15 Soda Crystals Uses Around The Home For A Natural Clean

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Here are my top 15 soda crystals uses around the home, to help you solve any cleaning problem the eco-friendly way.

Soda crystals are my go-to green multi-tasker as they can clean practically anything without any compromises on effectiveness. I’ve always got a bag to hand – I keep them in my eco-friendly cleaning kit which I use to make my DIY natural cleaning products

As well as being an eco-friendly workhorse, soda crystals are really easy on the pocket too. A 1 kg bag of soda crystals can be bought online very cheaply. Do see my guide to where to buy soda crystals for the best deals. 

Alternatively, bags of soda crystals can also be picked up locally in most large supermarkets or hardware stores, for under £2, making soda crystals really accessible.

What Are Soda Crystals?

Before we get into the uses for soda crystals, you might be wondering just what soda crystals are. Well, soda crystals are an incredibly simple, one-ingredient product – sodium carbonate. Simply speaking, this is a salt that contains no other additives.

In the past, soda crystals were extracted from areas where trees that had grown in sodium-rich soils had burned down. However, due to the versatility of soda crystals – being used in the soap, textile, and glass industries – soda crystals have long since been made commercially. Here salt water reacts with limestone to form soda crystals.

With such simple ingredients, it’s no surprise that, unlike conventional cleaning products, soda crystals contain no toxic ingredients. Plus soda crystals are readily biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for use in homes with septic tanks.

While soda crystals are eco-friendly, do they actually clean? Well, soda crystals are an alkali. Whilst I could happily give you a chemistry lesson here, you’ll be relieved to hear I won’t! All you need to know is that alkaline cleaning products are especially good at breaking down fatty, greasy, or oily deposits.

It is these alkaline properties that make soda crystals so effective when it comes to doing the laundry and cleaning your kitchen.

What’s more, because of the simplicity of ingredients, soda crystals are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction, compared to perfumed or enzyme-based products.

In short, they’re a great eco-friendly cleaning solution that you want to have in your home!

15 Clever Soda Crystals Uses Around the Home

Green cleaning products with a blue text box that says clever ways to use soda crystals around the home

Now that we are up to speed with what soda crystals are, here are my favourite soda crystals uses to help stop you from reaching for synthetic cleaning products:

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).

The soda crystals really help to clear soap gunk and any hard water deposits from your machine, prolonging the life of your washing machine. Find out more in my full guide on how to clean a washing 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, to give it a right good clean and remove limescale.

3. Sink and Drain Cleaner

Got a slow-draining kitchen sink? Never fear, another great use for soda crystals is as a natural sink and drain cleaner.

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

Read my full guide on how to naturally unblock a drain for the full how-to.

4. Use Soda Crystals to Soften Your Water

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

5. Wood Burning Stove Cleaner

Number 5 in my uses for soda crystals is as a wood-burning stove cleaner. If the glass of your wood-burning stove is quite sooty then soda crystals will take care of that. Simply dissolve a quarter cup of soda crystals in a litre of hot water. Saturate a cloth in the solution, and use it to clean the soot off of the glass.

6. Kitchen Cleaner

how to use soda crystals

Greasy cooker hood? Greasy tiles? Fear not. Dissolve one part of the soda crystals in three parts of water. Wet a cloth with the solution – I’d recommend wearing rubber gloves – and the grease will wipe off with ease.

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

7. Extractor Fan Filter Cleaner

Number 7 in my uses for soda crystals is an extractor fan filter cleaner. Simply dissolve two large spoons of soda crystals and three large spoons of laundry detergent in hot water, and use this soda crystals solution 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. Use Soda Crystals to Clean Your Toilet

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. Next, pre-soak your clothes for an hour before washing them 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 uses for soda crystals! 

I also have more natural stain removal tips this way.

10. Tea and Coffee Cup Stain Remover

You know those pesky stains you get in the bottom of mugs? To remove tea stains from cups, 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 then 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 with very little scrubbing. This is one of these great uses for soda crystals that’s really handy to have up your sleeve! Avoid using soda crystals on any aluminium pans or bakeware though, as they can damage the surface.

12. Use Soda Crystals to Clean Your Oven

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.

Next, 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!

See my full guide to homemade oven cleaner for more tips and tricks.

13. Washing Clothes

Laundry detergent tends to be much pricier than soda crystals. For a really thrifty take on laundry, you can use soda crystals to reduce the amount of detergent you use by half, without impacting on performance. 

To reduce your laundry costs, use a ratio of 50% detergent and 50% soda crystals in the drawer for really clean and fresh-smelling clothes.

14. Floor Cleaner

For an eco-friendly floor cleaner, simply add 1 tablespoon of soda crystals to a mop bucket of hot water. You can add essential oils too should you prefer.

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

Kids run amok? Worry not! Simply 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. 

An important word of warning though – don’t use this paste on wallpapered walls. It’s also advisable to spot test on a hidden part of your wall (maybe behind some furniture). This is because soda crystals can remove some of the paint on brightly coloured walls.

A Word of Warning For When You Use Soda Crystals

Soda crystals are a natural product, however, it is still a chemical, and care has to be taken.

I would always recommend wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with strong concentrations of soda crystals as it can irritate the skin when used in a concentrated manner.

I would also avoid using soda crystals on aluminium products, such as aluminium pans, utensils, or window frames. This is because soda crystals can corrode aluminium. It’s best to avoid using it to clean anything made with this metal.

Lacquered surfaces are also a no-no. Soda crystals can damage the lacquer – leaving a dull finish.

Finally, I would advise against mixing soda crystals with vinegar. Whilst not a safety concern, much like mixing baking soda and vinegar, mixing soda crystals and vinegar yields a weak salt water solution that is totally ineffective to clean with.

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.

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  1. Does anybody have any recommendations on where I can buy soda crystals in a cardboard box? I currently buy them from tescos but they come in a plastic bag.
    Thanks in advance

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    1. 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!

  7. 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.

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

      1. Hi – manufacturer here :-). No – you need an acid for descaling. Citric acid is best, but white vinegar is also good. Make sure it’s pure white vinegar (like Dri-Pak white vinegar) and not a ‘white vinegar cleaner’ that may have other added ingredients that can taint the flavour. More tips at http://www.dri-pak.co.uk

  9. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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!!

  10. 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!

    1. 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!

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. If using soda crystals to soften laundry water, would you place them in the washing machine drum or drawer?

        2. They are completely different products. Soda crystals aka washing soda aka Sodium Carbonate and DEFINITELY NOT for personal or food use!

          Bicarbonate of soda aka Baking soda(USA) used in food and hygiene products eg toothpaste.

    2. 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!