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Household Uses for Washing Soda

Updated April 17, 2017

The chemical name of washing soda is sodium carbonate. Also called soda ash or soda crystals, this substance is a byproduct of carbonic acid and is white in colour. It is applied for various household work such as treating hard water, cleaning tiled floors, removing stains from household utensils and cleaning swimming pools

Treating Hard Water

Washing soda is highly recommended for laundry work, as it is helpful in treating hard water at homes. The soap detergents that are mixed with hard water do not produce the needed lather for quality cleaning. The calcium and magnesium ions found in the hard water affect the basic properties of soaps and detergents and limit lather formation. This makes you to use more detergent to work out lather. The addition of washing soda stops the formation of chemical bonds of ions in the hard water, helps in removing dirt and stains from the clothes and supports lather formation.

Cleaning Tiled Floors

Washing soda can be effectively used as a cleaning agent on tiled floors as well as hard surfaces. For cleaning larger surfaces, you can mix the washing soda with water, while the badly stained surfaces may require direct application of washing soda. It helps in clearing out soap scum found in the bathrooms and to eliminate soot. When applying washing soda on floors, care should be taken as it can peel off wax from the floors. It is also sometimes used as paint stripper. So, when you decide to clean floors with washing soda, try to apply it on a small area that is often unnoticed to test its reactivity.

Cleaning Household Utensils

Application of washing soda on utensils and silver items removes stains from them. This is due to its high alkalinity property. This property helps washing soda to act as a solvent to remove tough stains from utensils and stoves. Use gloves when using washing soda as it causes skin irritation.

Stocking washing soda in bulk at homes is not advisable. Always keep the children and pets away from it. It is very harmful to eyes and if inhaled it might cause irritation in the lungs. Consumption of washing soda in heavy doses will lead to abdominal pain or vomiting.

Cleaning Swimming Pools

It is always not an easy job to maintain swimming pools. Adding washing soda or soda ash is an inexpensive option to increase the pH level in pools, which neutralises the acidity. To treat your pool, mix the washing soda with water well in advance and add the mixture to the swimming pool. Since washing soda or soda ash is a highly alkaline product, it will increase the pH level in pools.

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About the Author

Don Rainwater has been a professional writer since 2005. Rainwater has published books including "The Jack Russell Terrier: Canine Companion or Demon Dog" and "How To Manage A Behavior Classroom." He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Arts degree in special education and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Phoenix.