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Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Soda Crystals Uses Around The Home

how to use soda crystals

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!

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Natural Stain Remover Tips

how often should I wash my laundry

natural stain remover

Today I wanted to share my natural stain remover tips.  But first, I’ve got a confession to make…  For the longest time I couldn’t not have a bottle of stain remover in my kitchen cupboard.  You know the one that comes in the pink bottle.  It was a habit I could not kick – two kids will do that to you!

When my last bottle ran out I vowed to look into natural stain remover methods, and lo and behold, a lot of them work just as well, if not better, than their chemical ridden counterparts.

I use a good quality eco-friendly laundry detergent (Ecover sent me their Non Bio Laundry Liquid to try, which is great at cleaning laundry) but sometimes you just need a little something extra to shift extra stubborn stains.

Here are my natural stain remover tips for a cleaner greener wash.  As with any stain remover, before trying out the natural stain remover tips I’d recommend spot testing in an inconspicuous area just in case:

Natural Stain Remover Tips

Biro

Milk is great at removing biro.  Simply soak your stained item of clothing in a little milk for around 3 hours, then wash as normal.

Blood

You can either pre-soak your item of clothing in heavily salted cold water, or soak in a mixture of 1 litre hot water and a quarter cup of soda crystals, then wash as normal.  Either option, depending on what you have to hand should remove the most stubborn blood stain.

Candle Wax

Got some candle wax on your best table cloth?  Try placing brown paper on top of the the waxy stain and iron the paper with a warm iron.  This should draw the melted wax out of the fabric.

Chewing Gum

Put the offending item of clothing in your freezer for a few hours.  The gum should then be quite hard and brittle, allowing you to scrape the gum off easily with a knife.

Cooking Fat

Create a paste of bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals and equal parts water to spread over the stain.  Then leave the paste on for 30 minutes and then wash in your usual laundry detergent.

Crayon

Similar to chewing gum, freeze the item of clothing for a few hours to harden the crayon, and then scrape off the excess with a knife.  You can then place the stained area of clothing between two clean paper towels, and press with a warm iron.  This should transfer the wax on to the paper towels.  Depending on how bad the stain is you may need to do this a few times.  Then wash with your regular detergent and a large spoon of soda crystals in the drum to help shift the residue.

Natural Stain Removal Tips

Faded Whites

Although not strictly a stain, half a cup of lemon juice in with your usual detergent should help keep whites bright.

Lipstick

Remove the crusts from a slice of white bread and roll the bread into a ball (trust me on this!).  Then use the ball of bread to blot the lipstick stain, which should lift the lipstick from the clothes, and then wash as normal.  Apparently white play doh also works for removing lipstick stains but I haven’t tested that particular method!

Mud

Pre-soak muddy clothes in a bucket of warm water with a quarter cup of bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals for three hours.  Then wash your item of clothing as normal.  Don’t be tempted to leave muddy clothes sitting – it works best if you soak straight away.

Perspiration Marks

Yellow perspiration marks can easily be removed by soaking your clothing in white vinegar, rinsing in water and then washing as normal.

Red Wine

Make a paste using bicarbonate of soda and equal parts water and and apply to the stain.  Leave for a few hours, then rinse under the tap and then wash.  Sparkling or soda water will also help remove a red wine stain if bicarbonate of soda doesn’t cut the mustard.

Tea & Coffee

Mix one cup of soda crystals into a pint of hot water, and pre-soak your clothes for an hour before washing as normal to effortlessly remove tea and coffee stains.

Any natural stain remover tips I’ve missed?  Do share your favourites in the comments below!

 * Ecover sent me a bottle of their laundry liquid to try out and I’ve been mighty impressed with it’s cleaning abilities.