(It's not just for laundry!)
New in the store, we have washing soda in bulk! This versatile and long-used substance (sodium carbonate, to be exact) is a key ingredient in homemade powder laundry detergents, a great option for those pursuing a zero waste lifestyle.
Washing soda, also known as soda ash or soda crystals, is similar to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) but the two substances have been processed differently. It is much more alkaline than baking soda with a pH of 11 and this makes it fantastic at cutting grease and removing stains.
Aside from being crucial to the effectiveness of your homemade detergent, washing soda is a helpful tool to have around the house for cleaning and brightening all sorts of things. Here are 15 surprising uses for washing soda!
15 Handy Ways to Use Washing Soda Around the House
- Use as a soak to remove tough stains like grease, blood, coffee and tea from fabrics. Let sit over night. Not for use on delicate fabrics.
- Removes greasy residue from inside ovens and on pots and pans.
- Removes coffee and tea stains from ceramics. Again, let the solution sit over night.
- To clear a clogged drain, pour down one cup washing soda and follow with two to three cups boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes then flush with tap water. Or, use 1/4 cup washing soda washed down with tap water once a week to prevent clogs. It's also great in the toilet.
- Mix 1/2 cup washing soda in 4L water to create a spray for garden plants to repel aphids.
- Use 1/2 cup per laundry load to soften water, reducing your detergent amount accordingly and lessening hard water build-up in your washing machine.
- Use in the kitchen sink as an alternative to dish soap! Your dishes will sparkle and shine. Wear gloves, though, as washing soda can cause skin irritation. Washing soda should also not be used on aluminum.
- Use washing soda to clean cutting boards of lingering smells. Rinse thoroughly.
- Brighten up mops, dish cloths and rags by soaking in a solution of washing soda and hot water to release dirt and grease.
- Cleaning tiles and grout with a solution of washing soda and water will leave them sparkling.
- Sprinkle washing soda on a wet scrub brush and use to remove built-up, greasy residue on barbecue grills and tools.
- Soak blinds in a solution of washing soda in the bathtub to clean and also repel dust.
- A solution of washing soda is great for getting out wine stains on carpets!
- Gross garbage cans? A soak with a strong solution of washing soda will loosen and remove dirt, grime, sludge and other grossness, as well as odours.
- To shine silver, line a container with aluminum foil and add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 4L of hot water. Let silver items soak for 15 minutes, then rinse and buff.
Along with borax, baking soda, vinegar and castile soap, washing soda is a wonderful basic ingredient to have around the house for effective, DIY cleaning.
Can't get to The Apothecary in Inglewood to pick it up in bulk? Ask your local bulk store or refillery if they carry it or would bring it in; or find it in the laundry aisle at many grocery and big box stores.