Washing Soda

gbongerJuly 26, 2013

I was googling on uses of borax when I came across a Gardenweb forum. I don't know how old or new it was, but everyone was lamenting that washing soda was virtually unobtainable in the US. Because I wanted to help (and other reasons) I have just joined Gardenweb (It's great, BTW) and have this to say:
Washing soda or sodium carbonate is widely available everywhere. You have to look for soda ash, found in swimming pool retailers or the swimming pool section of any hardware shop. It is the same thing.
I live in Australia but I'm sure washing soda or soda ash will be found in the same manner in the United States

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grainlady_ks

Welcome!

The good news is, Washing Soda is readily available. There have been short periods of time when people were having trouble finding it, or production wasn't meeting the needs during an up-tick in popularity of homemade laundry mixtures made with Washing Soda, Borax and a bar of soap. Otherwise, it's been an old time washing aid people rarely used and stores quit carrying it due to lack of sales.

I think the last wave of popularity came when Michelle Dugger (mother of 19 children) shared the recipe on their televised reality show and the homemade mixture rose in popularity once again. The mixtures tend to go out of popularity for the simple reason it doesn't always work as well for everyone as detergent does.

During one of the spikes in popularity (it seems to come and go about every 10-years or so - I know I've used it many times over the last 25-years when money was tight), you could call Arm & Hammer (1-800-524-1328) and if you ordered 3 boxes the shipping was free.

And yes, Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) for pools can also be used and may actually be less expensive than Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 6:16AM
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laundrymix

In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada the ingredients required for making homemade laundry soap (Borax, Arm & Hammer washing soda, Sunlight yellow bar soap) can be ordered by calling the Manager of the Laundry Supplies at Loblaws (Rideau and Nelson Street location) or Trudel's Home Hardware in the Bytowne Market and they will special order these items in. Posting this message October 30, 2013, as I called these outlets this week.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:07AM
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arkansas_girl

I've suddenly been unable to find Washing Soda anywhere even the hardware store doesn't have it anymore. GAH! I am in Ohio.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:07AM
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grainlady_ks

arkansas_girl,

I guess you'll have to order it directly from Arm & Hammer (information in the link I posted above), or check pool supply stores for Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) . Otherwise, ask at the grocery store and perhaps they can special order it for you. However, you may have to purchase more than a few boxes doing a special order. Our Wal-Mart shelves Washing Soda, Borax and Fels Naptha Soap together. How convenient is that ;?)

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:07AM
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emma

Can you tell me why you use products other than reg laundry products.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:36PM
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arkansas_girl

Yes grainlady, that's how it used to be at our walmart too and now they don't have it. UGH! It's stupid, don't they know everyone is making laundry detergent out of it these days!? I will just have to get the pool stuff.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:22PM
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grainlady_ks

EmmaR-

Washing Soda has been a common laundry aid for decades as a detergent booster that was especially useful in hard water. A great stain and grease remover. It can also be used as a household cleaner.

Today it is more commonly used in homemade laundry soap mixtures to save money. Some people feel it's more "natural" than other commercial detergents, and better for the environment. There are drawbacks to using homemade mixtures, but cost isn't one of them.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:20AM
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emma

Thank you grain lady. I was wondering why because I have only used commercial products and my clothes are white and colors bright. I used Oxodol for years then went to Tide and recently I started trying less expensive store brands and can't see any difference in my clothes.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:19AM
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violetwest

Amazon has it.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:09PM
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blairgirl

I've never tried it, but it's a fascinating idea! (esp. if you can get baking soda in bulk cheap.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's a link to the recipe.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 10:10AM
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arkansas_girl

Baking soda isn't cheap but washing soda is not available. I went to the Arm & Hammer site and looked, the only place that supposedly has washing soda is one place 20 miles away from me. I remember looking for this a few years ago and managed to find it at an ACE hardware store. Supposedly it is an ingredient used in bomb making and that's why it's off the shelf? How stupid!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:21AM
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jannie

I can find washing soda easily in several stores near me in Long Island NY. But I use regular store-bought, mass-produced cleaners, detergents and soaps in my home because they do work for me. I do use plain ammonia mixed with water for cleaning mirrors and windows, and I keep peroxide on hand for blood stains in my laundry. I'm not really interested in combining various chemicals to make cleaners for my home. I do know mixing bleach plus ammonia is very dangerous.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 7:22AM
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