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Although washing soda is often found in the laundry section of the supermarket, it’s widely used in many DIY cleaners. From cleaning appliances in the kitchen to removing hard water stains in the bathroom, washing soda is used extensively in cleaning! The best part of using washing soda is that its cheap, eco-friendly and perfectly safe green cleaning ingredient. But, what is washing soda and why is it so useful in cleaning?
What is Washing Soda?
Also known as sodium carbonate or Soda Ash, Washing soda is a highly alkaline compound made from ashes of burned plants. It can even be made by heating baking soda in the oven but it can be dangerous, so we do not recommend to make it at home. But washing soda and baking soda are completely different.
It’s a caustic base and not edible. But, due to its highly alkaline nature (pH 11), it works exceptionally well in cleaning and degreasing. Even though it’s extremely safe to use and gets an A on Environmental Working group’s Scale. It is advised to wear gloves while handling washing soda to avoid any skin irritation due to high alkalinity.
It’s even safer than using borax for cleaning. So, let’s dive into the extensive uses of washing soda and why it’s a Jack of all Trades!
17 Smart Uses of Washing Soda
1. Original Purpose
Originally, ½ cup of washing soda used to be added to a load of laundry to brighten it up, avoiding the whole “faded” look to clothes. This works especially well on whites since washing soda itself is quite alkaline. This property of washing soda makes the whites brighter and cleaner.
2. Homemade Laundry Detergent
Washing soda is the main ingredient in homemade laundry detergent. This DIY liquid soap is made from just three all-natural ingredients i.e. Washing soda, Castile Soap, and Borax.
Why use homemade detergent? For one, it’s a lot cheaper than the store-bought one. Plus, Store-bought detergents usually contain silicones, sulfates, dioxides, and other chemicals which can be harmful especially for toddlers and young children. Although it may take a bit of extra time out of your day to make this homemade detergent, it’s definitely worth it. Here is a step-by-step tutorial to make this homemade detergent.
3. Grease Stains
Washing using a normal detergent with grease stains can cause the grease to stick to other clothes. That’s definitely double trouble which we don’t want!
So, simply sprinkle an even layer of washing powder on the grease stains of the clothes before washing. Washing powder easily cleans off the grease from the clothes. This process should be done about 20-30 minutes before putting them in the washing machine.
A word of Caution: Don’t do this way ahead of time before washing clothes or the alkaline property of washing powder will eat through the clothes or even leave them spotty.
4. Carpet Stains
Got some really stubborn stains that refuse to come out of your beautiful white carpet? Don’t worry, just sprinkle some washing powder on the stain, wait for a few minutes and then vacuum it up. Your carpet will be like new again.
Want to get rid of those embarrassingly stubborn red wine stains? It’s not that hard to get rid of them. Make a solution by combining 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water. Now blot the stain with this solution using a soft, clean cloth. When the stain lightens, sprinkle some washing powder on the stain and blot it again. Now, use a hairdryer to dry the area, and then vacuum the carpet to seal the deal.
A word of Caution: Make sure to check the manufacturer instructions of your carpet before using washing powder on it. Some sensitive materials might make it look washed out or spotty.
5. Grill Cleaner
Many of us enjoy grilled food no matter the season. But, after using the grill for some time it may look like it’s might have been pulled out of the junkyard. Does your grill look the same all scrummy and dirty? Thanks to washing soda, it’s easy to clean and make it look like new.
All you need to do is pull out the grill grates, soak it in a mixture of warm water and washing powder combined in a 1:1 ratio i.e one part water and one part washing soda. Keep it soaked for a few minutes and then gently scrub with a scrubber. Your grill grates will be clean in no time.
6. Cleaning Pots and Pans
Speaking of food, most of us love delicious deep-fried foods. But these foods leave hard to remove grease stains on pans. But, instead of scrubbing it vigorously, just sprinkle a layer of washing soda on it. Now spray a little bit of water over the applied areas until a thick paste is formed. All set!
Now, wait for 20 minutes and then rinse the pan with warm water. So easy to get clean pans free of grease and grime, ain’t it?
7. Oven Cleaning
Continuing the topic of delectable food, the oven is pretty much the hub of the kitchen. Whether sweet or salty, or simply a midnight snack the oven is overused and not really taken care of when it comes to cleaning. Time to get down and clean! Take out the oven racks and apply a 1:1 ratio paste of washing soda and water them. Also, apply the same paste on the oven glass. Wash them with water and your oven will be clean like never before.
Note: Take care not to apply washing soda on the heating element of the oven as it can cause it to wear out.
8. DIY Dishwasher Detergent
It’s great to use a product when you know exactly what’s in it. Although most dishwashing detergents are great, they sometimes leave a residue. Use this DIY dishwasher detergent that incorporates washing soda to avoid residue, and save money. It requires quite a few ingredients including borax, washing soda, citric acid, and salt. Here is a step-by-step tutorial to make your own dishwasher detergent as home.
9. Hard Water Stains
Seeing chalky or white residue after cleaning or around your sink or on shower doors? That’s hard water stains. But you can easily get rid of them using washing soda. All you need to do is make a paste of washing soda and water in a small container, and scrub this paste over the stain until it’s gone. However, don’t scrub too hard that it will scratch the surface. Washing soda won’t get rid of it!
10. Drain Cleaner
Washing soda makes a great drain cleaner. To clean the drain, just dump ½ a cup of washing soda down the drain. Now pour a bucket full of warm water over it and keep the drain clean and smelling fresh. This technique also works for cleaning the kitchen sink drain. You can also throw in chopped lemon rind for a fresh fragrance.
11. Deodorizing Trash Cans
We take out the trash every other day and forget that the trash can itself smells like, well, trash. Simple solution! Firstly, spray the bottom of the trash can with some vinegar and then wait for it to dry. Now, pour in a bit of washing soda at the bottom of the trash can to keep it smelling better and fresh.
12. Water Softening
If the water supply at your home gives hard water, then the minerals present in the water can make your clothes look light or spotty. Thanks to water softening properties of washing soda, there is an easy solution for it. Adding ½ cup of water to the washing machines before starting the wash cycle can prevent this problem as it makes water soft.
Apart from that, this can also prevent limescale buildup inside the machine itself, making your washing machine last longer.
13. Clean Outdoor Deck
Is your once clean deck now a slip-and-slide because of all the moss and mildew that has built up over time? Well, it’s time to get your deck back to original form. And cleaning it is so easy that you will say to yourself why didn’t I knew that before.
All you need to do is just combine 3 cups of washing soda with 1 cup of borax and hot water in a bucket and wait for the washing soda to dissolve. Pour this mixture all over those pesky moss and algae plants, and scrub away! Wait for a couple of minutes before washing the deck with clean water. The alkalinity of the washing soda will easily get rid of all the moss and mildew.
14. Clean Deck Furniture
Is your deck furniture now grimy to the touch? Does it feel sticky every time you come in contact with the furniture? Well, Washing soda is your kryptonite. Plastic deck furniture is prone to pretty much all weather elements and is easily affected making it harder to maintain than other types of furniture. Just make a strong solution of washing soda and water with a higher concentration of washing soda. Proceed to give your furniture a good bath!
15. Garden Tools
After thorough use making your garden pristine, your garden tools become extremely dirty! And it is very important to maintain these garden tools. So that the tools retain their sharpness, and plant diseases don’t spread using the dirty tools. The first thing that comes in maintenance is proper cleaning so as to prevent rust.
And washing soda is perfect for cleaning your garden tools. You just need to scrub the tools using washing soda preferably with a stiff bristle brush for effectiveness. Hose off the tools and let them dry in the sun, thus maintaining their sharpness and preventing them from catching rust.
16. Patios and Paths
Rotting leaves and mildew often make their home on paths and patios. Not only it makes the paths slippery to walk on, but it also looks distasteful. To restore both to their beautiful state, sprinkle some washing soda on top of the rotting leaves, leave it overnight. Wash it off the next day with lukewarm water for the best results. If you see any slime left by rotten leaves, brush the (patio or path) down with a concentrated solution of washing soda and hot water, with extra soda. This gets rid of the excess slime.
Avoid spraying the plants in this process unless you want to end up with a deserted grassland the next day in place of your beautiful garden! The alkalinity of the washing soda will kill or wilt the plants, so be careful as to how you apply the solution and powder respectively.
17. Non-toxic Silver Polish
Well, washing soda can also help restore the shine of your silverware. This non-toxic silver polish using salt, washing soda, and aluminum foil will help you easily restore the shine of those heirlooms. The best part is this will clean the silver naturally without using any harsh chemicals.
Cover the bottom of a baking pan with aluminum foil with the shiny side up. Now add 1 cup of washing soda and 2 tablespoons salt in a gallon of water. Bring it to boil and put the silver inside for 20 seconds. Take out the silverware and let it cool down and you’ll see all tarnish is gone.
Caution: Do not try this on jewelry with encrusted gemstones.
Now we hope you found these uses of washing soda useful. So, share the post and spread the uses of this natural cleaner! We always update a post as and when we find more uses, so make sure to save it to a relevant board on Pinterest.