Laundry, Kitchen, or Outdoors, You’re Sure to Find a Use in Your Home for Washing Soda
Sodium carbonate is called washing soda because if its many household cleaning properties. Washing soda can be found in many commercial washing detergents, but you can buy it on its own for cleaning jobs around your house and yard.
Washing soda is fantastic as a basic all-purpose cleaner (see recipe below), and it can be used on nearly any surface except aluminum and fiberglass, which will be scratched by it.
It is a mild skin irritant when used in extremely concentrated forms, but an application of a 50% solution of sodium carbonate to human skin produced no irritation on unbroken skin. (source)
Sodium carbonate occurs naturally in the ashes of many plants. It is often found in the mineral deposits left behind from seasonal lakes. Seaweed ashes are one of the most common sources of natural sodium carbonate.
It is used as a chemical treatment in swimming pools, so you can purchase “soda ash” at a pool supply store and sometimes pay less than the grocery. Of course, you can always find washing soda on Amazon.
Here are some other names you might find washing soda called: Sodium Carbonate Synonyms:
Bisodium carbonate // Calcined soda// Carbonic acid, disodium salt // Carbonic acid, sodium salt// Chrystol carbonate // Disodium carbonate// Soda // Soda ash // Washing soda// Soda monohydrate // Sodium carbonate, anhydrous// Sodium carbonate monohydrate // Sodium carbonate decahydrate// Sodium carbonate heptahydrate // Solvay soda
Washing Soda Uses in the Laundry
1. Laundry Soap is the easiest washing soda use to find online. I have my favorite laundry soap recipe that we use have used religiously for the past few years. You may think that making your own laundry soap isn’t worth the effort, but you’d be wrong. It costs pennies per load and it gets your clothes fabulously clean.
2. You can also use washing soda as a laundry booster while using commercially purchased detergent. Just add 1/2 cup to your laundry. Add it with the powdered soap or follow instructions on front loading machines.
3. Use it as a laundry pre-soak – Add 2 tablespoons of washing soda to 1 gallon of warm water. Add your stained clothes to the bucket, wetting thoroughly. It’s best to soak overnight, but if that’s not possible, give it at least 30 minutes before adding an additional 1/2 a cup washing soda to the machine and washing with detergent in a regular cycle.
Washing Soda Uses in the Kitchen or Bath
4. Homemade dishwasher detergent is another great way to save money around the house.
Here’s a recipe for liquid dishwasher soap from Overthrow Martha, another recipe for powdered dishwasher soap from Lady With the Red Rocker and a recipe to make those neat dishwasher tablets from Six Figures Under. You are sure to find a recipe you will like.
5. As long as you’re in the mood for soap making, whip up a batch of liquid dish soap too. This recipe from Live Simple for DIY Liquid Dish Soap is pretty simple to make and with the addition of essential oils you can have grease cutting action and have it smell good too.
6. If you are looking for an all-purpose cleaner made with natural ingredients, try this recipe from Sophie Uliano. It works like a charm on counter tops, tables, cabinets, fridge interior, sink, and can even work on kitchen floors (not wood). It’s a great alternative to the bleach sprays.
- 1 24-oz sprayer
- 1 tsp borax
- ½ tsp washing soda crystals
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp liquid Castile soap
- 2 cups hot water
- 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
Mix the borax, washing soda, vinegar and castile soap on a large measuring cup. Slowly add the hot water (just off the boil). Allow it to cool before adding the tea tree oil. Pour into the sprayer. Shake well before each use.
7. Washing soda is great to freshen drains and traps . I like to keep on top of my drains before there is a problem, so I use this maintenance solution every few weeks (or when I think about it).
Create a solution of 1/2 cup washing soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Run hot water down the drain and add the solution. Flush the drain with hot water. Use as needed or every few weeks. It’s safe for septic systems.
8. If you forget to freshen your drains, washing soda will also unclog drains. Pour 1 cup washing soda into the drain. Let it sit for 15 minutes and follow with 2 quarts boiling water.
If the clog is extra stubborn, add 1/2 cup hot vinegar (heat for 30 secs in the microwave). Do not use with commercial cleaners, either before or after, they will not interact well.
For a quick quick DIY mopping solution, mix
- 1 gallon hot water
- 2 tablespoons washing soda
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
10. Here’s another mopping solution recipe that looks promising. I haven’t tried it yet but I certainly will. Homegrown and Healthy is making a DIY mopping solution with grapefruit juice. She say’s it’s not sticky at all and you can also use lemon or lime juice. I’ll bet that smells heavenly.
11. If you are refinishing floors and need to strip old paint or wax, washing soda is your natural choice. Mix washing soda with just enough water to form a paste and spread it on the area to be stripped.
Be sure and wear gloves. You can start checking for progress after a few hours but plan ahead, you may need to leave it overnight.
To remove wax from jars and tin cans, place the can or jar in hot tap water, let the leftover wax melt; pour out the melted wax and clean everything up with a paper towel. Add 1 tbs of washing soda and hot water. Let everything sit until slightly cool. Rinse out with warm water.
12. Remove hard water deposits in the coffee pot. Use 1 tablespoon of washing soda for every cup of water the pot holds. Add washing soda where the coffee grounds go and run it once. Then run it again 2 or 3 times with just hot water.
13. Use washing soda as an ingredient in this simple oven cleaner recipe
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup washing soda
- 1 tbs liquid castile soap
Place the powder into a large bowl and add hot water gradually until you have a thick paste. Add a few drops of white vinegar, then coat the surface of the oven and leave it to dry overnight. In the morning wipe with warm water.
14. You can even make a non-toxic silverware polish by following this recipe from Dr. Karen Slee. Using washing soda, salt, and aluminum foil you can have those heirlooms looking fresh without the harsh chemicals in traditional silver cleaners. See how Karen does it in her post – The non-toxic way to polish silverware.
15. Concentrated washing soda acts as a tile descaler, which is a problem when you have hard water. Just mix 1/2 cup of washing soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Be sure and wear gloves for this project. Wash the surface using an old rag. Rinse with warm water.
Washing Soda Uses Outdoors
16. Do your outdoor grills need a deep clean? All you need to do is dip a moist, stiff bristled brush into washing soda and scrub down the grill. Use a little elbow grease! Rinse and let dry. Do not use on aluminum grills.
17. During these big rains, we learned the hard way that the deck at our new house has a few slippery stairs. Here’s what I did to freshen them up and stop the slipping.
To remove moss from walkways and decks. sprinkle washing soda on the moss covered surface, adding just enough water to form a paste. Let it sit in the sun for a day or two and then simply rinse with a hose to clear away the dead moss and freshen the steps.
18. Looking for a way to clean grease on concrete? Sprinkle washing soda on the stains. Add a bit of water to make a paste and let it sit overnight. The next day, hose the area and wipe clean. Repeat if necessary.
Washing Soda can be found at most grocery stores in the laundry aisle. I have heard, that some people can’t find it in their area. Did you know that you can make your own washing soda?
Follow these instructions from Dr. Karen Slee and see how she’s changing the pH of baking soda from 8 to 11 and creating washing soda. You don’t need any fancy equipment – just your oven and a pan!
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Are there any other ways that you use washing soda around your home?