Odors in our laundry are caused by bacteria. They can usually be removed as the detergent molecules break up the bacteria cells. In certain types of water and with some bacteria, the detergent needs a boost to work more effectively.
Baking soda helps to regulate the pH level in the washer water by keeping it from being too acidic or alkaline. By adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load, detergents can work more effectively and reduce bacteria.
As a natural mineral, baking soda is less harsh on the environment than synthetic perfumes that mask odors. This also makes it a good choice for those with sensitive skin and allergies.
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