What is Washing Soda / Soda Crystals and what is it used for ?


Washing soda (soda crystals) is an alkaline chemical compound which can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry. It also has numerous uses around the house, and it is used in a range of industrial applications as well. Washing soda should not be confused with washing powder, which is a powdered soap used as a detergent.

The chemical formula for washing soda is Na2CO3.10H2O , and it is also known as sodium carbonate decahydrate. It is soluble in water and decomposes when heated to around 34C.

  • Synonyms: sodium carbonate decahydrate; hydrated soda ash; carbonic acid disodium;
  • CAS NO: 6132–02–1
  • EINECS NO: 207–838–8
  • Formula: Na2CO3 10H2O
  • Molar Mass: 286.14
  • Density: 1.46
  • Sodium carbonate decahydrate: 99.5% min
  • Sodium carbonate: 37% max
  • Water of crystallization: 64% max
  • Iron as Fe: <10mg/Kg
  • Melting point: 32.5–34.5 C  (Decomposes)

Where to Buy sodium carbonate decahydrate / washing soda

In laundry, washing soda accomplishes several things. The high alkalinity of washing soda helps it act as a solvent to remove a range of stains, and unlike bleach, washing soda does not usually stain. It is also used in detergent mixtures to treat hard water; the washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard, allowing detergent to foam properly so that clothing will come out clean, without any residue. Sodium carbonate is also used by some textile artists, since it helps dyes adhere to fabric, resulting in deeper penetration and a longer lasting color.

Around the house, washing soda can be used to descale things like coffee machines and bathroom tiles which may accumulate mineral deposits as a result of exposure to hard water. It can also be used to strip floors of wax so that they can be refinished, and for other touch cleaning jobs like scrubbing the stove. However, you should wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda. Useful applications:

  • Use in laundry either on its own or mixed 50:50 with washing powder.
  • Super presoaker in laundry for ground-in stains.
  • General Cleaner for floors, walls and work tops
  • All purpose cleaner for Bathrooms
  • Stain remover for cups, crockery, chopping boards and cutlery
  • Descaler for coffee machines and other kitchen equipment.
  • Removes grease and carbon from ovens and grills
  • Excellent carpet cleaner, pre-spotter and stain remover (not for wool carpets)
  • Dissolves wine stains, tea and coffee stains and many others
  • Cleans outside surfaces – patios, driveways etc
  • Great for killing moss and algae.
  • Use to clean plastic garden furniture
  • Softens water by precipitating out the hardness (calcium carbonate)
  • Keeps drains and pipes free from grease and dirt.
  • Strips old polish off floors.
  • A safe non toxic paint stripper ………

……… and 1001 other uses.

Health & Safety

R-phrase(s): R36 Irritating to eyes.

S-phrase(s): S22 Do not breathe dust. S26 In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.

See MSDS for Sodium carbonate decahydrate Washing Soda / Soda crystals above in documents section

NOTE: always use gloves when handling, Do not use on ALUMINIUM surfaces. Avoid using to clean polished furniture and floors as it will strip off the polish.

Where to Buy Sodium Carbonate granular online UK

Where to Buy Sodium carbonate / soda ash light online UK

Where to Buy Sodium Percarbonate

Where to Buy sodium carbonate decahydrate / washing soda



About mistralhowto

formulation chemist

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