Why use baking soda with detergent?

dave1812April 26, 2012

Doesn't baking soda reduce the alkalinity? If so, wouldn't that reduce cleaning efficacy of detergent?

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Sandy16

Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, increases alkalinity slightly. I have never understood why it would be beneficial as laundry detergent is alkaline as well. Washing soda or soda ash would be a better builder.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:35AM
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dave1812

gee, i can't believe I wrote "doesn't baking soda reduce alkalinity". I know better than that! LOL! thanks for reminding me of that. :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:27PM
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lazy_gardens

Dave -
Baking soda is recommended because the person making the recommendation doesn't understand enough chemistry to realize that it and "washing soda" aren't the same thing.

It has a slight effect on odor, not much on dirt.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:35AM
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tubeman

Vinegar and baking soda would counteract each other and people commonly recommend mixing them for cleaning. Not sure why.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:23AM
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albert_135

Posted by tubeman (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 30, 12 at 9:23

Vinegar and baking soda would counteract each other and people commonly recommend mixing them for cleaning. Not sure why.

Isn't this a most interesting question. Persons who paid a bit of attention in grade school science probably once learned that mixing baking soda and vinegar neutralized the two and produced some gaseous foam that was amusing.

Why do persons suggest mixing the two as a cleaning method?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Pat

It sure works in unclogging my sink drains. Combination has been recommended for this purpose for years.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:33AM
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mara_2008

I do know that using baking soda in conjunction with chlorine bleach doubles its whitening power, which means you can use 1/2 the recommended amount of bleach if you also use baking soda. I learned this in Chemistry class, and it has also been my experience.

I also know that, in my experience, using baking soda has a definite effect on removing odors from laundry.

It is billed as a cleaning 'booster'. It has been this for me, and it is extremely inexpensive (especially when bought in bulk, as I do). I don't use it as often as I used to, as I now use OxyClean in HOT water instead of chlorine bleach, but it's great to have on hand IMHO.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:17AM
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mara_2008

Baking soda softens the wash water. This can be a big help in softening rough towels, as FS reduces their absorbency.

FTR, I don't recall ever combining baking soda and vinegar (except when cleaning drains and in classroom volcanoes). I often use vinegar in the washer's FS dispenser, as it's great for stripping all detergent from laundry.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:22AM
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