How to Clean a Plastic Laundry Hamper Naturally with Baking Soda

laundry hamper cover

A plastic laundry hamper is a great storage solution for your dirty clothes. Many people have one in their bedroom or bathroom, and some find them particularly useful in damp basements or garages.

The downside to this type of laundry basket is that it can easily attract dirt and other debris. If you don’t clean them regularly, they’ll become dirty and may even start to smell. They can even start growing mold.

Anyone dealing with this problem should know how to clean a plastic laundry hamper using a few simple products such as baking soda.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use baking soda to clean your laundry hamper. 

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Warm water
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloth
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Old toothbrush


  1. Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a small bowl and gradually add water, stirring until you’ve created a paste. You can also add a few drops of dish soap.
  2. Apply the paste from the bottom of your hamper working your way up, and gently scrub any stains with a dampened toothbrush or other soft-bristled brush.
  3. Allow the paste to sit for approximately 15 minutes so it can do its job and break down built-in dirt, grime, and odors.
  4. Wipe down your hamper with a damp cloth or microfiber towel and rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of baking soda residue.
  5. Use a clean cloth to dry.

Why You Have to Clean Your Hamper

You’re probably thinking: “What’s the big deal about cleaning my plastic laundry hamper? It’s not like it gets that dirty.” Well, you may be surprised to learn how much bacteria grows in your hamper after just one use of it. 

When damp clothing is left in a container for too long, germs have no problem reproducing and causing your laundry to stink up the house.

Furthermore, if you or anyone else has allergies, chances are they will only become worse if you use a dirty laundry hamper because mold spores can grow right along with the bacteria. You don’t want to make yourself or others sick!

How Often Should You Clean Your Laundry Hamper?

Ultimately, how often you should clean your laundry hamper depends on how often you use it and how much foot traffic there’s been. If you live alone and do laundry once a week, a good routine is to wash the bin after 2 weeks.

If you live with a partner or family members, and everyone has their own basket, however, it could make more sense to clean every hamper at the end of the week when all its contents are in the wash.

If your hamper is in your bathroom or bedroom, consider cleaning it even more frequently to prevent the build-up of bacteria—especially if anyone has been sick recently.

What Kind of Laundry Hamper Should I Avoid Cleaning with Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a completely safe, naturally-derived cleaning product. It works to remove residue and odors from all kinds of surfaces, including plastics and metals.

While it can be safely used on most laundry hampers, there are some exceptions. If your hamper is made of wood, you should avoid using baking soda on it, or else the abrasive nature of the powder may damage the finish or stain it.

For example, if you have an antique wooden hamper with an intricate pattern on the surface, baking soda might stain the crevices with dark splotches that are difficult to remove without sanding them off.

Why Use Baking Soda to Clean Laundry Hampers?

  • Baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer. It can safely be used on most surfaces around your home, including laundry hampers, without leaving behind any harmful chemical residues. Given that you store dirty clothes inside your hampers, it’s important to make sure they’re cleaned using something safe and natural like baking soda.
  • Baking soda is inexpensive. Compared to buying fancy cleaners with a bunch of unnecessary chemicals in them, cleaning with baking soda is so much cheaper! Sodium bicarbonate is not as expensive as many other cleaners on the market today.


Now you know how to clean a plastic laundry hamper naturally with baking soda! Baking soda is an effective, natural cleaner as it’s mild abrasive and a natural deodorizer. 

Once you’ve used this method to clean your laundry hamper, be sure to give it a good scrub every few weeks or so using the same method. That way it will stay fresh and clean.

If you’re looking for more uses of baking soda around the house, check out my article on how to use baking soda and vinegar to clean a top loader washing machine. 

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

-Baking Soda Guy

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels