If you’re thinking of trying new ways to get the most out of washing your clothes, you may have come across Soda Crystals and if you’re wondering whether they are safe to use on both your clothes and in your washing machine, if they will tackle the stains left behind after mealtimes, or if they can enhance your laundry in any other way then you’re in the right place.
Allow us to answer all the questions you have on using soda crystals for washing. We’ll give you the benefits of using them, how to use the crystals to get the most out of your cleaning, as well as some available on the market today so you can see for yourself just what all the fuss is about.
What are soda crystals?
The technical term for soda crystals is Sodium Carbonate. They are white, odourless, water-soluble salts and can also be known as washing soda and soda ash.
What can soda crystals be used for?
Soda crystals have an array of uses for all over your home. It really is a versatile substance that can put the pleasure back into cleaning and improving the maintenance of your home. These include
- Washing clothes – the one we will be focused on for this article and one of the most common uses for soda crystals
- Washing machine cleaner – regular use of soda crystals to maintain the health of your appliance
- Water softener – for anyone living in a hard water area
- In the kitchen – utensils and greasy food marks or splashes
- Blocked or foul-smelling pipes and plugholes
So, before we get onto using soda crystals to benefit our laundry, let’s take a closer look at its other uses.
Washing machine cleaner – when you use your washing machine on a regular basis, it can begin to harbour bacteria and leave your clothes looking a little dull. To alleviate this problem, you can add 500g of soda crystals to the detergent drawer and put your (empty) washing machine on a high temperature cycle. Do this once a month to enjoy a fresh smelling drum.
Water softener – If hard water is a problem in your area, it can affect the quality of your washing. Adding soda crystals to your cycle can help soften the water to give a much more effective and efficient wash.
In the kitchen – Have you ever noticed that when cooking certain foods, it takes longer to clean up than it does to eat the actual meal? If this is the case, why not try soaking your greasy pans and utensils in hot water with some soda crystals added. You will notice the difference in the amount of time it takes you to scrub the dirt and grease off. Dissolving soda crystals in hot water for cleaning greasy surfaces and hobs is also another useful solution.
Pipes and plugholes – From time to time you get a whiff coming from your sink or shower plughole and wonder how on earth it can smell that foul. If you consider the fact that food particles, liquids, hair, skin cells and much more get washed down these pipes every day, it’s no wonder they smell every now and then. To eradicate this, pour a cup of crystals down your plughole, leave for a couple of minutes and then flush with hot water.
Using soda crystals in your laundry
So now onto the main topic – washing your laundry with soda crystals. They have been around for a long, long time. Before washing powder came onto the market, people were cleaning their dirty clothes with soda crystals – this was at least 200 years ago!
The good news is that you can use soda crystals on pretty much any fabrics, even delicate ones. This means your favourite woollen jumper or silk blouse can still be treated with soda crystals (just be sure to use the right amount).
If you do have items that can only be hand washed, you needn’t miss out. In this case, you can dissolve one tablespoon of soda crystals per pint of water, hand wash and dry as you normally would.
You can also mix them with hot water and soak your clothes that have really tough stains. Mix one cup of soda crystals with water and leave your clothes for about an hour to allow the stains to lift from the fabrics. Follow this with a normal cycle in your washing machine and you will be surprised how well the stains are removed.
For your standard laundry, simply pop your load into the drum. You would do the normal routine of adding your washing powder, gel, or pods, along with any fabric conditioner. Additionally, one tablespoon of soda crystals in the drawer will be sufficient enough for a regular load of washing.
But what are the benefits of using soda crystals I hear you ask. Let’s explore those in greater depth.
Stain removal – The soda crystals will be able to break down any stains on your clothes. If you have younger children who tend to play with their food rather than eat it, or a husband who looks like he’s been sliding through the mud during his footie match, then soda crystals will become your new best friend!
Anti-allergy – Because it contains no harmful chemicals or bleaches, it is safe to use for those who suffer from sensitive skin or have certain allergies.
Fresher laundry – We touched upon the softening of water earlier and because the soda crystals act as a softening agent for the water it means the quality of the wash will be a lot better, leaving your laundry with a light, fresh feeling, instead of the dull and heaviness you may get from hard water – therefore making your garments and fabrics a lot fresher and cleaner looking.
Eliminate smells and odours – If you cook a lot and feel like your clothes linger with stale cooking smells, or maybe you’ve worked out hard at the gym and worked up quite a sweat, soda crystals can help rid these unwanted odours to make your clothes smell so much nicer.
Giving your laundry a little luxury – By simply popping a tablespoon of soda crystals into your detergent drawer, you will notice a difference in the look and feel of your laundry. So even if you are just putting on a normal cycle with clothes that aren’t overly soiled, it is still worth using them as part of your routine to benefit from clothes that will not only smell fresher but look brighter and feel softer.
Now that we have given you all the information you need, here are a couple of options to help you choose the right one for you.
DP Soda Crystals
Top Budget Pick
The soda crystals from DP come in a 1kg bag and you get two of them.
They are gentle enough to use every day and with a subtle coconut scent you will get an added fragrance boost to your washing with every use.
For the great price and the number of other uses you can get from them, they are well worth the money.
Ideal For Multi-Purpose Use
JMS offer a two pack of 1kg soda crystals.
They advertise as water softening soda crystals so are ideal to use in your machine. They will be gentle on your fabrics but tough enough to remove stains.
We hope we have covered everything you need to give you enough knowledge and confidence to use soda crystals in your washing.
This versatile product gives you fresh and clean clothes, whether you use it in the washing machine, when you are handwashing, or when soaking more stubborn stains.
Along with your laundry being given an extra treat, your washing machine will also benefit. At the price you pay for this product, it is worth every penny to have softer, cleaner, and fresher smelling clothes.
Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon
Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.
She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.