Baking soda is appropriate for use in a washing machine, according to Arm & Hammer. Baking soda can be used to remove smells and stains from clothing or to clean the machine itself.
Regular laundry soap can be used along with 1/2 cup of baking soda to brighten a load of white clothing. Baking soda rubbed onto a garment neutralizes stains caused by spills of household cleaners. Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle softens clothes naturally and removes persistent odors, such as those in old towels or workout clothes. Materials stuck inside the washing machine, such as candy or gum, can be easily removed by painting the materials with a mixture of baking soda and water.