What Is Washing Soda

Washing Soda which is also referred by other terms like Soda ash, laundry soda, Sal soda or Sodium carbonate, is domestically known for two major purposes namely, to be used as a water softener and also widely used in the laundry section. Washing soda is derived from the ashes of certain plants and could also be produced using a process called Solvay process which requires salt and limestone.

Washing soda should not be misunderstood for baking soda, though they belong to a common family. It is highly alkaline and its pH is rated 11. Thus it has to be handled carefully, though it doesn’t produce harmful fumes that could suffocate you. Here is some useful information about washing soda which could help you in understand its domestic implications.

  • Washing soda is popularly used in laundry by acting on hard water which tends to absorb your detergent powder, giving a dull look to our clothes. With washing soda, the water is softened making the detergents produce more froth and also helps in better cleaning of clothes.
  • Stains on the clothes, especially greasy stains, alcohol and wax stains, can be effectively removed by adding sodium carbonate along with the detergent. For this reason, many laundry products are prepared using sodium carbonate as a vital ingredient.
  • Washing soda is also used effectively been used for dyeing, which helps in better absorption of the color by the fabric.
  • Swimming pools require washing soda to reduce the acidic effects of chlorine.
  • Sodium carbonate is an excellent descaling agent to clear the build ups formed in coffee pots and electric kettles and also on the bathroom tiles which becomes very prone to mineral deposits caused by hard water.
  • There are several industrial uses attached to washing soda. Glass industries use washing soda along with other chemical compounds to produce glass. Even brick industries require washing soda as a damping agent to extrude the clay.
  • Washing soda is also widely used as a safe cleaning product to mop the floors to remove wax stains and other oil stains.
  • Silver ornaments or utensils can be safely cleaned with the use of sodium carbonate.

We have seen a wide range of uses of washing soda more for its domestic purpose. However as there is a flip side to a coin, washing sodas too display certain negativities. Exposure to washing soda in large quantities could prove harmful to lungs. It is safe to wear gloves while using, to be away from skin irritation. Try and always keep it out of kids’ reach. Medical attention is mandatory when accidentally swallowed.