In the fifties in the UK, few householders would not have used soda crystals around the home. With an ever increasing array of cleaning products and appliances, somewhere along the line the use of soda crystals declined.

In the 21st Century many traditional cleaning agents are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. One such product is Soda Crystals.

Buying Soda Crystals

Soda Crystals used to be bought in a box, a little like washing powder. These days they are more often purchased in a tough, sealed, plastic bag. Personally, I think that once you have opened the bag, the unused contents need storing in an appropriate container. This will pevent moisture having contact with the product.

Make sure that you use a container, which will be suitable for such storage, and keep it for this use in the future. Once you have stored soda crystals, in such a container, it should not be used for other products.

Although Soda Crystals are still not easily purchased, they are available in some supermarkets, small store and bargain shops.

Soda Crystal uses

The most common use for soda crsytals, in the past, was to add to hard water when doing the laundry, as a water softener. As I live in an area with very hard water, this is useful for me.

However there are other uses such as:

  • To clean grill pans, casserole dishes and any other such item that has congealed food stuck to it. Use a hot strong solution of soda for this.
  • Use a milder warm solution to clean grease from work tops, hobs and ovens.
  • Use a warm solution on floor tiles in the kitchen and the bathroom. The strength of the solution will depend on how dirty the tiles are and what they are made from.
  • Sprinkle a light covering of dry soda crystals over your garden paths and patio to remove green stains and moss patches. Add a sprinkling of water to wet the crystals and leave for a day if possible. You should be able to simply sweep the green away as you sweep the crystals up. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
  • Adding a large amount of soda crystals to a drain can help keep it flowing and free from blockages. Use around 500gs and flush with hot water.
  • In hard water areas add a small amount of soda crystals to your powder dispenser. This will enable you to reduce the amount of powder you are using, to that which would be used in a soft water area. Take care with delicate fabrics.
  • Pre-soak filthy materials in a soda crystal solution before washing as normal.
  • Add soda crystals to your wash to shift stubborn stains.


  • Irritant
  • Always follow the maker's instructions.
  • Follow safety advice and know what to do in the event of an accident.
  • If you have sensitive skin wear suitable rubber gloves.
  • If you are unsure if the material to be cleaned is suitable , test on a small inconspicuos area.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • Do not breathe in the dust
  • Irritating to eyes.
  • Poison
  • Do not use on varnished, lacquered or aluminium surfaces
  • Must not be swallowed
  • Not to be used in drinking water.
  • Store in a cool place.


  • Sodium carbonate
  • Decahydrate greater thean 30%
  • Is biodegradable


Soda crystals are cheap to buy and there is little wonder they are making a comeback. They are a greener product than many modern cleaning agents.

You must exercise caution though, unless you are familiar with using soda crystals. For instance, it is possible to add a tiny amount to bath water to soften it, remove tea staining from mugs and teapots, clean paintwork and even clean gutters.

The best advice is to start with the easy objects to clean. If you are happy with the results investigate what else you can use the crystals for.

Most items need a thorough rinse after cleaning, in order to remove any left over soda.

The great thing about soda crystals is that they are cheap, long lasting, have many uses and are less harmful to the environment. Just make sure that you follow the safety advice.