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The Wonders of Washing Soda

The Wonders of Washing Soda

It wasn’t until I discovered washing soda that I felt I could clean everything in the house using less toxic ingredients.

I stumbled upon washing soda 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. It has just been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11, and while it doesn’t give off harmful fumes, you do need to wear gloves. It is found in the laundry section of most supermarkets. Arm & Hammer is one brand; Shop and Save has a generic house brand.

Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax.

Click here for a washing soda soot remover.

1 bucket warm water
1/2 cup washing soda

Wash surface, wearing gloves; then rinse.

For really tough jobs, make a thick washing soda paste by mixing it with water, and then spread the paste on the soot. Keep the paste damp by spraying every hour or so with a spray bottle. Leave the paste on overnight, and then rinse. Make certain to only use this formula on inert surfaces such as glass and stone, as this amount of washing soda can peel off paint, wax, etc.

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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3:44AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

soda, vinegar, lemon - great cleansers

11:21PM PST on Feb 28, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:32AM PDT on Apr 18, 2013


4:49PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

thanks does carry washing soda

4:10PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Just to state explicitly what's been implied: washing soda is toxic, although safe to use with ordinary precautions (gloves, child-proofing, etc.). It does not accumulate in the body, is not linked to any chronic diseases, and can be easily cleaned up and disposed of. But it's caustic; it dissolves animal tissue in frying pans and garbage cans, and it will do so in you if you let it.

1:11AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

thanks for the info

5:40AM PDT on Sep 28, 2010

Many household products can be used as green cleaning implements, such as soda. It is better for the environment that you do use these products. Everyone in their home has eco-friendly toys
that can help both them and their environment.

4:22PM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Thank you Janet!!! I live in tempe and have been looking everywhere trying to find the washing soda. All I have found is large boxes of baking soda.

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11:47PM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

Thanks for the info. I have recently bought a packet of washing soda and was wondering how to use it.

2:55PM PST on Feb 25, 2009

Just type in washing soda and you'll find a website where washing soda can be purchased. Also you can find a laundry bar called for in the recipe. I use a recipe I found on the "Duggar" website, "18 kids and Counting" they make their own laundry soap to save money and I have used it and it works just great and isn't harmful to your sewer or appliances.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Thanks for sharing.

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