Make Washing Soda with Baking Soda & Heat

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I was all ready to make my homemade cleaners for the month and I realized I was out of washing soda. I drove out to Wal-Mart (where I usually am lucky enough to find it) and the shelves were empty where the washing soda usually sits. I went back the next week and they were still out. I tracked down a friendly Wal-Mart associate and he informed me that they would no longer be carrying the washing soda, but hey, they had plenty of baking soda. Does he realize these two things are not the same?

After checking out stores throughout the county, I realized I may no longer be able to purchase my washing soda locally. Bummer…

Washing soda is great for DIY cleaners, but it's sometimes hard to find locally. Did you know that you can make your own washing soda using baking soda and an oven?

To say I was discouraged would be putting it mildly. As a last resort, I checked out this little podunk hardware store near my house. She told me that they didn’t have any, but she remembers her nephew making some as part of a science project for school. She couldn’t remember the details, but she was pretty sure it was just heated up baking soda. It can’t be that easy. They aren’t the same thing, remember?

How to Make Washing Soda from Baking Soda

I rushed home and hopped on my trusty Google search. Lo and behold, all you have to do is heat up baking soda in the oven. It really is the same thing… sort of. I made it and it actually works. I’ve cleaned with it and it actually cleans. Well color me surprised. Today I’m sharing the pearls of wisdom with you:

  • Heat your oven to 400ºF
  • Put baking soda onto a cookie sheet or glass pan in a thin layer (no more that 1/4″ deep)
  • Place cookie sheet (or two) in oven and wait for an hour to an hour and a half
  • Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon (rubber spatulas will melt – ask me how I know)
  • Remove when it’s finished
You may also enjoy  Cleaning Products from Scratch for the Whole House

Converting Baking Soda into Washing Soda

Washing soda is great for DIY cleaners, but it's sometimes hard to find locally. Did you know that you can make your own washing soda using baking soda and an oven?

So how do you know when it’s done converting? Just use your eyes. It’s subtle, but you can tell the difference. Baking soda is fine and powdery. It also appears a bit shiny. Washing soda is dull and grainy.

When you’re done making washing soda, you can use any of your leftover baking soda to clean your stove top and oven.

The Science-y Stuff

For those of you who care about the chemistry, this is for you. For the rest of you, feel free to scroll down and pin the image below to save for later or share with your friends.

When baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) gets heated, it turns into washing soda (sodium carbonate) + Carbon Dioxide + Water.

2NaHCO3 + Heat = Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O

In addition to using this as a cleaning ingredients, you could use it as a fun homeschooling science project. Science rocks! For more fun activities for your kiddos, check out these fun activities that will pull them away from the TV.

Washing soda is great for DIY cleaners, but it's sometimes hard to find locally. Did you know that you can make your own washing soda using baking soda and an oven?

If you’re looking for more DIY tips, be sure to sign up for The Homestead Helper. I’ll show you how to make your own, grow your own, cook your own, and more.

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About Jessica Lane

I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

Comments

Make Washing Soda with Baking Soda & Heat — 1 Comment

  1. I’m sorry, but your chemical equation doesn’t balance. 2NaHCO3 + Heat = Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O. You have to have the same number of each thing to balance the equation. The addition of heat cannot create an extra hydrogen atom -H2- in the H2O if there is only 1 H in the baking soda – 2NAHCO3. Also, where did the 2nd sodium atom go? 2Na becomes Na but there is no other Na or was there a typo and the 2 was typed after the Na. I do that sometimes. You also used all you oxygen atoms in the reaction. You can’t have Na2CO3 because you’ve used 2 of those O atoms in your CO2 & 1 O in your H2O. Your baking soda may become washing soda, but the formula is off somewhere. I thought you’d like to know. Thanks for sharing so much helpful information.

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