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<p>Hi, I have just learned about the idea of homesteading and really like it. Unfortunately, this isn't really a good time in my life to start changing it up and altering my lifestyle because I'm in college, living under my parents roof, and about to transfer and live in a dorm (I am not a mother, but I am a birth doula and future CNM!)</p>
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<p>I've decided to start small by planting a garden in the Spring and learn more about knitting, sewing, etc. If I can convince my parents, I'll get them chickens too!</p>
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<p>I decided my first attempt at trying something homemade would be to make my own laundry detergent. I quickly found a million recipes online (the internet is an amazing place) and most called for the same three ingredients: Borax, Washing Soda and grated bar soap. Washing Soda is in just about all of the recipes. At Nob-Hill, I was able to find the bar soap and Borax, but no Washing Soda. I went to Safeway Rite-Aid, and Orchard Supply and still couldn't find it. I'm wondering, because I live in California, is Washing Soda a product sold in the East Coast? Is there another name for Washing Soda? Is there a good substitute for washing soda? Thanks!</p>
 

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<p>Washing Soda is also known as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_carbonate" target="_blank">Sodium Carbonate</a>. I've heard you can find it at Pool Supplies stores (make sure it is ONLY sodium carbonate.) You can also evidently heat Baking Soda (Sodium <strong>Bi</strong>carbonate) on high heat for an extended period of time and it will essentially turn into Sodium Carbonate. I've also heard of people just using Baking Soda instead of Washing soda because it was less caustic to handle <span><img alt="shrug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="width:29px;height:15px;"></span>...</p>
 

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<p>Thanks! I will start looking for Sodium Carbonate now. Is Baking soda a good alternative? Does it work? Because I've heard it doesn't. Has anyone used Baking soda and found success?</p>
 

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<p>My mom just started making her own laundry detergent, and she mentioned she picked up the washing soda right by the detergents at her local Wal-Mart. </p>
 

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The grocery store should be able to get anything their warehouse carries. You could ask a manager. I live in Washington State and I found it at Fred Meyer.
 

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<p>Agreed. I've read much the same - that you can substitute Baking Soda for the Washing Soda, and just use Baking Soda, Borax, and your soap of choice. I've read Washing Soda is VERY caustic to handle and you should by all rights be wearing gloves when using it..</p>
 

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<p>I've been making my own detergent for several years now using the recipe you mentioned.  You really do need washing soda to make it work well.  If your local stores don't sell it, they may be willing to order it for you if you're willing to buy a full case.  There are also people that sell it on ebay, I think Amazon sells it, but obviously it's going to cost more that way.</p>
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<p>Arm & Hammer makes it, you can look it up on their site for more information about washing soda.  It is not dangerous to handle or anything.  I wouldn't go rubbing it all over my skin, but I've never ever had any problems when I have gotten it on my skin accidentally.  </p>
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<p>This is a great first step and will end up saving you SO much money.  I have 4 kids and had been spending around $20/month on detergent.  Now I spend about $2 to make a 5 gallon batch that lasts me at least 3 months.  I wish more people knew about this and were willing to give it a try!</p>
 

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<p>I'm in BC and can get washing soda at a lot of grocery stores. Maybe call a few more, especially health food type stores.</p>
 

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<p>I haven't tried this since I can find washing soda but here's an <a href="http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2011/01/homemade-washing-soda.html" target="_blank">explanation and step by step</a> on how to make it from Baking Soda.</p>
<p>You do heat it up in the oven and there are some photos to show the difference in textures.</p>
<p>Hope that helps!</p>
 
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