Is Baking Soda a Good Stain Remover?

There are all kinds of natural cleaning solutions, some homemade and others made commercially. Baking soda is commonly touted as one of the best natural cleaning ingredients.

From using baking soda as a deodorant to tackling drain blockages, can it really also be good at tackling stains?

Absolutely! It is a good stain remover because it’s inexpensive, natural, and versatile. It’s especially great for tackling anything that has an odor.

Why is baking soda good for removing stains?

Mostly because of its versatility and the natural chemical reaction it has when attacking stains.

As a 100% natural crystalline salt, baking soda’s impact on the environment is very low, and it’s also not known to be toxic to humans, unlike hydrogen peroxide. Cleaning with powdered soda relies on basic chemistry knowledge: alkalis neutralize acids.

Most stains are caused by organic materials, dirt, grease, proteins, and oils, all of which are removed better with alkaline stain removers. Other cleaning problems like rust and limescale are better dealt with using acidic cleaning solutions.

The chemical reaction is also why baking soda and vinegar work so well together, especially for cleaning toilets or unblocking drains. It reacts with the acidic vinegar and this causes them to fizz and push against any blockages.

What stains can baking soda remove?

All kinds of stains!

These include:

  • Grease stains
  • Sweat stains
  • Bloodstains
  • Vomit stains
  • Grass stains
  • Crayon stains
  • Tea stains
  • Red wine stains
  • Rust stains
  • Mold stains
  • Carpet stains

You should avoid using baking soda to clean the following objects:

  • Aluminum cookware
  • Antique silver
  • Gold-plated items
  • Marble surfaces
  • Anything made predominantly of wool, cashmere, or silk
  • Jewelry

Can baking soda remove rust?

Yes, it can also remove light rust stains. Wet the metal with some water and sprinkle some powdered soda onto it. The water will help the baking soda to stick and you can remove any excess by gently tapping the object on a surface.

Alternatively, you can mix water and baking soda into a paste and spread the paste over all of the rusty spots.

Leave the soda powder to work on the rust for an hour before using a scrubbing brush, wire brush, or steel wool to scrub the surface of the object. After 5 minutes of scrubbing, rinse off the rust and soda leftovers, then dry it off. Repeat if any rust lingers.

White vinegar can be used on stubborn or significant rust.

Does baking soda remove oil stains from concrete?

Fresh oil spills can be cleaned up with baking soda. Simply sprinkle it over the oil until it’s covered, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and add some dish soap. Using a brush, mix the dish soap into baking soda until it makes a paste, then spend a few minutes scrubbing in circular motions over the oil stain. Then rinse with water!

For stains, you can use the same method and repeat a few times, or modify the steps above by letting the baking soda sit for 30 minutes and adding dish soap directly to the brush with some water.

Will baking soda remove red wine from carpet?

There are two great ways of using this powder to remove red wine from the carpet.

The first method from Oh So Spotless uses a small amount of white wine to dilute the red wine. This can also help keep the stain fresh, so when you blot the stain with a damp sponge you’re more likely to lift the liquid.

Make sure you don’t press too hard.

Sprinkle powdered soda over the stain and leave it overnight covered with a towel or rag with a moderately heavy object which you can afford to get wet. Then vacuum in the morning.

Cleanipedia’s method has two parts. After blotting with a sponge or rag, mix warm water with two tablespoons of white vinegar and a squirt of dish soap, and use your sponge or rag to wash the carpet stain with the solution.

Make a paste of baking soda and water to spread over the stain and then leave it overnight, once again with something moderately heavy on top of a towel or rag. In the morning. Use the towel to dislodge loose clumps of the powder and then vacuum.

Does baking soda really remove odors?

Because baking soda is alkaline, it neutralizes acids that are usually found in odors like sweat, urine, and vomit. Instead of masking odors, it absorbs the molecules causing the smell.

Can baking soda clean carpets?

You can clean carpets of stains and general dirt with baking soda and vinegar.

First, vacuum the carpet to clean up any loose dirt. Sprinkle baking soda over the stains and spray it with a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water until it begins to bubble. Leave it sit overnight. Then vacuum again and the stain should be all gone!

If you need to dislodge the baking soda paste, you can use a brush to loosen the dried solution.

Sprinkling baking soda on its own can also help remove odors and freshen carpets. Make sure to vacuum before sprinkling this magic powder, then leave it overnight and vacuum the next day.

Does soaking clothes in baking soda remove stains?

Baking soda can be used on its own, with water, or with dish soap to remove stains from clothes. There are many ways to remove stains from clothes in eco-friendly ways, and baking soda is often the answer.

In most cases, you’ll need to make a paste from baking soda with water or dish soap. A 2:1 ratio of baking soda to water should work for most stains, though you may find more stubborn stains need more baking soda.

You don’t need to soak your stained clothes in a bowl of baking soda and water either. Instead, topically apply the baking soda or paste to the stain before soaking it in water.

Laundryheap suggests pre-soaking stained clothes in a bucket of water with a cup of baking soda. After swirling them around and letting them soak overnight, you can loosen or even treat some stains and eliminate musty smells.

Soaking is ideal for when you don’t have enough laundry to do a full wash or you just don’t have the time to tackle the stain on the day.

Pre-soaking can help save on struggling to remove dry stains. A good rule of thumb is to use a paste on dry stains and sprinkle baking soda on wet stains.

How to remove grease stains from clothes with baking soda

According to The Maids, you can remove fresh grease stains by sprinkling baking soda on the stain and leaving it for 10 minutes. Then scrape away the soda powder and grease with a butter knife before sprinkling more and lightly scrubbing the fabric.

When the white soda powder no longer turns brown, you know it’s done the trick!

Another way uses dish soap and baking soda to tackle dried stains. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Lay the stained clothes flat on a laminated floor, cardboard, or an old towel.
  2. Pour enough dish soap onto the stain to cover it, using an old rag or toothbrush. Leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the dish soap into the stain with a toothbrush.
  4. Sprinkle powdered soda onto the dish soap and scrub gently to mix it together.
  5. Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Wash with your regular settings and check if the stain is gone before the fabric dries.

If the stain is still there, repeat the steps.

It’s always best to tackle stains when they’re fresh to give yourself the best chance of removing them. If you can’t remove a stain, that doesn’t mean it needs to go in the bin!

Always look for ways of repurposing old clothes before committing to binning them.

Can baking soda remove oil stains from clothes?

Yes, it truly can remove oil stains from clothes!

This is one I’ve tried myself. Following Grove Collaborative’s step-by-step instructions to clean oil stains, I used a combination of dish soap and soda powder to tackle an oil-stained polo shirt.

The polo started out with patches of brown all over the back and front – especially the collar and sleeves – but after three rounds of following the steps there were minimal stains.

Not perfect, maybe, but part of the problem is that I waited too long before I started washing them!

Grove’s steps to remove oil stains from clothes involve rubbing dish soap into the fabric for basic stains and adding baking soda for stubborn stains. I found that soda sprinkles  alone would tackle most of the surface-level stains, adding dish soap to create a paste where necessary.

I recommend applying the baking soda to the fabric with a toothbrush, so you can brush it gently over the stains and draw out as much as possible from the fibers.

Next time, I’ll be sure to follow the instructions more thoroughly by blotting out fresh stains and using more dish soap.

Will baking soda get mold out of clothes?

You can get mold out of clothes with four natural remedies combined: the sun, baking soda, vinegar, and water.

If your clothes are white or old, you can pre-treat the mold by letting the sun kill off the bacteria. Just lay your clothes out with the stain facing up and let the sun do its work. You can do this for any clothes, but because the sun naturally bleaches fabrics it’s best for clothes that have already faded.

For dark or dyed clothes – or if it’s just not sunny – pre-soak them in warm water with a cup of white vinegar.

While your clothes are being sun-bleached, make sure to treat the area you found them in to eliminate any sources or spread of mold.

If you find that more than one garment has been affected by mold, put them in a wash together with a cup of vinegar, per Oh So Spotless’s instructions. Don’t include detergent. Once the first wash is complete, wash them again with half a cup of baking soda.

If this doesn’t remove the stains, combine them instead using this mold removal method:

  1. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle and fill with white vinegar.
  2. Shake the bottle until the powder has dissolved.
  3. Spray onto the mold stains.
  4. Rub the solution into the fabric with a toothbrush, old rag, or sponge.
  5. Rinse under lukewarm water.
  6. Spray the solution onto the stain again.
  7. Let it dry and then throw it in the washing machine or wash as you normally do.

With moldy clothes, it’s best to be cautious and ensure you’ve properly removed the mold spores. It’s okay to throw them in the bin if the mold stains persist, especially if you think the mold may persist.

Always tackle the source of mold as soon as you identify its presence, especially in your bedroom.

Does baking soda take color out of clothes?

Many people are concerned about whether baking soda can bleach their clothes. It’s true that it might whiten dyed or colored clothes, so it’s always best to do a patch test on the inside near a seam where it won’t be seen.

Baking soda can leave a white residue, fade colors, or make fabrics rough.

You should avoid using baking soda to clean clothes or other textiles made with wool, cashmere, or silk.



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