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How to Use Baking Soda for Whitening Clothes

Baking soda is not just for cooking. It can be used for cleaning and has many uses in the laundry room. One use is that some people use baking soda as a safer alternative to bleach. Baking soda can also be used to whiten clothes that can’t be bleached. So how to use baking soda for whitening clothes?

Baking soda can be used to whiten clothes in many ways. You can mix some in water and soak the clothes in it. Mix it with hydrogen peroxide and water to create a whitening stain remover. You can also pour it directly into the washing machine drum to whiten clothes while they wash. Finally, you can use baking soda and bleach to enhance the whitening properties.

The method that will work best for you just depends on your needs and preferences. But, in this article, I’ll explain how to use baking soda to whiten clothes in all the above ways. I’ll provide more details about each method and other information you need to know about using baking soda for whitening clothes.

How to Use Baking Soda for Whitening Clothes

Does Baking Soda Whiten Clothes?

Before we get into it, you may wonder, “Does baking soda work to whiten clothes?” Yes, it does. Baking soda is made up of sodium bicarbonate, an acidic salt that helps break down dirt and odors. It can make white clothes look whiter, dyed clothing look brighter, and leave clothes feeling and smelling fresher.

That said, baking soda may not be as effective at whitening clothes as bleach. But, many people use baking soda as a safer alternative to bleach. Or they may use it as an alternative for whitening delicate clothing that can’t be bleached.

When used the right way, baking soda can be effective at whitening clothes. It’s also safe to use with bleach to boost the whitening properties and reduce the smell of bleach that may be left behind on clothing.

How to Use Baking Soda for Whitening Clothes

Now that you know that baking soda is effective at whitening clothes, how do you use it correctly? There are a few ways that you can use baking soda to whiten clothes. It just depends on your laundry needs and preferences.

1. Baking Soda Soak

One of the best ways to whiten clothes using baking soda is to create a baking soda soak. This method is great for whitening clothing that can’t be washed in a washing machine or if white clothing has started to get a yellow tint.

To do this:

  1. Fill a sink or bucket with warm water.
  2. Add about ¼ cup of baking soda to the water and mix it until it dissolves.
  3. Add the clothes you’re trying to whiten into the water and let them soak for several hours.

When you feel the clothes are ready to come out, rinse them thoroughly or launder them, if necessary. You can repeat this process as often as you like until you get the results you want or until the clothing is as white as you can get it.

2. Baking Soda + Hydrogen Peroxide

If you just need to remove some small stains on white clothing, you can try using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together. Both of these products have whitening properties when used individually and you can use them together even more effectively.

Mix equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water in a bowl. Mix them until you’ve created a paste. If it’s too watery, add more baking soda until the paste-like consistency is reached.

Spread a ¼-inch thick layer of the paste onto the stained area. Let it sit for up to an hour or until the paste has dried. Use a soft-bristled brush to brush off the paste. Then, wash the clothing as usual. Again, repeat this method as often as necessary until the desired results are achieved.

3. In the Washing Machine

One of the easiest ways to use baking soda to whiten clothes is to add it directly into the washing machine when you wash clothes. You can do this even if you’ve already done either of the above methods.

Add about ½ cup of baking soda directly into the washing machine drum for small to medium-sized loads. For large loads, you can use up to 1 cup of baking soda. Then just add your clothing and wash the clothes as you normally would.

4. Using Baking Soda and Bleach

If you normally use bleach to whiten clothes, you can also use bleach along with it. Although some chemicals can’t be used with bleach, it’s safe to use bleach with baking soda. You can use them in the washing machine when washing a load of white clothing, towels, sheets, etc. Make sure to add them to the appropriate place in the washing machine.

Add ½ cup of bleach to the bleach dispenser (you don’t want to pour it directly onto the clothes). Then, add ½ cup of baking soda to the drum and start the cycle. As the clothes are washed, the two will work together to whiten your clothes. Baking soda helps to reduce the smell while boosting the whitening power of bleach.

Do Baking Soda and Vinegar Whiten Clothes?

You may have also heard that vinegar can whiten clothes as well. This is true, but can you use vinegar and baking soda together to whiten clothes? It’s not recommended to use them together, even in the washing machine.

If you’ve ever mixed vinegar and baking soda, then you know that they create a fizzy, bubbly reaction. When this reaction occurs, the vinegar and baking soda neutralize each other. Using them together to whiten clothes won’t be as effective as using them separately.

Instead, you can do a baking soda soak followed up by using vinegar in the washing machine. You just shouldn’t use them both in a soak or in the washing machine at the same time to whiten clothes because they won’t be as effective.

Can You Leave Baking Soda on Clothes Overnight?

For white clothes that are stained or yellowed, the baking soda soak is a great way to whiten them. It’s recommended that you let the clothes soak for several hours, but what about overnight? It’s perfectly safe to leave baking soda on clothes overnight.

Unlike bleach, which can damage clothes if left on clothing for too long, baking soda won’t cause any damage. Leaving baking soda on clothes overnight can also help to remove odors from clothes in addition to whitening them. You can even let clothes soak in baking soda for several days, adding more baking soda as needed.

Can You Use Baking Soda and Detergent Together?

Finally, you may wonder if you can use baking soda and laundry detergent together in the washing machine. The answer is yes, you can use baking soda and detergent together. Keep in mind that unless you use a detergent that contains bleach, laundry detergent doesn’t typically whiten clothes. It just gets them clean.

Adding baking soda to the wash, with or without bleach, not only whitens the clothes. Baking soda can also boost the cleaning power of the detergent, leaving your clothes feeling cleaner and softer. And if you’re sensitive to fragrances and can’t use scented detergent, baking soda can also help to remove odors and freshen clothing, while unscented detergent cleans the clothing.


So there you have it! Baking soda can whiten clothes as a safer alternative to bleach or can even be used with bleach. There are several ways to use baking soda, including creating a soak, removing stains, or even using it directly in the washing machine. I hope this guide helped you learn how to use baking soda for whitening clothes effectively. Feel free to share it with others who might find it helpful.