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.

By Annie B. Bond


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

Thanks for the info.

John S.
Past Member 7 years ago

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

K s Goh
KS Goh8 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Catherine B.
Catherine B.8 years ago

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.

Lynn Porter
8 years ago

Knowledge is power. Thanks for the information.

Roxana J.
Roxana J8 years ago

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

Adam R.
Past Member 9 years ago

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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Josephine Fenech
Josephine Fenech10 years ago

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.

Tracy Long
Tracy Long11 years ago

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