Aka “calcium carbonate” or “soda ash”, washing soda is a salt of carbonic acid. It is a strong alkali base used in green cleaning products.
Washing soda can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry and therefore is an essential component in most homemade laundry powders or liquids. Often used in commercial detergent mixtures as well to treat hard water.
Sodium carbonate "softens" water, helping other cleaning ingredients lift soil from the fabrics and suspend the soil in the wash water. Washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard and allows the detergent to be absorbed into fibres properly to clean clothes.
Washing soda can be dangerous in large quantities, so make sure to keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda as it can cause skin irritation. Avoid contact with eyes and wearing a dust mask is recommended.
Environmental Effects: According to the 2006 R.E.D document, the EPA considers sodium carbonate to be a naturally occurring chemical found in soil and water and doesn't expect any adverse effects on wildlife or water if low amounts are released into the environment. Therefore, it could be considered green.
For external use only.