Can you use baking soda as laundry detergent?

Baking Soda is used for numerous purposes in almost all households these days, being a natural cleaning agent it can help you to clean the fabrics and to make them soft post washing.

Regular cleaning of clothes with baking soda or vinegar is not recommended and may not be as effective as detergents. Detergents are specially formulated to wash clothes and fabrics, hence replacing the detergent with baking soda is not recommended for regular cleaning. Using them once in a while should be a good strategy.

You may consider using the baking soda along with your regular detergents in a moderate quantity to boost the cleaning process.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Proper usage of baking soda
  • When to use & when not to use.
  • Pros and Cons for usage.
  • Commonly asked questions
  • And More…

Let’s get started.

Why use baking soda to wash clothes?

Baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer, that also helps to regulate the pH level of water which further gives a boost to detergents in the cleaning process.

This also helps in removing bacteria and foul odors from the washer effectively. Furthermore, it also acts as a natural fabric softener as it is known to soften the fabric.

Using baking soda to wash clothes can be extremely helpful in regions that supply hard water.

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When to use baking soda to wash clothes?

Usually, when you are located in a place where the water supply is hard, you can add baking soda to soften the water for better wash results. 

Baking soda not only aids the cleaning process but also whitens the white fabrics and brightens the colored ones, this may act as a substitute for bleach.

It can be used in smelly conditions, at times you may notice an odor from the washing machine OR from clothes. It helps to regain freshness and gets rid of the bad odors.

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When you should not use baking soda?

If you want to wash delicates such as soft wool, fluffy fabrics, and silk you may consider cutting down the usage of baking soda.

Furthermore, you should avoid using it on leather products, as you may not be aware of the leather type. If used then make sure it is applied carefully and in a moderate amount.

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Pros and Cons of using baking soda

Usually, due to its significance in numerous household activities, it stands challenging to fetch its negative side. Although it has lots of positives, let us have a look at a few Pros and Cons of baking soda.

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Pros Of Baking Soda

  • Natural cleaning solution for your fabrics.
  • Inexpensive cleaning solution in case of cleaning leather garments.
  • Easily available in the households.
  • Regulates the pH level of the water.

Cons of Baking Soda

  • Excessive quantity may impact the fabric quality.
  • It may leave a white residue if applied or cleaned inappropriately on leather surfaces.

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Can baking soda be used to wash silk items?

Silk items can be hand-washed with soft hands using a moderate amount of baking soda in order to remove stinky smells or stains.

All you need to do is sprinkle the baking soda on the silk garment.

Allow it to settle overnight, then use a delicate detergent to soak the fabric for another 30 minutes with cold water.

You may also add half a cup of white vinegar for better results.

Hand-wash the fabric and rinse it with cold water, leaving it to dry.

A rough wash may end up damaging the silk fabrics, and always use a moderate amount of baking soda for delicate fabrics.

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Can baking soda be used to wash jackets?

Jackets are made up using various fabric types.

Depending on the fabric type of your jacket, you may use baking soda for cleaning or washing purposes. 

There are few jackets that require a defined cleaning process, you may have to go through the care label. For e.g. If you are planning to wash a down jacket then you may give a pause right away because these jackets fall under the delicates category.

Having said that, Leather jackets that catch stains can be cleaned using baking soda.

Simply apply the solution over the stained or oily areas and wait for an hour. Post which, wipe the affected area with a damp cloth.

Note: If your jacket is made from Nappa leather, you may have to bypass the usage of baking soda and use an appropriate cleaner. Because Nappa Leathers have a very high-gloss finish, the baking soda could react and make it dull or darken the surface. Jackets that are made using standard fabrics like your regular clothes, can be cleaned or washed using baking soda in a regular manner.

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Can baking soda damage clothes?

Baking Soda has natural cleaning properties that help remove stains and smell from your clothes, regular usage may have a bit of impact on your fabric quality.

Delicate fabrics such as Wool, Cashmere, and Silk have specifically formulated detergents that can be used for washing purposes. 

You may avoid using baking soda or moderately use it for your delicates. If you want to use it on such fabrics make sure you dilute the baking soda with water in a moderate amount before use.

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Final Thoughts

Usage of baking soda isn’t harmful to your laundry if used in moderate quantity.

It has the capability of cleaning the strong stains from the fabrics with ease.

While using baking soda on different fabric types, it is always recommended to research the washing technique before the application.

Jackets and other occasional garments do carry a care label which gives you a fair idea about the maintenance.

For more washing tips and info about 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)