The magic of baking soda

So, are you ready for the in-laws and your family to descend this Christmas expecting a clean house, pristine beds, comfy sofas and lots of yummy food and drink? No pressure.

I realised recently that both our bedlinen and sofa are getting totally trashed by our dog, to the point where I caught a guest moving to a different part of the sofa after pulling a face at the dog stains she was sitting on – I tell no lie. The next day I immediately pulled off all the covers and stuffed them in the washing machine but they have to be washed at 30 degrees because they shrink and the blue stripes against the white fabric can run. When they came out of the washing machine they looked exactly the same as they had when they went in: mud stains, drool stains and general yellowing – gross!

I don’t want my sofa to be grubby and unpleasant with a house full of people over Christmas, not least because the vast majority of time is spent on the sofa watching Xmas telly and drinking as much as is humanly possible. However, I also couldn’t bear the thought of paying to have my sofa covers professionally cleaned. This is where the baking soda comes in.

Oh my god. This stuff is A-MAZING! Seriously.

Here’s what I did to tackle the sofa covers:

1) 1 cup or mug of baking soda poured into 8 litres of very hot water in a bucket and stirred.

2) Submerge cushion covers into bucket (I did it in three different batches as I only have one bucket, which doesn’t fit all of the covers into it at once. I did try putting them all in the bath and adding more baking soda but it just didn’t work very well at all – no idea why). Stir the covers around in the water and soda solution and then make sure they are all submerged, even if you have to weight them down with something.

3) Leave to soak for 18 hours.

4) Remove covers, wring out and then put into a cold wash in your washing machine.

I did no scrubbing and the baking soda just lifted out these stains as well as the general dirt that had discoloured the covers. I promise you, the results are miraculous considering a conventional wash in the machine had not made any difference at all.

I have done the same to my bedlinen, which works amazingly well as the main reason bedlinen goes past its best is the build up of sweat (horrible, I know). The baking soda break down the oils and sweat build up, which makes whites yellow and robs them of their fresh feeling. My linen is back to its best and ready for ALL the house guests this Christmas.

Keeping your whites white with baking soda | Cleaning sofa covers with baking soda | laundry tricks | Apartment Apothecary

Do it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What are you doing to prepare for houseguests this Christmas?

Katy x




  1. 14th December 2015 / 10:17 am

    With a cat who considers the bed to be his bed too, I feel you on this! Love the old, cheap ways and probably should get round to this before someone notices!

    • Katy
      14th December 2015 / 2:10 pm

      No idea! When Otto trod paint into mine, I had to give it up. I think professional cleaning might be the only answer. Have you googled it? x

  2. 14th December 2015 / 2:27 pm

    Brilliant, Katy, thank you! I can’t use it on my sofa, but I had no idea of the benefits of Baking Soda on linens. Definitely going to try that! Sue

  3. Sarah Ford
    14th December 2015 / 4:00 pm

    Will definitely try this on our fitted bed sheets and pillow cases!

  4. 15th December 2015 / 11:40 am

    Ha yes we have this with our cat too. You mentioned the covers had to be washed at 30 to avoid the colours running. Did you experience any of that when you put the covers in the bucket – just wondered as you said to use very hot water! Thanks 🙂

    • Katy
      15th December 2015 / 5:06 pm

      Hi Lucy. I was worried about it but it was absolutely fine and I’m not sure the baking soda would have worked as well in cold water. x

  5. Anna
    18th December 2015 / 3:19 am

    Okay, I’m a huge fan of baking soda, and love this advice. Now getting down to the details, how hot is hot? As hot as the tap gets, or did you use boiling water from the kettle?

    • Katy
      18th December 2015 / 8:16 am

      Hi Anna. I used water from the tap – as hot as it runs (I could still put my hand in it). I didn’t use boiling because I was scared of shrinkage xx

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