Some of the recipes in my book The Minimalist Cleaning Method require an ingredient known as washing soda.
There has been some confusion as to this particular ingredient so it is time to help clear this up.
Washing soda is known by the chemical name of Sodium Carbonate, and helps clean things by raising the pH in water to a higher, more acidic level.
Baking Soda, also known as Sodium Bicarbonate is NOT the same as washing soda. Sodium bicarbonate acts to neutralize the pH in water rather than raise the pH as is needed in some of the recipes (like for laundry detergent) in my book.
Washing Soda is most commonly found under the Arm & Hammer brand; I have included a picture with this post to show you what to look for. It is located with the laundry detergents in stores (it is considered a laundry booster) and generally hangs out near the borax.
If you are unable to locate Washing Soda in your local stores, visit the pool supply section of your local hardware stores and look for pH raiser. Read the ingredients and locate one that is composed of soda ash or sodium carbonate (soda ash is another name for sodium carbonate or washing soda). Here is an image of a container of pH raiser that contains sodium carbonate:
You will use this in the exact same amounts in the recipes in my book as you would Washing Soda because it is the same thing, so don’t worry! The only thing of concern is the cost of pH raiser when it isn’t swimming season in your area!
If you do not mind using an online source I have discovered that GreatCleaners.com offers boxes of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda on their website for $2.50 a box; a friend noted that even with shipping charges it costs less than what Amazon likes to charge. If you are interested then click on this link to be taken to page on GreatCleaners.com.
Please note that a single box of washing soda will go a long way in your cleaning recipes; it only takes 1/3 of a cup to make a gallon of liquid laundry soap, which will last a small family for quite a while. Even making the powdered version you will get a lot of loads from a single box of sodium carbonate (washing soda).
Other than for making laundry soap I have used washing soda for washing dishes and other items. For complete washing soda recipes please see my book The Minimalist Cleaning Method.