Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Washing Soda

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

Since washing soda [sometimes called soda ash, scientific name = sodium carbonate] is one of the ingredients we’ll use the most, and sometimes hard to find in some areas [and since it’s possible for my food stamps to cover it] we’ll start off this series with how to make it ourselves! It’s inedible, which means food stamps won’t cover it, but it’s dead easy to make with FS-friendly items.

Believe it or not, some serious science goes into making this stuff. I have no idea how to explain what any of it is, but you can read all about it over here from Penny, the lovely author of Penniless Parenting. The end of it is that basically if you take baking soda, and expose it to high heat, over time some magic science-y stuff happens that makes it release carbon dioxide and turn into washing soda.

You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Enameled or Pyrex baking pan
  • 450 degree oven
  • 2 hours

To make the stuff, it’s super simple: fill the baking dish with 1/2″-1″ of baking soda.

Spread it in an even layer.

Bake for 2 hours at 450 degrees F, stirring every 30 min.

How will you know if it’s turned from baking soda to washing soda?

I’ll use Penny’s words [and her picture]:

Baking soda on the left, washing soda on the right.

So how do you know if your baking soda became washing soda? Baking soda and washing soda look different, feel different, and taste different. If you make your own washing soda, you’ll be able to tell in an instant which baking soda has become washing soda and which has not yet.

But if you don’t believe me that you’ll know immediately, the differences between the two are [these]:

  • Washing soda is grainy, baking soda is powdery.
  • Washing soda is dull and opaque, baking soda is crystallized like salt and reflects light, i.e. it is semi shiny.
  • Washing soda is separate grains, baking soda clumps together.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Penny.

Welp, that was easy! One down…

  • Laundry Detergent, Liquid & Powdered – Brightens & Whitens WITHOUT Borax!
  • Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?
  • Powdered Better-Than-OxiClean Stain Fighting Laundry Booster [No Liquid Peroxide]
  • Homemade Washing Soda
  • Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals
  • Dishwasher Detergent & Homemade Finish® Rinse [No Castile Soap]
  • Homemade LemiShine Dishwashing Booster
  • Hand Washing Dish Soap That Actually Works – No Residue!
  • Hand Soap [NON-Antibacterial]
  • Sanitizing Floor Cleaner, Reusable Mop Pads & A Swiffer Wet-Jet Hack
  • Cleaning “Stink-B-Gone” Toilet Fizzies
  • Homemade Clinging Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Lemon Dusting Spray & Reusable Cloths
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner [No Castile Soap, ACV or Baking Soda Here!]
  • Bonus week: How I Went Paper-Less & Saved Over $70 Per Month!

Next time: Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals!

If you want to start from the beginning of the series, you totally can! Just click here. Thanks for reading!

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1 thought on “Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Washing Soda

  1. Pingback: Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals | This Disorganized Life

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