower door).
    • Washing soda can and will clean without damaging the item and can be washed away easily.
  • Pick baking soda when cleaning:
    • Soft surfaces that can be easily scratched (e.g. natural stone counters).
    • Areas used by pets and children (pet beds, carpet)
    • Sturdy surfaces that are hard to rinse (floor grout or oven floor).
    • Food preparation surfaces (kitchen sink, cutting board).
    • It boasts of enough grit to clean but will not scratch surfaces, is easier to rinse clean, and it is edible so there is no residue worry.
  • Choose borax when cleaning:
    • Borax doesn’t dissolve well unless used with hot water
    • Clean Your Carpets
    • Feed Fruit Trees
    • Make Laundry Detergent
    • Deter Pests
    • Preserve Flowers
    • Kill weeds
  • Choose both washing soda and baking soda when cleaning:
    • Household odors and stains from items that can be easily rinsed but may be damaged by the overuse of a caustic substance (laundry).
    • Using washing soda and baking soda combo will raise the pH of water for optimal cleaning conditions while deodorizing and breaking down stains.
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ALSO SEE: How to Pee in The Pool Without Being Noticed

All-Natural Cleaning Recipes

Let’s check out some all-natural products that uses washing soda and baking soda.

Cleaners that Use Baking Soda:

  • Natural Carpet Deodorizer and Room Freshener
  • Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Cleaners that Use Washing Soda:

  • Non-Toxic Stain Remover for Laundry
  • Natural Bathroom Disinfectant Cleaner

Cleaners that Use Baking Soda & Washing Soda:

  • Borax Free Homemade Laundry Detergent
  • Natural Homemade Dishwasher Powder
  • Naturally Clean Smelly Towels

Washing Soda vs Baking Soda

These are some of the ingredients you will find cleaning products:

  • Washing soda
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Castile soap
  • Lemon juice/ citric acid
  • Essential oils
  • Borax
  • Epsom salt

Although a lot of these ingredients are quite easy to understand, some are a bit confusing. Baking Soda and washing soda are mainly troublesome for some people.

Let’s check out the differences between these too, and we will be showing you how you can make your own washing soda from baking soda if you can’t get your hands on one at the stores.

baking soda vs washing soda


What is the Difference Between Washing Soda and Baking Soda?

The difference between baking and washing soda is carbon dioxide and water.

What is Washing Soda Used For?

Washing soda is a common chemical compound that is typically used to remove stubborn stains from laundry and is an important ingredient in lots of homemade laundry detergent for liquid, powder, or single pod formulas. It is typically used in commercial detergent mixtures as well to treat hard water.

What is another Name for Washing Soda?

Also known as soda ash, washing soda with chemical formula – Na2CO3 or sodium carbonate is used for household cleaning.

It is a salt of carbonic acid, a chemical that produces a wide range of salts collectively known as carbonates.

One common source of washing soda is the ashes of burned plants; for this reason, it is sometimes called soda ash.

Where to Buy Washing Soda?

You can buy washing soda at the nearest grocery stores near you or in places such as Walmart or Target. Check the laundry aisle for the big yellow box close to the detergent. It’s typically next to the borax.

Washing soda can be hard to see but you can shop easy on AMAZON.


What Is Baking Soda, and What is it Used For?

Baking soda’s chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules).

It is gotten from the ground in the form of minerals like trona and nahcolite, which are refined into soda ash (a.k.a. calcium carbonate), then turned into baking soda (a.k.a sodium bicarbonate), among other things.

The baking soda is typically used in cooking. That is because it features leavening properties, meaning it makes the dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide. Apart from cooking, baking soda has different extra household uses and health benefits.

Is Bicarbonate of Soda the Same as Baking Soda?

Yes! Bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are the essentially the same thing, just with different names. Baking soda typically tends to be the American name, while in Australia and UK it is typically referred to as bicarbonate of soda. Whether a cooking or cleaning recipe calls for bicarbonate of soda or baking soda, you can use either since they are basically the same thing.

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So, What Is the Difference Between Baking Soda and Washing Soda?

The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Simple as that!

Once heated up to high temperatures, baking soda will break down to become washing soda, carbon dioxide and water steam.

Either can be used to improve the effectiveness of liquid laundry performance for cleaner, fresher clothes but baking soda is edible while washing soda is not.

Note: We shall be showing you how to turn baking soda into washing soda at the end of this post. This is a really great trick to know if you can’t find washing soda at the supermarket.

Can I Substitute Baking Soda for Washing Soda?

While you can substitute them when it comes to cleaning and stain removal plus odors, you must never eat washing soda.

From experience, washing soda is better for cleaning and removing stains from laundry while baking soda is better for neutralizing acids and getting rid of odors.

Is Borax the Same as Washing Soda?

No, they aren’t the same! Borax is produced from boric acid (more on this in the coming sections of this post).


Can I Use Borax Instead of Washing Soda?

Although borax and washing soda are generally used in homes with the sole aim of cleaning, they are not the same. Both of them serve as laundry boosters but borax serves as a catalyst while washing soda is the primary cleaning agent.

Borax vs Baking Soda Vs Washing Soda

Borax is the typical name for sodium tetraborate, and is a naturally occurring mineral with the chemical formula Na2B4O7⋅10H2O. Borax has a pH of 9.5, placing it roughly halfway between washing soda and baking soda on the pH scale.

Unlike washing soda and baking soda, borax is mined and not produced. In fact, most of the household borax comes from dried lakes in Turkey and California, and popular brands like 20 Mule Team Borax (CHECK ON AMAZON) advertise it primarily as a laundry booster.

Borax is alkaline and forms basic solution in water. Similarly, it lets you enjoy the same laundry benefits as washing soda, making it yet another worthy addition to homemade laundry detergent. However, there is one difference you must take into account – Borax doesn’t dissolve very well in any water aside hot water.

So, if you enjoy washing clothes in warm or cold water, you may need to use washing soda instead.



picture of washing soda

How Do You Transform Baking Soda into Washing Soda?

Either a cleaning recipe requires you use washing soda or you just can’t seem to get your hands on it at the grocery store, then no fear! We have got you covered.

To transform baking soda into washing soda, just

  • Buy two or three boxes of baking soda
  • Then hit it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes and it will become soda ash.
  • Remove the dish once in a while and check during that 40 minutes. Once the texture becomes grainy, it has changed to washing soda.

What happens during this period is that the baking soda undergoes enough heating to release hydrogen and carbon dioxide, thus transforming back into washing soda.

Washing soda appear grainy compared to baking soda

How Do You Know When the Washing Soda Is Fully Cooked?

The texture of washing soda is grainy while baking soda texture is a smooth powder.

You can remove the dish once in a while and check during that 40 minutes. Once the texture becomes grainy, it has changed to washing soda.

How to Make Washing Soda

Making washing soda in the oven is really easy. It takes less than 50 minutes to transform baking soda into washing soda.

  • Preparation time: 5 Minutes
  • ACTIVE Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Difficulty Time: Easy
  • Estimated Cost: Less than 5 Bucks
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Materials Required

  • 1 cup of baking soda


  • oven
  • glass oven safe dish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Sprinkle baking soda into a shallow pan about a half inch deep
  3. Bake until the composition becomes grainy or for 40 minutes .
  4. Stir once in a while to ensure the baking soda cooks evenly.

Arm and Hammer Washing Soda Vs Baking Soda

The difference between Arm and Hammer washing soda versus baking soda is water and carbon dioxide. Washing soda’s chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules).

Once baking soda is heated up to high temperatures, it can break down to become washing soda, water steam, and carbon dioxide.

Can I eat Arm and Hammer baking soda?

Like any baking soda, Arm and Hammer baking soda too can be consumed as food. Remember, it is called BAKING soda for a reason.

You can use it to make dough rise, wash fruits such as grape and apples, tenderize meat and several other cooking uses.

It’s just a name for sodium bicarbonate, a simple chemical compound that has multiple uses.

Baking Soda Vs Vinegar for Washing Apples

Either vinegar or baking soda can be used to wash apples. They’re both great at preventing fungi, bacteria, and other viruses from developing. Using these two substances along with clean water can really help with cleaning veggies and fruits.

Washing Grapes Vinegar Vs Baking Soda

You can wash grapes with either vinegar, baking soda or a combo of the two.

To wash, Simply:

  • Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons each of baking soda/vinegar and salt over the grapes.
  • Next, shake the bowl really hard from side to side for 30 seconds or a minute then rinse.

Washing Soda Vs Oxiclean

Oxiclean (BUY ON AMAZON) is really effective at what it does. To make washing soda as effective as it is, mix it with hydrogen peroxide.

Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator Vs Arm And Hammer Super Washing Soda

Arm & Hammer Super washing soda (CHECK ON AMAZON) is a natural detergent booster and freshener that freshens clothes. However, Febreze Laundry odor remover (CHECK ON AMAZON) is great too. It removes pet and other smells from clothes. You can add a scoop of this with detergent and it takes the smell away.

Rust Removal Electrolysis Baking Soda Vs Washing Soda

Washing soda causes a bit extra current to flow over a 10-hour period than Baking Soda does, but might not be enough more to make it worth a special trip to the store.

Sodium Percarbonate Vs Washing Soda

Sodium percarbonate breaks down into sodium carbonate (washing soda) and hydrogen peroxide when activated by water.

Tsp Vs Washing Soda Mold

Use the homemade formula to remove mildew from test carpet on board:

1 tablespoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

1-quart hot water

2 tablespoons washing soda (sodium carbonate)

2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate (TSP)

It was also very effective in the moist-environment lab test.

Bud Washing Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Vs H2o2

You can use baking soda and lemon juice in the first 5G bucket and simple plain water in the other two 5G buckets.

Use H202 in its own separate bucket. So, maybe do baking soda and lemon juice then the H202 bucket then rinse in the last two.

Borax Vs Calgon Vs Washing Soda for Hard Water

Both Borax and Calgon softens hard water thereby reducing the amount of detergent or soap required for your laundry.

Borax even boasts of extra advantage of boosting the cleaning power of detergents and soaps, but, as a precipitating water softener, it is not as effective against scale build-up in your washing machine and clothes.

While Calgon will not boost your detergents or soaps its water softener method is more successful in battling scale build-up within your washing machine, thereby extended its lifetime, and on clothing, thereby reducing skin irritation and accelerated wear and tear.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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