Washing Soda: All-Purpose Cleaner

A chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a pH around 11. It releases no harmful fumes and is a far safer heavy duty cleanser than a commercial solvent formula. Because I am chemically sensitive, there were so many things I just couldn’t clean until I discovered washing soda. It cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does.

This terrific all-purpose cleaner formula is one you will stick with for a lifetime.

All-Purpose Cleaner (Fantastic Cleaner)

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water

Combine the washing soda, borax, and soap in a spray bottle. Pour in the hot water (it will dissolve the minerals), screw on the lid, and shake to completely blend and dissolve. Spritz every 6 inches or so of surface once or twice, wiping off the cleanser with a rag as you go. For tough dirt, leave the cleanser on for a few minutes before wiping it off. Shake the bottle each time before using.

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Storage: Leave in a labeled spray bottle.

Adapted from Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by Annie Berthold-Bond. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999).


Fiona T.
Past Member 4 years ago

This is more eco-friendly

Lydia Price

You didn't mention rinsing. Is it necessary? I would assume this would leave a sticky film with the detergent mixed in with it.

Cheyenne Thunderbird

Before I had many cats I had to be very much known about the detergents because some kill cats. Now I can use whatever and the baking soda looks like better. The usual wahing soda is too strong in homes.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V4 years ago

PS Amazon.com carries washing soda

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V4 years ago


Marcia Machado
Marcia Machado6 years ago


John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

I thought Borox was a cleaner in and of itself.

Mari Basque
Mari 's6 years ago

What about freshly squeezed lemons? I love the smell of lemons! Add some lemon, lime or even orange into the water?

Bente S.
Bente S7 years ago

Will check this out!

Peter Billington
Peter B7 years ago

i believe in washing soda to great stuff with many uses like vinger has.