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spring cleaning

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

Chemical Free Cleaning: E Cloths

e cloth review

e cloth review

This post contains affiliate links, denoted by *

For my second Zero Waste Week post, I wanted to look at chemical free cleaning, and the fantastic reusable E Cloths*.  I bought my first E Cloth for my kitchen a few months ago, when I felt like giving chemical free cleaning a go, and was so hooked that I then went out and bought one from my bathroom!  They cost around £4.99 for a single E Cloth, which is quite a bargain when you factor in the fact that you don’t need to buy any cleaning products whatsoever!  Imagine all that money and cleaning product packaging you will save on!

You see, E Cloths are quite the revolution in chemical free cleaning and in reusing, as all you need to clean is a cloth and some water.  That’s it!  No chemicals or cleaning products (natural or otherwise) required, making it great for allergy sufferers.  The microfibres in the cloth remove dirt, grease and 99% of all bacteria, including salmonella, E.coli and listeria, with just water.  In between wipes just rinse the cloth in water and then carry on cleaning.

When your cloth is dirty, just pop it in the washing machine!  I often wash my towels at 60°C (it’s not good for your washing machine to always wash at low temperatures), so I just pop the cloths in with the towels with my regular detergent and my natural homemade fabric conditioner (don’t use regular fabric conditioner).  They come out all clean again, ready for the next round of cleaning.   You can even boil wash them if you want to give them a really good clean, or just wash at 30°C.  The cloths are differently coloured according to function, and have a little label sewn into them reminding you which cloth is which, so there’s no chance of mixing up your kitchen cloth with your bathroom cloth.  I love this additional clever little touch.

chemical free cleaning

Chemical Free Cleaning, You Say?

You might be wondering how they work and how they can provide chemical free cleaning?  Well, E cloths are made of millions of fibres which trap and absorb minute particles, dirt and grease for smear free cleaning.  I’ve found they work great in my kitchen – particularly on worktops, and on stainless steel surfaces, such as my hob and kettle and toaster.  I don’t wash it every day, maybe twice a week.  In my bathroom I can clean everything to a spotless finish – I start on the sink, followed by the bath, tiles and then finish with the toilet.  I then wash my E Cloth after every bathroom clean.  I love how everything is sparkling clean, without smears, and without a chemical fug of smells.

You also might be wondering why the cloths can remove bacteria without the need for cleaning products.  It’s all in the microfibres that lift and trap the dirt and germs.  E Cloths also say that all the main E Cloths have been rigorously tested by Silliker – an internationally recognised micro-biology laboratory.  Here all tests have been shown to remove over 99% bacteria, including e-coli, listeria and aspergillus.  Tests also showed that, after a brief rinse in water, only 0.01% of bacteria are re-introduced to a surface.  Additionally, because the cloths do not leave any residue on the cleaned surface, there is nothing left behind to encourage the development of bacteria.

do e cloths work

What I love, is that as well as being brilliant for chemical free cleaning, the E Cloths come in cardboard packaging for easy recycling.  There’s no plastic waste to dispose of.  Furthermore, the cloths are guaranteed for 300 washes, which is a whole lot of cleaning!  At the end of their lifespan, because they are just fabric, they can easily be recycled at textile banks.  I haven’t got to that stage yet, my beloved cloths are still going strong!

Ethical Superstore are currently running 10% off E Cloths* in case you’re tempted to stock up!  I’ve only got two cloths at the moment – the bathroom cloth and the general purpose one, so I’m eyeing up the mop and glass cloth!

I’m not sponsored by E Cloths: I bought mine out of my own pocket.  I’m just sharing the chemical free cleaning love during Zero Waste Week, for which I’m proud to be a blogging ambassador.