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Pretreating Stains with Baking Soda

Even the toughest stains can be cleaned. Read on to learn how to use baking soda for pretreating stains and what kind of stains it works best on.

pretreating stains with baking soda

Oh if only stains didn’t exist.

But they do happen sometimes and it seems like they happen most on our favorite outfits.

When stains do happen, you don’t have to grab a harsh chemical to pretreat it before washing. Other household items work just as good. Baking soda happens to be one of those common household items that work for great for most stains.

Read on to learn more about pretreating stains with baking soda.

Related: Baking Soda Benefits for Health and Household

Pretreating Stains with Baking Soda

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Pretreating stains with baking soda requires making a paste using a two to one ratio of baking soda and warm water. Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; use more for a bigger stain.

The baking soda mixture helps to draw the stain out of the fabric. As the mixture dries, it removes the stain by drawing the stain out and trapping it in the baking soda.

Color test

If you’re worried about whether or not pretreating stains with baking soda will ruin the colors, do a small color test first. Put a small amount of the baking soda mixture on the inside of the clothing that can’t be seen, such as under the armpit of shirts. Use a light-colored cloth to dab the hidden area to see if any color comes off onto the cloth. If you see color on the cloth, don’t use this method to pretreat the stain. This color test will work for any pretreating product.

Wine and fruit stains

Wine and fruit stains need to be treated right away, but if you can’t get to it immediately then pour a little bit of baking soda on the stain and let it sit for a while. After it has had time to sit, pour hot water through the back of the stain and let it sit to dry. The baking soda will soak up any liquid as it dries.


Make the baking soda paste as mentioned above and rub it onto the sweat-stained area before washing. Really tough stains may need to sit for an hour or two. Before washing, brush the baking soda off into the trash or sink first. The baking soda also works to absorb any lingering odors.

Stinky stains

Baking soda is great for removing odors and pretreating stains that smell really bad. Wet the stain first, then sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit for a while. This allows the baking soda to do its job of removing both the stain and the smell. Once again, brush off the baking soda before washing.


Baking soda helps to remove the color from a bloodstain because it also whitens. Get the bloodstain damp, then rub the baking soda paste onto it, allowing it to sit for up to an hour. Wash as normal.


The smell of vomit can linger even after clothes have been washed. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and rub it in really well. This will help remove the odors and keep them from coming back even after washing. You don’t have to wash it right away, either, which is especially helpful when dealing with baby spit-up. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and leave it until you have time to do the laundry. The baking soda will absorb both the liquid and the odors.

As you can see, pretreating stains with baking soda works really well for many different types of stains. Harsh chemical products aren’t necessarily better when it comes to removing stains.

Have you tried a baking soda paste for pretreating stains before? What’s your favorite method for pretreating stains?

Looking for more household cleaning tips? I recommend these:
Cleaning Your Mattress the Right Way
How to Clean Up Fast for Company
Natural Cleaning Supplies with Recipes
12 Ways to Use a Toothbrush for Cleaning
Natural Ways to Make Your Bedroom Smell Clean and Amazing

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pretreating stains with baking soda
pretreating stains with baking soda

Thank you for sharing!