Soda ash is also known as washing soda or sodium carbonate. Two of the most popular brands in the United States are 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Washing soda is an old-fashioned cleaning aid that has found a new place in households for people who want green cleaning products. While it is a safe product that leaves no harmful chemicals behind, soda ash is caustic. Wear rubber gloves when using it to clean your home.
Soda ash makes a good all-purpose cleaner for grimy cleanup jobs. Mix a teaspoon of soda ash with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and use it as you would with any commercial spot cleaner.
Soda ash will remove floor wax, whether you want it to or not. If you want to preserve your floor's shine, cover floor surfaces in areas where you'll be cleaning countertops, stoves and other items. On the other hand, if your floor is showing signs of waxy yellow buildup, a cup of soda ash in a bucket of water will remove old wax. Rinse the floor completely before applying a fresh coat of wax.
Make a paste of soda ash and water and apply it to a patio or garage floor to clean greasy, oily stains. Let the paste dry and then sweep it into a trash bag. Rinse off any residue with a garden hose.
If your fireplace has an unsightly accumulation of soot, mix 2 tablespoons of soda ash with 2 cups of warm water. Dampen a sponge with the mixture to remove the soot.
Soda ash got its familiar name of washing soda because of its original use as a laundry booster. It is still useful today for removing grime and stains. A half cup in a regular load of laundry helps detergents work better. If you live in an area with hard water, a cup of soda ash in the washer will boost your usual laundry products' ability to eliminate soap residue from fabrics.
Soda ash's ability to break down soap residue also makes it a good candidate for bathroom cleaning. Mix up a teaspoon of soda ash with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and apply to porcelain bath fixtures. Do not use on fiberglass fixtures or tiles, though.
Cleaning miniblinds is a tedious chore, especially if you try to clean them using a cloth and familiar commercial cleaning products. A better way is to take the blinds down and lay them in a bathtub with enough water to cover. Add a half cup of soda ash. Allow the blinds to soak for 30 minutes and then rinse and dry them off. Do not use soda ash on aluminum blinds.
Susan Kerr began her writing career as a food columnist in 1987 before moving to business journalism as a reporter and managing editor in the Penn State area. Since then, Kerr has contributed content to military-related magazines, not-for-profit websites and other online media. In addition, she writes a weekly column for her hometown newspaper