Benefits And Uses Of Soda Ash In Natural Household Care
What is Soda Ash?
Soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is a naturally occurring mineral mined from the ash of plants grown in sodium rich soil. Although soda ash can also be chemically produced most of the world's soda ash still comes from mining. China and the USA produce the lions share of the world's soda ash but smaller mineral deposits are also mined in the Southern African region.
More information on what soda ash is and where it comes from.
What Are The Different Types Of Soda Ash?
There are 2 grades of soda ash with the only difference being the particle size of the granules. These grades have different applications. Light soda ash is the most effective for the broad spectrum of home applications.
How Is Soda Ash Used?
Soda ash is highly alkaline and very water soluble. This makes it a key ingredient in the manufacturing of detergents, soaps, water softeners, PH regulators and fertilizers.
Uses of Soda Ash In Natural Living
Using Soda Ash In Household Cleaning
Using soda ash in your home not only reduces your exposure to chemicals within commercial household products but is also better for the environment. Soda ash is a naturally occurring mineral, so it makes sense that it scores an exceptional environmental safety rating from the Environmental Working Group, with the lowest level of concern for use in household settings. Not to mention the fact that it is also incredibly cost effective.
Some of our top tips for using Soda Ash in your home:
Natural Washing Powder
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Like with washing powder soda ash is also a main ingredient in dishwasher detergents and tablets. Making natural dishwasher detergent is really easy. Our favourite is this Homemade dishwasher detergent recipe.
DIY Dishwasher Tablets
There is very little difference in the ingredients of dishwasher tablets and a dishwasher detergent. A detergent powder is quicker and easier to make but some dishwashers handle tablets much better. For these machines you might want to rather use our favourite homemade dishwasher tablets recipe.
Removing Tough Stains
Soda ash is great for getting out tough grease or blood stains and other hard to remove marks. Pre-soak clothes in a mixture of 1 tablespoon soda ash for every 2 liters of water. No time to presoak? Sprinkle some soda ash directly on the stain and put straight into the washing machine.
Non-Toxic Silverware Cleaner
Silverware cleaners often contain harsh chemicals. Cleaning silver cutlery that you then eat with can become a bit of a concern. This non-toxic silverware cleaner recipe, with soda ash as the main ingredient, works like a charm.
Natural Drain Cleaner
Because of its high alkalinity soda ash loosens grease and breaks down buildup easily. Keep your drains clear by pouring 1/2 cup of soda ash down you drain followed by 2 cups boiling water once a week. If you already have a blockage repeat this process 3 - 4 times to dislodge the cause.
Carpet Stain Remover
Pets and kids generally mean carpets and upholstery take a beating. If you catch a stain when it is still wet sprinkle some soda ash on the area, wait a few minutes and vacuum up. This is especially effective for urine or grease stains. This method is harsh on delicate carpets so check for manufacturers instructions first.
Sprinkle soda ash in smelly dust bins or areas particularly prone to bad odours. Leave for a few hours before vacuuming or washing clean. Works well for smells in cars too.
Using Soda Ash in Outdoor Living Areas
Soda ash occurs naturally and offers key benefits and uses in our outdoor living spaces without the need for any harsh chemicals or poisons.
Some of our favourite outdoor uses for soda ash include:
Pool PH Regulator
Soda ash is the main ingredient in many commercial pool PH regulating powders and solutions. PH drops after rain or with an increase in foreign matter in a pool. The naturally high PH of soda ash counteracts this. Here is a great guide to raising your pool PH using soda ash.
Braai Grid Cleaner
Mix 2 tablespoons of soda ash in 2 cups of hot water. Scrub your grid with this mixture and a hard scrubbing brush. For especially thick grime you can mix soda ash with some water to form a paste. Apply the paste and leave to dry. Scrub off with a scrubbing brush for a grid that looks like new!
Grease And Soot Remover
Garage floors and braai areas are notorious for accumulating greasy oil marks or black coal dust. Wash down with a solution of 1 cup soda ash in a bucket of water to remove dust and light marks. For hard stains mix a paste of soda ash and apply to the stained area. Leave for a few hours and return to sweep up the ash.
Natural Pesticide And Herbicide
Stop mildew and blackspot by spraying roses with a solution of 1/4 cup soda ash, 1 cup of milk and 3 liters of water. Get rid of whitefly and mites by spraying plants with 1/2 cup soda ash to 6 liters of water. Some plants are more sensitive to PH than others so research first.
Moss And Mould Remover
Sprinkle on slimy paths or mouldy areas. For moss areas lightly dampen the sprinkled ash and leave. For mouldy areas leave the soda ash to absorb and sweep up residue after a few hours.