Washing soda has become my standby for hard cleaning jobs. I stumbled across it because I needed to peel old wax off a floor.
Washing soda worked for this, as it did for cleaning up engine oil, and other tough materials that people generally use solvents.
Washing soda–sodium carbonate–is in the same family as baking soda but it is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11. It is available in the laundry section of the supermarket. Here are five of my ways to make use of this very helpful mineral:
1. Soot Cleaner
Mix 2 tablespoons of washing soda to 2 cups of hot water. Wash sooty areas with a sponge and the mixture. Let dry and then rinse.
2. Stove Burner Grime Cleaner
Fill a sink or pail with 1 cup of washing soda and enough hot water to cover the pans. Soak the pans overnight.
3. 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.
4. Paint Stripper
Follow directions for #3.
5. 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.