how to use soda crystals

Soda Crystals Uses Around The Home

how to use soda crystals

Today I’m talking about soda crystals uses around the home.  Soda crystals are something that I always have to hand in my eco-friendly cleaning kit, and are my go-to green multi-tasker as they can clean practically anything!

As well as being an eco-friendly workhorse, soda crystals are really easy on the pocket too.  A 1 kg cardboard box of soda crystals is around £1 and can be picked up in any supermarket, hardware store or bargain store.

Here are my favourite soda crystals uses to help you stop reaching for chemical filled synthetic cleaning products:

15 Soda Crystals Uses Around The House

1.  Washing Machine Cleaner

About once a month it’s worthwhile giving your washing machine a clean.  Simply place a cup of soda crystals in the drum and run an empty 90°C wash (or the hottest your machine will go).  It really helps clears soap gunk and any hard water deposits from your machine, prolonging the life of your machine.

2.  Dishwasher Cleaner

Again, in a similar manner to cleaning your washing machine, soda crystals can be used to clean your dishwasher.  Simply add soda crystals to the detergent dispenser then run your dishwasher on the hottest wash your dishwasher allows for to give it a right good clean.

3.  Sink and Drain Cleaner

Pour a cup of soda crystals down your sink or drain, then pour down a kettle full of boiled water.  This will remove any fatty/grease deposits, making your drain smell sweeter and allow the water to drain away faster.

4.  Water Softener

If you live in a hard water area try putting a spoonful of soda crystals in with every load – it helps soften the water, prolonging the life of your machine.  It also has the added benefit of improving the cleaning effectiveness of your usual detergent.

5.  Wood Burning Stove Cleaner

If the glass of your wood burning stove is quite sooty soda crystals will take care of that.  Dissolve a quarter cup of soda crystals in a litre of hot water and use to the clean the soot off of the glass.

soda crystals uses

6.  Kitchen Cleaner

Greasy cooker hood?  Greasy tiles?  Dissolve one part soda crystals in three parts water, and using a cloth the grease will wipe off with ease.

Did food splatter your hob?  Simply sprinkle some soda crystals on the hob and clean with a damp cloth.

7.  Extractor Fan Filter Cleaner

Dissolve two large spoons of soda crystals and three large spoons of laundry detergent in hot water, and use to clean your cooker extractor fan filters with ease.  I used to dread this job but soda crystals really do make it easier without too much elbow grease!

8.  Toilet Cleaner

Soda crystals make a good bleach alternative to cleaning stained toilets.  Try two parts soda crystals to two parts water.  Then pour down your solution down the toilet and leave for 15 – 30 minutes before giving it a good scrub with your toilet brush.

9.  Clothes Stain Remover

Stained clothes?  Remove stains the natural way by adding one cup of soda crystals to a pint of hot water, and pre-soak your clothes for an hour before washing as normal.  Soda crystals are especially good at naturally removing stains such as tea, coffee, blood, oil, grease and ink from clothes.  This is probably one of my favourite soda crystals uses!

10.  Tea and Coffee Cup Stain Remover

You know those pesky stains you get in the bottom of mugs?  To remove them add half a teaspoon of soda crystals per mug and fill with boiling water.  Leave to soak until cool, and then rinse and wash as normal.  The stains should wash out easily.

11.  Cleaning Pots, Pans and Baking Trays

If your pots have burnt on food that just won’t budge add a quarter cup of soda crystals and fill the pan with boiling water.  Leave to soak overnight and clean as normal.  The food should shift quite easily.

12.  Cleaning Ovens

Cleaning the oven is my least favourite job.  Thankfully soda crystals can make life a little easier.  Simply run a shallow amount of hot water into your bathtub, and add a cup of soda crystals.  Place your racks and grill tray in the soda crystals solution, and leave for 30 minutes.  Then give them a quick scrub and they should come up lovely and clean without too much hard work!

13.  Washing Clothes

For a really thrifty take on laundry, you can use soda crystals to reduce the amount of detergent you use by half.  Use 50% detergent and 50% soda crystals in the drawer for really clean fresh smelling clothes.

14.  Floor Cleaner

For an eco-friendly floor cleaner, add 1 tablespoon of soda crystals to a mop bucket of hot water.  You can add essential oils too – my favourite combination is 10 drops of tea tree oil for its disinfectant properties, and 20 drops of orange essential oil for a fresh and clean citrus aroma.

15.  Removing Crayon Marks From Walls

Add an equal part of water to an equal part of soda crystals and mix to form a paste.  You can then use this paste to scrub the crayon mark off of the wall.  Don’t use on wallpapered walls, and it’s advisable to spot test on a hidden part of your wall (maybe behind some furniture) as soda crystals can remove some of the paint on brightly coloured walls.

A word of warning – don’t use soda crystals on aluminium as it’s corrosive, and wear rubber gloves when cleaning with strong concentrations of soda crystals as it can irritate skin when used in a concentrated manner.

What are your favourite soda crystals uses?  Have I missed any?

PS: if you liked this, then you might also be interested in these uses for borax and how to make your own homemade cleaning products.

PPS: I have written a book on green cleaning – packed full of recipes for natural cleaning for all around the home.  You can check it out here!


  1. Soda is brilliant! Have you ever tried soda for personal hygiene? I’ve been told you can use it to clean your hair, mixed with some water and rubbed in, cleaning teeth and even as deodorant! Beth Terry (My Plastic Free Life) has tried it for these uses..not sure I’m tempted, but maybe one day!

    • I’ve not tried it for those uses, but I’m wondering if you are maybe thinking of bicarbonate of soda, as soda crystals can be quite caustic on the skin? The similar names do get confusing!

        • Bicarbonate of soda has more of a deodorising property, and is a good gentle abrasive, which is why you find it in things like toothpaste. Soda crystals is in the same family as bicarbonate of soda, but is much more alkaline and caustic so has much much better grease cutting/cleaning properties, but you would definitely not want it in your toothpaste! So, for example, you could add bicarbonate of soda to your laundry to neutralise bad odours it wouldn’t actually clean your clothes. Whereas you could clean your clothes with a weak soda crystals solution. I’ll do a post soon on uses for bicarbonate of soda.

          • Hello,

            Crystal soda is save for skin. It is at least save for feet. I had problems with my feet and using crystal soda healed my feet. It was suggested by my doctor.

    • Indeed Xiao, I’ve used soda crystals dissolved in water to prevent or defeat an infection. On advice of my doctor, too. It worked wonders! However, soda is abrasive, I would never use it as a toothpaste!

  2. Could you please tell me if soda crystals would remove moss on our garden slabs
    I seem to remember reading this on the packet but doesn’t seem to be printed on now

    • I remember reading this too. I would try sprinkling the soda crystals on the moss, leaving overnight, and then rinsing away the next day. Keep any pets or children away from the soda crystals whilst the soda crystals are on the moss though.

      • Defo works for cleaning paths and patios. Just sprinkle on and leave – if it doesn’t rain (or the air is very dry) after a couple of days – give a light spray with water – don’t wash away!!

  3. I want to descale my nespresso coffee machine. Do you know whether I can run through with soda crystals in some water?

  4. Regarding using soda crystals (also known as soda ash) to clean the glass of a wood stove. An even cheaper method is to take a damp cloth, dip it in the wood ash and use that. You’re basically making your own soda crystals.

    I would never use soda crystals on my skin as its effect would be to degrease the skin. Not something you really want to do. Although I guess it depends on the concentration of the soda crystals.

    Thanks for a very helpful article.

  5. My dog had a accident on my carpet I’ve been looking for natural remedies to clean and remove the smell of urine as disinfectants off the shelf just seem to mask it and it returns when it’s dry. Can you offer me some tips please

    • I would mix one part water with one part vinegar and pour on to the problem spot. Not too much, just enough to moisten the area. It will smell of vinegar but vinegar is odourless when dry so don’t worry! Once dry, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on the spot, leave for around half an hour and then hoover up. Good luck!

  6. I have used soda crystals to clean a grey non metal sink and it has left white residue. I wipe it and it goes but then comes back again. How can i get rid of it please

  7. Cleaning carpet by hand use some soda crystal in the carpet shampoo mixture -it cleans a treat. I just started this combination, beige carpet, cant believe how ingrained dirt has disappeared. May need to repeat two or three time when first starting to tackle the heavy dirty carpet.

  8. I have always worked with older people, and my best tips have always come from old ladies – including my must have, all purpose spray.
    I use it for all kinds of things: as a surface spray, on walls, as a toilet and bathroom cleaner, as a pre wash stain remover in the laundry, on garden furniture, even on our camper van after it has sat on the drive all winter. It brings everything up really clean and shiny.
    Get a small (500ml or similar) spray bottle
    Pour in 1 tbsp. washing up liquid
    Add 3 tbsp. washing soda
    Top up with water and swirl around to mix then it’s ready to use

  9. Soda crystals are great BUT i tried on my hob…some lazy flatmates hadn’t cleaned it and tbh it left greasy smears that I needed to then use a cleaner on. A lot of residue with soda so I’d not use it on the hob again.
    However its great in the loo and fab on a stainless steel sink!


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