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How to Convert Baking Soda to Washing Soda

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How to Convert Baking Soda to Washing Soda Michael Lotenero / Getty Images
Making your own homemade laundry soap is easy and super inexpensive. There are basically three ingredients:
  1. Soap
  2. Borax
  3. Washing Soda
I find the borax (generally 20 Mule Team brand) and the washing soda (generally Arm & Hammer brand) in my local grocery store, but some people have reported having trouble finding washing soda (sodium carbonate) in their city. You can leave it out of the recipe, but it really does help boost the cleaning powder of the soap.

Good news! There is a way to make your own washing soda out of regular baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1-2 hours

Here's How:

  1. Preheat your oven to approximately 390° - 400° Fahrenheit. (200° C)
  2. Pour a box (or a few cups) of baking soda (not baking powder) onto a baking sheet, and put it in the oven.
  3. Bake the baking soda from 30-60 minutes. I've seen reports of people baking it as little as 30 minutes - and people baking it as long as 2 hours. It doesn't appear that over-baking it is a problem...so I'd recommend 45-60 minutes just to assure that the chemical reaction is completely complete.
  4. After pulling the baking sheet out of the oven and letting it cool, store the washing soda in aclearly labeled airtight container. The washing soda can "convert" back into baking soda if it's exposed to air.
  5. Use your washing soda in your homemade laundry soap!

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Baking sheet
  • Airtight storage container
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