Some popular cleaning products are full of potentially harmful ingredients which can be detrimental to not only us but to the environment as well.
Fortunately, there are alternatives available that are just as powerful, but much gentler.
Soda crystals are a traditional cleaning product used for hundreds of years that can be taken advantage of all around the home. So let’s take a look at all of these uses to get your cleaning regime that bit more eco-friendly:
1. Unblocking Sinks
Sink plugholes in kitchens and bathrooms alike can quickly get clogged up with food waste, grease, hair, and other debris. Not only does this mean the water will take longer to drain away, but it can also lead to some truly unpleasant smells.
The popular solution here would be to break the bank buying chemical drain unblockers, but, instead of that, why not give soda crystals a try?
Simply pour around a cup of soda crystals down the drain. Leave the soda crystals to do their thing whilst you boil a full kettle of water. Flush the crystals down with the water, and your drain should be clear!
2. Extractor Fans
The filters in extractor fans can quickly become grimy and unpleasant. Instead of using a commercial cleaning chemical, mix up a strong solution of soda crystals and water in a bowl.
Leave the filter to soak for around fifteen minutes, then rinse thoroughly, using a sponge if required to scrub any leftover grime or residue. A soda crystal solution is also a great way to clean the fan’s exterior too!
3. Ovens and Oven Racks
Cleaning the oven sucks, but it is one of those chores that you need to keep on top of to avoid it becoming a huge problem.
Instead of spending hours scrubbing at burned on food and using harsh chemicals, use a soda crystal solution to make this awful chore so much easier.
Spray a liquid soda crystal solution into the oven and let it sit for around an hour. Wipe away the residue with a sponge, and rinse thoroughly with clean water. The abrasive nature of soda crystals makes them ideal for scrubbing away at stubborn burnt-on food.
If you need to clean the racks or shelves from an oven or BBQ, lay them flat in your sink, large container or your bath and fill it with hot water. Mix in soda crystals and leave it to soak. Drain the bath and rinse away the residue to leave your racks shiny and clean.
This video below shows just how easy it is to clean an oven with soda crystals:
4. Chopping Boards
Cleaning chopping boards, especially wooden ones, can be tricky. Some commercially available cleaning chemicals can damage the surface or leave an odour behind that will cling to food – not what you want when tucking into your lunch.
Instead, use a regular strength solution of soda crystals and water to remove staining from the board, without leaving any nasty odours or tastes behind.
5. Pots and Pans
We’ve all burned food on the hob, leaving nasty staining on the bottom of pots and pans. Instead of scrubbing away at it, cover the layer of burned food with soda crystals, and add a small amount of boiling water to the pan. Try not to use too much water, as this will weaken the solution.
Leave the pan to sit for a few hours (or overnight if it’s really burned on!) and rinse away the grease and carbon easily.
PLEASE NOTE – it is not advisable to use soda crystals to clean aluminium pans.
6. Grout and Tiles
Sadly, the whiteness of fresh grout doesn’t always last long. Grout can quickly become stained from just about anything, including food, grease, toiletries, and cleaning fluids.
For a more natural cleaning fluid, mix up a strong solution of soda crystals and water, apply to the stain, and use a sponge to clean away the dirt.
Over time, grime can get worked deep into the fibres of a carpet or rug. This can leave them looking old and dull, and it can be difficult to find a suitable cleaner. For an extra cleaning boost, dampen the area and spread an even layer of soda crystals on top. Leave it to sit for a few minutes and use a commercial chemical carpet cleaner to finish.
This will help to break down that dirt from deep in the fibres, meaning you’ll get even better results from your carpet cleaner.
Cleaning chemicals for hardwood floors can damage some surfaces or furnishings not to mention how harsh they can be on the skin. Instead, mix a few tablespoons of soda crystals into a mop bucket of warm water. Dry soda crystals are abrasive, so it is important that you ensure the crystals have fully dissolved before using the solution on your floors.
If you want to leave a nice, clean fragrance behind, why not add a couple of drops of essential oils to the bucket?
9. Patios and decking
Over time, the moisture that naturally sits around patios and decking can lead to a build-up of algae on the timber. Not only is this build-up an eyesore, but it is also dangerously slippery and can cause structural damage to the timber if it is left unchecked.
To deal with the problem, mix up a solution of soda crystals and water, and pour over the affected surface. Leave the solution to sit for an hour, before using a firm brush to scrub away the remaining algae. Finally, rinse the residue away using clean water.
A powerful hose will help to ensure all of the algae and grime is gone.
10. Washing Machine
Washing clothing on a low temperature is great for energy usage, however, it can mean that mould is more likely to grow on the inside of the washing machine. This build-up can leave the machine dirty and transfer a foul smell onto clothing.
Once a month, run the washing machine on a hot cycle with around 500g of soda crystals in the drum. A combination of the hot water and the soda crystals will break away any dirt, grime and mould that has built up, leaving your machine (and clothing!) fresh and clean.
For more in-depth information on how to clean a washing machine with soda crystals, check out our post.
11. Tough Stains
Stains such as red wine and pasta sauce can be an absolute nightmare to remove. Instead of using commercial stain removers, try adding a tablespoon of soda crystals to your regular detergent for an extra boost.
If a stain is really tough and needs pre-treating, fill the sink or a large bowl with warm water, and mix in soda crystals. The solution needs to be quite strong; you should expect to use between 200 and 500 grams of soda crystals. Leave the garment to soak for around an hour, and then machine wash as normal.
12. Water Softener
Washing detergents tackle stains much easier in soft water, meaning you don’t need to use as much washing powder. If you live in a hard water area, you can easily save money on your washing detergents by adding soda crystals to the detergent drawer. Soda crystals naturally soften the water, meaning that you won’t need to use as much detergent to achieve the same washing results.
13. Fluffy Towels
Once they’ve been washed many times, towels can become stiff and scratchy. This is due to a build-up of cleaning products and detergents in the fibres.
To remove this build-up, soak the towels in a solution of soda crystals and warm water. Leave the towels to soak for a minimum of ten minutes before rinsing away the residue and washing as normal.
For super-soft towels, you could use vinegar instead of your usual fabric softener!
Where to Buy Soda Crystals
If we’ve lured you in with all of this soda crystal magic and you want to get hold of soda crystals right now, then you should be able to find them in your local supermarket.