Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in March 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in October 2019.
Looking for a more environmentally-friendly way to clean? You've come to the right place!
As we become more aware of the harmful ingredients in popular cleaning products, it's time to look for kinder alternatives that are just as powerful.
Today, we'll be showing you how to use Soda Crystals to deep clean your home.
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What are Soda Crystals?
If you think they're just for softening water or for cleaning your washing machine, you'd be wrong! Soda Crystals are a multi-purpose cleaner that can be made into a solution for use all-around your home.
Soda Crystals are a traditional cleaning product, used for hundreds of years. They're super affordable, normally retailing for £1 per kg. The most common supplier of Soda Crystals in the UK is a company called Dri-Pak.
Uses for Soda Crystals
1. Unblock sinks
Plug holes can quickly become clogged with food waste, product build-up, debris and grease. Not only does the water take longer to drain, but you might also start to notice some unpleasant smells. Instead of wasting money on expensive, toxic drain unblockers, give Soda Crystals a try.
Pour approximately 1 cup of the crystals directly down the plughole. Boil a kettle full of water and, after the few minutes that it takes for the water to boil, flush the crystals down with the boiling water.
This method might not be as effective on bathroom drains, where you might have a hair blockage. It's worth a try but, if it doesn't work, check out our other article on how to get hair out of drains.
TOP TIP: Prevention is better than cure. Never dispose of cooking oils and fats down your sink.
2. Clean your extractor fan filter
Cleaning the filter on your extractor fan is easy with Soda Crystals. Make up a strong solution in a washing up bowl and leave the filter to soak for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, using a sponge to gently scrub away any leftover residue.
You can also use liquid Soda Crystals to clean the exterior of your extractor fan. Be sure to keep up with regular cleaning to avoid a build-up of grime.
3. Clean up garden ornaments
4. How to use Soda Crystals to clean your oven
Oven cleaning is our least favourite chore, but it's important to keep on top of it before it becomes a colossal task.
Spray Liquid Soda Crystals onto your oven and leave the solution to sit for an hour. Wipe off with a sponge and rinse with clean water. The slightly abrasive nature of dry Soda Crystals makes them perfect for scrubbing at stubborn burnt-on food.
5. Restore silver jewellery
Did you know that you can clean silver jewellery with Soda Crystals? To get your silver back to its former glory, begin by lining a bowl with aluminium foil. Pour 1 cup of soda crystals into the bowl and then add boiling water.
Make sure that the Soda Crystals have dissolved into the water, and then add your jewellery so that it's fully submerged. Leave the jewellery in the solution for a maximum of 10 minutes and then carefully dry with a cloth.
6. Clear algae from patios & decking
Make up a regular solution of Soda Crystals. Pour the solution over the surface and leave to sit for an hour. Use a firm bristle brush to scrub away any remaining moss and then use a hose, watering can, or a bucket of clean water to rinse.
7. How to clean oven racks with Soda Crystals
Struggling to get the racks from your oven or BBQ clean?
Lay them flat in your bath and fill it up with hot water. Pour in a pack of Soda Crystals and leave to soak for a few hours. They'll rinse off nice and clean!
8. How to clean a toilet bowl with Soda Crystals
There might be better toilet cleaners out there, but Soda Crystals will do a great job of keeping your toilet flowing.
Pour some into your toilet, using a damp toilet brush to swish them around the bowl. It'll freshen up the toilet and stop it from getting blocked.
If your loo is often getting blocked, you might be wondering if you can flush hair down the toilet. Read our other article to find out!
9. How to clean carpet with Soda Crystals
Carpets and rugs can start to age after time, and it can be difficult to find a good cleaner for the job. Luckily Soda Crystals have enough cleaning power to restore dull and faded colours.
Begin by dampening the fibres and then sprinkle the crystals in an even layer on top. Leave them to sit for a few minutes and then use a carpet cleaner to finish.
10. Clean your chopping boards
Use Liquid Soda Crystals or a regular strength solution to remove staining and grime from your chopping boards.
Unlike other toxic cleaners, the crystals will leave no odour or taste once rinsed off.
11. Floor cleaner
Say goodbye to harsh chemicals with this easy-to-make floor cleaner. Simply add a couple of tablespoons of soda crystals to your mop bucket. Make sure the water is nice and warm, and give it a swish around to dissolve the crystals into the water. If you want your floors to smell nice too, why not add some essential oils?
12. Clean stained china
Is your favourite mug or teapot stained with coffee or tea? You might think that bleach is the way to go, but this will only mask the stains.
Soak your mugs in a regular solution overnight and then give them a gentle wipe and rinse the next day to remove those unsightly marks.
13. Soak grimy pans
If you've ever burnt food on the hob, you'll love this tip! Say goodbye to endless scrubbing and cover the burnt food in a layer of Soda Crystals. Add a small amount of boiling water to the pan. You don't want to completely fill the pan, or the solution will be weakened.
Leave your pan to sit for a few hours - you can even leave it overnight if it's that bad! You'll be amazed by how easily the solution cuts through grease and carbon.
Looking for more ways to clean burnt pans? We've got your back. Check out our other article!
TOP TIP: Never use Soda Crystals to clean aluminium pans.
14. How to clean grout & tiles with Soda Crystals
Is the grout between your tiles looking less than white? Soda Crystals are excellent at cutting through years of grime and muck. Make a strong solution and use a sponge or an old toothbrush to clean.
15. Clean your hob
For a hob that'll sparkle, use Liquid Soda Crystals. Spread the liquid over the surface of the hob and leave to work it's magic for a few minutes. Wipe off with a sponge, making sure to rinse off all residue.
Want more hob cleaning hacks? Take a look at our video...
How to use Soda Crystals in your washing machine
16. Stain removing boost
Add some extra stain-removing power to your wash by adding 1 tbsp of Soda Crystals to your chosen detergent.
17. Pre-soak treatment
Tougher stains will require a pre-soak treatment. Fill your sink or a large bowl with warm water and 200-500g of Soda Crystals, depending on the size of the garment. You want the solution to be quite strong. Leave the garment to soak in the solution for one hour and then wash as normal.
18. How to clean your washing machine with Soda Crystals
Is your washing machine filthy, smelly or just in need of a little TLC? If you're consistently washing your clothes at a low temperature, mould is likely to grow. The growth of mould and bacteria produces an unpleasant smell. Don't worry - Soda Crystals can fix this!
Every month, put 500g of Soda Crystals into the drum and run your washing machine on a hot cycle.
19. Soften water
Want to save money? Of course, you do!
Add some Soda Crystals to the detergent drawer and you won't need to use as much washing powder or liquid. This is because the detergent will be able to tackle stains easily in softened water. Just think how much less detergent you'll be using now!
20. Make your towels fluffy again
Towels can become stiff due to a build-up of washing product. To get them to their former fluffy state, they just need a good clean to strip all of the product build-up.
Soak them in a regular solution of Soda Crystals with warm water. Leave them for at least 10 minutes and then rinse off any residue. Place them into your washing machine and put on a standard wash. For really soft towels, you can use vinegar in place of fabric softener!
More Mrs Hinch favourites
Love Mrs Hinch? So do we! Check out our video on uses for The Pink Stuff:
If you're a fan of Hinching, or just looking for some other new cleaning products to try, check these out next:
Can I make a Soda Crystal cleaning solution?
The great thing about Soda Crystals is that you can adjust their concentration with water. If you want more guidance on how to make different solution strengths, follow this guide:
- Strong - Use 1 cup for every 500ml of hot water
- Regular - Use 1/2 a cup for every 500ml of hot water
- Mild - Use 1 tbsp for every 500ml of hot water.
What are caustic Soda Crystals?
Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and Soda Crystals (sodium carbonate decahydrate) are very different products. Caustic soda and Soda Crystals have one common use: they can both be used to clear drains. Caustic soda is much stronger and is corrosive, but Soda Crystals are just an irritant.
Where can I buy Soda Crystals?
Most supermarkets will stock Soda Crystals alongside other laundry detergents. The main retailers include Home Bargains, Savers, Tesco and Amazon.
What are Soda Crystals made of?
Soda Crystals are made of Sodium Carbonate Decahydrate.
Are Soda Crystals the same as baking soda?
No. Soda Crystals and baking soda are very different. One can be used in baking, but the other can't be consumed. They both have incredible cleaning powder.
What happens if you mix Soda Crystals and bleach?
You should never mix bleach with other cleaning products. You could end up producing poisonous chlorine gas.
Are Soda Crystals environmentally friendly?
Soda Crystals are free from bleach and don't contain enzymes or phosphates. They're also biodegradable.
Are Soda Crystals cruelty-free?
Soda Crystals are vegan-friendly and aren't tested on animals.
What are liquid Soda Crystals?
Liquid Soda Crystals can be used for more versatile cleaning. The product is a premixed Soda Crystal solution, eliminating the need to dilute the crystals yourself. It makes it much easier to clean hard to reach places, countertops, tiles and more.
Can Soda Crystals reduce swelling?
For a long time, people have thought that the crystals can be used to reduce swelling around a joint. Dri-Pak, the company who supplies the popular product, has advised that an ice pack is just as effective.
Do you use soda crystals for anything else? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
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