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Washing Soda: All-Purpose Cleaner

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.

Read more: Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning

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).

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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

Simple solutions for less toxic now


+ add your own
4:21AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

This is more eco-friendly

7:29AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

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

1:41AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

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.

4:48PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

PS carries washing soda

4:43PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012


3:28AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011


10:59AM PDT on May 13, 2011

I thought Borox was a cleaner in and of itself.

4:31AM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

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

9:14AM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

Will check this out!

2:11PM PDT on May 1, 2010

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

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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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