Can baking soda damage the washing machine?

Baking soda just like vinegar has been used for quite a long time in laundry-related stuff. It has been proved to be safe for the washers and humans, due to its non-toxic properties.

You can use it with all types of washers, top loaders as well as front loaders (Including HE washers). 

You may use a moderate amount of baking soda to clean your washing machine or to clean the adamant stains from your clothes.

It is well known to deodorize the washer and removes smell from the fabrics.

Using Baking soda in moderate quantities should not harm your washing machine. In fact, it is used as a homemade solution in cleaning equipment such as refrigerators, pots, and pans. Having said that, using a large amount of baking soda regularly may ruin the drive shaft responsible for switching cycles in long run.

Now, considering the fact that the usage of baking soda sounds safe for your washer here are the lists of topics that we will cover.

Table of Contents

What does baking soda contain?

Baking soda, also known as baking powder or sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally occurring substance that has many different uses in cleaning home appliances, baking, and cooking. Its chemical formula is NaHCO3.

It is a salt made up of sodium cation and bicarbonate anion (1).

Baking soda can be extremely helpful in removing dirt and grease from the Appliances. It also helps to neutralize any odors that may be present.

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Can you use baking soda without adding detergent?

Yes, using baking soda without adding a detergent or other solutions is absolutely fine. 

You can simply add baking soda to the laundry and run a normal cycle.

It can be used to deodorize mildly soiled clothes, however, if they are heavily soiled use soap to enhance its ability to wash and deodorize your clothing.

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What are the benefits of using baking soda in your washer?

There are numerous benefits of baking soda in your laundry.

Let’s take a look at a few benefits below :

  • Baking Soda helps soften the hard water, which makes it easy to clean the fabrics.
  • Leaves no residue behind in the washer, unlike detergents and soaps.
  • Makes white fabrics whiter and brightens the colored fabrics.
  • Acts as a natural fabric softener, as it softens the fabric.
  • Keeps excess sud formation in check.

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What works best with baking soda in your laundry?

Due to its non-toxic properties, it can be used along with your detergents and distilled Vinegar.

Mixing baking soda with water before washing the clothes is a common practice, especially in areas where the water is hard.

So, it’s done by mixing the baking soda with water first and then using that water to go through the wash cycle using appropriate detergents.

Therefore, using baking soda along with detergents can and will make sense for hard water.

Having said that, it is not recommended to mix vinegar with baking soda as they both may neutralize each other.

Therefore, it’s best when it’s used alone or when used with detergents i.e. by pre-dissolving the baking soda in water.

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How and where do you add baking soda to a washing machine?

You can add baking soda directly to your washtub in all washer types.

However, if you are adding to a top loader you can add it while placing your fabrics or you can add it after the water level fills up in the washtub.

One of the best ways to add baking soda is using the soaking method.

Pre-dissolve the baking soda with water in a bucket. Then, add your laundry to the bucket filled with the mixture and let it settle for a couple of hours or maybe overnight.

Place the laundry in the washer and run the wash cycle.

Note: Using half a cup of baking soda should suffice and you may consider using a cup of baking soda if there is a large quantity of laundry.

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How does baking soda enhance the performance of a detergent?

Baking soda softens the hard water, and detergents or soaps clean your fabrics better with soft water. It reacts with the calcium in the hard water to make the water softer which further helps in loosening the dirt.

Therefore, if you get hard water at your place, then mixing the baking soda with water before washing your clothes will make a lot of sense.

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Final Thoughts

Moderate usage of baking soda does not damage your washer.

In places, where there is hard water, you may notice stains inside the washer. In such places usage of baking soda reacts with the calcium in hard water.

Due to this water softening properties, it prevents stains and boosts the cleaning process.

For more information about your laundry do visit our FAQ section.

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Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)