If you're wondering what washing soda is, it is a powerful cleaning agent, rich in sodium, that removes grease, oil, and difficult stains. Its increased effectiveness comes partially from its ability to compete with magnesium and calcium ions in hard water, stopping them from bonding with soap and limiting its ability to clean. If you're interested in making your own laundry detergent or dish soap this ingredient is key and very simple to make.
To make washing soda, simply spread baking soda in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 400'F.
This process dries out the baking soda and transforms it to washing soda (also known as soda ash) by reaching the critical temperature of 400'F. At this temperature steam and carbon dioxide are released and the chemical makeup of the substance is changed. You can easily tell when your baking soda has transformed when the baking soda goes from
- powdery to grainy
- crystallized like salt to dull and opaque
- clumpy to separate and granular