Seven Handy Uses for Washing Soda

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Posted 2012-08-16 by Dave Walshfollow

Washing soda?? I hear you exclaim! The last anyone heard of washing soda was when your grandmother used a washboard to do the laundry right? Not true! Read on to find out why.

Cleaning exhaust fan covers.

I love the airy, clean and spacious feel of a white kitchen. But mine had not been pristine for quite a while in the corner above the cooker. After carefully removing the plastic cover from the fan assembly, I wondered how to clean the yellow sticky grille.

Neither concentrated liquid detergent, boiling hot water or vinegar worked at all, they only caused the fat to smear when I wiped it with a paper towel. In desperation I searched in the kitchen sink cupboard and discovered an old packet of washing soda.

A cup of washing soda powder dissolved in a litre or two of hot water made an amazing transformation to the sticky fan cover. After about 15 minutes the grease softened to the point where it was easily wiped off, leaving the plastic looking white and new. Magic!

Cleaning stove grills and BBQ's

You can spend lots of money on cleaning agents for BBQ's and stoves. And the products come with an alarming list of warnings in print that's even finer than a telco contract.

Or you can use washing soda and hot water. The mix will depend on how much grease and rubbish is caked on, but a guide is 1 cup soda to 2 litres of water. Use a stronger solution or soak longer for persistent stains.

Don't use on aluminium products though.

Greening citrus leaves

If your citrus tree has leaves that are a sickly yellow colour, a presenter on Gardening Australia recommends the use of washing soda to fix it.

Simply measure out about 50 grams of washing soda per metre of tree height, and place in 3-4 shallow holes around the tree's drip line. Too easy.

Washing clothes
Add about 50g of washing soda to 45 litres of water in your washing machine to help soften the water and improve the cleanliness of your wash.

It's not toxic like other detergents and far less damaging to the environment. For even better cleaning, leave clothes soaking for a while, but don't use with wool or silk.

Removing coffee and red wine stains
If your coffee mugs and wine glasses are discoloured try soaking them in a solution of washing soda and water overnight, then rub gently to remove stains.

Follow with a good rinse under hot water.

Balancing swimming pool pH

Is your pool too acidic? Dissolve washing soda in water and add progressively, testing as you go.

Once your pH is how you want it, jump in and enjoy yourself.

Cleaning oil stains from concrete

If your visitors leave an oily calling card in your driveway like my pizza guy does, there is an easy answer.

Again, no specially designed expensive products are required. Pour a generous amount of washing soda powder over the stain, sprinkle with a little water until you have a paste, then leave overnight. Scrub with a stiff brush while wearing eye protection, and rinse away your problems.

Where to get washing soda?
You can still find it at some supermarkets such as Woolworths, and some hardware stores.

1. Washing soda is alkaline, and can cause irritation to skin. It's rather less dangerous than many other household products, but handle with care.
2. Use rubber gloves and appropriate protective gear. If you brush a surface after applying washing soda, use safety glasses to protect your eyes.
3. Washing soda and baking soda are completely different chemicals. They are NOT interchangeable
4. Do not use washing soda on aluminium or fibreglass products, or waxed/varnished surfaces.
5. Need I say this? Do not inhale, swallow or apply to your body parts. Or anyone else's!

If your granny (or grandpa) had any other tips for using washing soda, let us know in the comments. Or check out the manufacturer's website for even more suggestions.

91605 - 2023-06-11 08:41:39


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