One of the most frequent questions when you talk about laundry is how to remove odors from clothes. There are a number of odors that get trapped in our clothes. Those include sweat, gasoline and diesel fuel, cooking odors, grease odors, musty odors, perfumes, fragrances, and much more. And one way to remove these odors is with the use of natural ingredients. You will be surprised how effective and efficient they are. With that in mind, how to remove tough odors from clothes with baking soda?
What we will talk might sound like an old wives’tale. However, using baking soda in your laundry routine will help in a number of ways. Not only you can use it as a natural deodorizer and cleaner, baking soda can help soften the water, which means using less detergent.
Chemistry of baking soda
Technically known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has a similar compound as washing soda, which is sodium carbonate. They serve the same function in the laundry.
Baking soda is a mild alkaline powder that slightly raises the pH of water when mixed with water. It is also a mild antiseptic, which prevents bacteria growth.
How to clean clothes with baking soda
Step 1: Do a pre-soak
If your goal is to use baking soda as a deodorizer, the best idea is to soak the clothes in baking soda overnight. This will give the ingredient enough time to work through the tough smells in your laundry. You can use it for clothes, but also other items that are musty or sweaty.
Mix a cup of baking soda with one gallon of water, and then pour the solution into a basket. Add your clothes to the bucket (you can always use smaller bowl if you need for only 1-2 items). Give your clothes a swirl to make sure everything is soaked. Top with more water if necessary.
Step 2: Start your laundry
Place the pre-soaked items and other dirty laundry into the washing machine. Add detergent as usual, and then begin the wash cycle. Allow it to fill with water before continuing. Use hot water for musty clothes, and cold water for delicates and colorful items.
Step 3: Mode baking soda
Pour ½ cup of baking soda when the machine has filled. Pour the soda straight into the filled washing machine so that it dissolves into the water. Finish the wash cycle as usual.
Step 4: Dry your clothes
The best way to dry your clothes is outside. Drying in the sun will help give your musty and smoky clothes a fresh new smell. Even if the weather is cold, for example, in winter months, you can still dry your clothes outside.
Other uses of baking soda in laundry
- – You can add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash with regular liquid detergent to brighten your whites and all other bright colored clothes
- – Remove crayon stains by washing the clothing in hottest water that is allowable for the fabric with ½ box of baking soda in the wash load
- – Brighten aged linens by rubbing them with a paste made of baking soda and water
- – Use baking soda as a fabric softener instead of your regular fabric softener. Add ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle. Baking soda is also gentler for household members who have skin sensitivities to the regular fabric softener and its chemicals
- – In areas where water supply has a high mineral content, baking soda will act as a water softener and will prevent dinginess in the clothes. Add ¼ box of baking soda to each load
- – If you want to increase bleach potency, add ½ cup of baking soda in top-loading machines and ¼ cup of baking soda in front-loading machines. This way, you need only half of the usual amount of bleach to get the same efficiency
- – You can spot clean clothes by making a paste of baking soda, lightly rubbing into the stain, cover the entire stained area, and then rinse with water. Be careful, do not rub baking soda on delicate fabric like silk, satin, and other thin fabrics