Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big washing soda test 2021. Here we present all the washing sodas that we have tested in detail. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best washing soda for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy washing soda.




The most important facts in brief

  • Washing soda is a versatile home remedy that can be used for a variety of purposes. Contrary to what you might think from the name, you can use it for more than just washing clothes.
  • Because of its natural origin, washing soda is biodegradable and extremely environmentally friendly. It can replace some environmentally harmful cleaning products.
  • Nevertheless, caution is advised when handling washing soda. Washing soda binds fats and therefore attacks your skin, so you should wear rubber gloves when using it. Washing soda powder can be dusty, so you should not inhale the dust or allow it to come into contact with your eyes. It is also important to keep washing soda out of the reach of children.

The Best Washing Soda: Our Choices

Guide:Questions you should ask yourself before buying washing soda

What is washing soda?

Washing soda, also known as pure soda ash, is sodium carbonate and an important household remedy. The chemical term sodium carbonate means that washing soda is a salt of carbonic acid.

In the past, washing soda was even more widespread in its use. (Image source: pixabay.com / Preben Gammelmark)

The chemical formula is Na2CO3. In combination with water, it produces a strongly alkaline solution (lye) that dissolves grease very well. Washing soda is therefore wonderfully suitable for cleaning or washing objects.

How does washing soda work?

Depending on the dosage, washing soda dissolved in water increases the pH value of the water and forms an alkaline solution. Alkaline solutions or alkalis dissolve grease because the reaction of washing soda with water produces OH ions that combine with the grease and thus remove the grease from the surface. Washing soda in combination with water can remove not only grease, but also perspiration odour and limescale.

In combination with vinegar, for example, washing soda becomes an even more versatile household remedy.

How much does washing soda cost?

How much you pay for washing soda depends on where you buy washing soda, how much is in the package, how the washing soda is packaged and whether you buy washing soda in powder or liquid form.

Drugstore Drugstore Online retailer
Washing soda powder approx. 1€ per 500g Liquid washing soda approx. 2€ per litre Washing soda powder approx. 1-6€ per kg

On average, a kilo of washing soda powder costs 1-3€. Liquid washing soda is a little more expensive at just under 2€ per litre.

What are the alternatives to washing soda?

Baking soda

Baking soda is a similar substance to washing soda, but it has a lower pH value and therefore does not react as strongly as washing soda. Especially if you want to dissolve heavy soiling, washing soda is better suited.

Baking soda

Baking soda consists of baking soda, an acidifier and starch as a separating agent. Thus, the reaction strength of baking soda is even lower than that of baking soda and is only suitable as a washing soda substitute to a limited extent.

In addition, the price per kilo of baking powder is significantly higher than that of washing soda, so that it is not worthwhile to use baking powder as a real alternative to washing soda.

Decision: What types of washing soda are there and which is right for you?

If you want to buy washing soda, there are two alternatives you can choose between:

  • Washing soda powder
  • Liquid washing soda

Powdered washing soda is the most common and versatile option. The packaging, storage and application possibilities of the two washing soda versions each have advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the washing soda for, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section, we would like to make it easier for you to decide.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of washing soda powder?

The biggest advantage of buying washing soda in powder form is that it is more versatile. You can put it as a powder on the object to soak or mix different doses of lye. Liquid washing soda can also be made from the powder. If you want to use washing soda for more than one purpose, washing soda powder is probably better for you.

Advantages
  • Can be used for more purposes
  • Less expensive than liquid washing soda
  • Usually more environmentally friendly packaging
Disadvantages
  • Must be stored in an airtight, dry place
  • Powder dust can irritate mucous membranes
  • Washing soda lye usually needs to be mixed before use

If you calculate the average cost of making your own liquid washing soda from the powder instead of buying the liquid washing soda ready-made, you can get away with the powder much more cheaply. This is especially useful if you want to save money.

Washing soda powder can be bought in plastic-free packaging, while liquid soda is filled in plastic bottles. If you care about the environment and avoiding plastic, you will probably want to go for washing soda powder.

When storing washing soda powder, make sure that you always keep it airtight and in a dry environment. This works in a canning jar, for example. If you do not store the washing soda in a dry place, the washing soda reacts with the water in the air and binds it, which reduces its effectiveness and gradually creates crystal soda (a weaker form of washing soda).

Canning jars are good for storing washing soda in an airtight container. (Image source: pixabay.com / kaboompics)

You will probably use washing soda most often as a lye. To do this, you need to mix it before each use, making sure the powder doesn't start to dust so you don't inhale it, or wear a mouth guard when mixing the lye. This may be unusual for you at first.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of liquid washing soda?

You can find ready-mixed liquid washing soda on the shelves of some drugstores, but it is not as widely available online. The biggest advantage of liquid washing soda is that you can sometimes use it immediately without having to mix it or just dilute it with water. However, it also comes in a plastic bottle that is not exactly environmentally friendly.

Advantages
  • Often ready to use
  • Easier to store
  • Not quite as irritating to mucous membranes
Disadvantages
  • Environmentally unfriendly plastic packaging
  • Not as versatile
  • More expensive

When storing liquid washing soda, you don't have to be as concerned about a dry environment because it is sealed airtight in the plastic bottle, which makes it easier for you to store in high humidity. However, the bottle is made of plastic and there is no guarantee that it will be fully recycled. The plastic could just as easily end up in the ocean.

Liquid washing soda does not create dust when mixed unlike washing soda powder. (Image source: unsplash.com / Leonardo Baldissara)

The uses of liquid soda are also a little more limited than those of the powder variety. What exactly you can use the liquid washing soda for depends on the respective manufacturer's instructions.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate washing soda on the basis of these factors

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate washing soda. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular washing soda is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Pure washing soda or crystal soda
  • Environmentally friendly packaging
  • Weight/Quantity

In the next few paragraphs we will explain what is important in each aspect.

Pure washing soda or crystal soda

The first thing you should look for in the product description is whether you are actually buying pure washing soda or crystal soda. Crystal soda differs from washing soda in that it has bound water particles, while pure washing soda contains no water particles.

Because of the bound water particles, crystal soda does not react as strongly with water as pure washing soda, so you have to use a higher dosage of crystal soda. However, if you want to mix dry washing powder from washing soda, you should make sure to use pure washing soda, because this simply does not work with crystal soda.

Environmentally friendly packaging

Washing soda comes in all kinds of packaging, from completely plastic-free including shipping packaging, to recyclable plastic bags, to non-recyclable plastic bottles and plastic buckets.

Plastic bottles and buckets may seem attractive to you at first because they make storage a little easier, but for the sake of the environment and nature, you should avoid this plastic packaging and instead go for the more widely available plastic-free packaging.

You can get this plastic-free packaging mostly in drugstores and supermarkets, but also online. When ordering online, check if the seller offers plastic-free shipping.

Weight/Quantity

You can buy washing soda in different sizes and quantities. In drugstores and supermarkets, 500g packs are the most common. Online, you can often buy larger or more of these 500g packs as a set at once, which usually affects the price per kilo.

Depending on how much washing soda you need or can store, you may be able to save some money.

Facts worth knowing about washing soda

Difference between washing soda and baking soda

Washing soda and baking soda are two visually similar substances. The chemical term for washing soda is sodium carbonate and that for baking soda is sodium hydrogen carbonate.

Baking soda and washing soda are two substances that are very similar because both substances are salts of carbonic acid. (Image source: 123rf.com / 26583162)

But unlike washing soda, sodium bicarbonate contains a hydrogen atom instead of a sodium atom. As a result, washing soda is more alkaline than sodium bicarbonate and reacts much more strongly.

How is washing soda made?

Washing soda can be obtained from natural minerals containing sodium carbonate by various processes (example: Trona process).

You can imagine the process as follows: The trona (a carbonate mineral) is crushed and dissolved in hot water to get rid of other substances it contains. The water is then evaporated under a vacuum and heated until sodium carbonate is formed.

How environmentally friendly is washing soda?

Washing soda is environmentally friendly and can simply be poured down the drain as it is biodegradable. If it then mixes with other wastewater, it can even have the positive effect of neutralising other acidic cleaning products.

Does washing soda harm the washing machine?

No, washing soda does not harm the washing machine. On the contrary, when you use washing soda to wash your clothes or clean your washing machine, it is particularly gentle on the rubber seals in the washing machine. You can therefore use it in your washing machine without any worries and even achieve a cleaning effect of the washing machine in addition to cleaning your laundry.

How can I use washing soda?

For cleaning

Washing soda can be used in many ways for cleaning and can also replace some cleaning products. In your bathroom, you can clean the tiles and your toilet easily with washing soda. Your drain is blocked? No problem, with a combination of washing soda and vinegar your drain will be easily cleaned and unblocked.

You have mould in the joints between the tiles? With a paste of washing soda and water you can also get rid of mould, as washing soda acts like a fungicide and at the same time brightens the grout and makes it look newer.

You can even use washing soda to gently clean appliances such as ovens, cookers (including ceramic hobs), dishwashers and washing machines.

For washing

Washing soda strengthens the washing effect of normal washing powder and is mainly suitable for white laundry, because coloured laundry can fade due to the washing soda.

Got stubborn stains in a white garment? Soak it in a washing soda solution before washing or add washing soda to the wash cycle. The stains should come off. (Image source: pixabay.com / Monfocus)

Be careful with the washing soda if you have sensitive laundry such as wool, silk, down or other animal textiles. Washing soda causes the fibres of animal textiles to swell and would do more harm than good. For functional clothing, opinions differ as to whether washing soda will harm the functional clothing or help get rid of the smell of sweat.

In the garden

Washing soda can not only be helpful in the household, but also in the garden.

Kitchen Bathroom Textiles/ Washing Garden
Dishwasher Drain Washing machine Weeds
Oven Toilet White laundry Moss
Cooker (also ceramic hob) Tiles Carpet Patio tiles
Windows Mould Upholstery/ Mattress Pool

It can, for example, remove weeds between tiles, get your patio tiles clean again or you can regulate the pH value of your pool with washing soda. Only with wood should you be careful again, as washing soda causes the wood fibres to swell.

Image source: 123rf.com / 107747600

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