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10 Uses for Washing Soda

What a fabulous natural household cleaner!

It wasn’t until I discovered washing soda that I felt I could clean everything in the house using less toxic ingredients. Alongside Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda, this natural chemical is the perfect addition to my natural cleaners. I have memories of my grandmother having a little container of washing soda next to her dish washing liquid.  She would always add a little scoop of this white powder to her dishwater in order to soften it.  Besides being a natural water softener, this white powder has some wonderful uses in cleaning.  I’ve done some research and tested out a variety of different ways washing soda can be used.  Read on for a printable list of recipes.

What is Washing Soda?

Washing soda—sodium carbonate—is in the same family as baking soda. It has just been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11.  Although it doesn’t give off harmful fumes, you do need to wear gloves as it may irritate your skin. It is found in the laundry section of most supermarkets.  Its highly alkaline properties make it ideal for de-greasing, brightening and removing stubborn spills.

early days of nourish soaps, chocolate and vanilla soap

Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does.   A cup of washing soda powder dissolved in a liter or two of hot water works wonders on a greasy grill or oven.  But don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax.

If your citrus tree has leaves that are a sickly yellow color, a presenter on Gardening Australia recommends the use of washing soda to fix it.  Simply measure out about 50 grams of washing soda per metre of tree height, and place in 3-4 shallow holes around the tree’s drip line. Too easy.

Wow, I am finding out all sorts of interesting things about this product!  Let me leave you with some specific recipes to get you more familiar with using this amazing salt..

8 Ways to Use Washing Soda


Laundry Booster

The easiest, most straight forward way to use Sodium Carbonate.  Add 1/2 a cup to a load of washing, especially whites, to brighten and whiten.  Washing soda is excellent at deodorizing as well (think bedding for pets).

Stove Burner Grime Cleaner

Fill a sink or pail with 1 cup of  soda and enough hot water to cover the pans. Soak the pans overnight.

Heavy Duty Cleaner

Make a thick paste of washing soda and water. Smear it on the problem area; let dry and then rinse. Note that washing soda can peel wax off a floor, and is often used as a paint stripper, so make sure the place being cleaned is inert.

Laundry Powder

1.5 C Bicarbonate of Soda, 1.5 C Washing Soda, 1/2 C Epsom Salts, 2 TBSP sea salt.

Mix together well and use one two tablespoons in your washing machine.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Combine 1 teaspoon of washing soda with 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe as you go, using as you would any commercial all-purpose cleaner.

Dishwasher Detergent

Who needs commercial detergents with all their chemicals when you can make your own at a fraction of the cost?!?!

1 C Washing soda, 1/4 C Citric Acid, 1/4 C Coarse Salt.  Make a bucket full of dishwasher detergent using these increments and use a heaped TBSP.  Put the powder where you would normally put the dishwasher tablet.  Use vinegar in place of its commercial alternative, in the rinse aid compartment

Carpet Stains

I would normally give my carpets a good brush and hoover but for really bad stains, washing soda is king!  The other day my daughter spilled melted butter on the carpet and I sprinkled on some washing soda.  After letting it absorb for a few minutes, I hovered it up and it worked amazingly.  Please check the manufacturer instructions on your carpet or ask an expert before you attempt this.  Wouldn’t want to be held responsible!

Blind Cleaner

Want a fast way to clean all the blinds in your house? Fill the bathtub with warm water. Add 1 cup washing soda. Remove all blinds and soak for 30 minutes. Spray or wipe down and re-hang. (From experience, make a note of where they all go before doing this!).

Alternately, dissolve 1/4 cup in 2 quarts of warm water and use to wipe down blinds while they are still hanging.



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