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5 Smart, Easy Ways to Use Washing Soda in the Home

5 Smart, Easy Ways to Use Washing Soda in the Home

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.

Read more: Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Better Basics for the Home

Hundreds of nontoxic formulas for housekeeping using kitchen cupboard ingredients. By Care2'com's executive producer of content, Annie B. Bond (aka Berthold-Bond).buy now


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6:58AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:30AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Thanks for the info.

11:02AM PDT on May 13, 2011

It's great to descale, but you should warn people to wear gloves or they will get burns.

12:16AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:10PM PST on Dec 2, 2010

Washing soda as a cleaner works! Thick paint needs something stronger. Low infrared heat from eco-strip easily gets off 5-10 and more layers.

9:59PM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

Knowledge is power. Thanks for the information.

9:05AM PDT on Sep 29, 2010

Humm thanks!! I am gonna get my washing soda pretty soon!

10:00PM PST on Dec 3, 2009

Vinegar is a disinfectant. I used it on my granite floor tiles (1 cup per gallon of water). That is the recipe for cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar, also. My installer told me that my granite tops have a lifetime sealer on them, so they never stain--even with red wine spots overnight. I cleaned the water spots around the faucet with the white scratchy pad and barkeepers friend. Just a wash cloth and barkeepers friend should work also. It did not scratch the granite or the clear glass vessel sink in the bathroom. NEVER us the green scratchy pad--especially on stainless steel sinks!

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7:18AM PST on Nov 19, 2008

thanks for the information about washing soda, i only used it for white clothes to brighten them.all your tips are very useful and we all learn from them. thanks again for sharing.

6:53PM PST on Dec 1, 2007

Are Borax and washing soda the same thing? If not can they be interchangable? Thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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