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Washing soda is not toxic like laundry and dishwashing detergents and is much less harmful to the environment.


Washing soda is not toxic like laundry and dishwashing detergents and is much less harmful to the environment. Washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) is sold in Australian supermarkets under the brand names ‘Lectric Soda’ and ‘Prepact’. It comes either in granules or a powder.

Some traditional groups would probably have made a cleaning solution by soaking wood ash in a bucket of water for about 12 hours and then once the ash had settled to the bottom, decanting the liquid. Wood ash lye, the term for this type of cleaning solution, is high in potassium carbonate and is more caustic than sodium carbonate. Washing soda, (sodium carbonate) does not contain harmful detergents, chemicals or horrible invasive fragrances and is more friendly to your hands and the environment. Potassium carbonate is sold in Asian supermarkets as a food additive but it is quite expensive in comparison to washing soda. I have used washing soda since about 2003 with great success to wash my clothes and the dishes.

Washing clothes
The manufacturers recommendations are to add 50g of washing soda to 45 litres of water and then use less detergent.

Suggestions for washing clothes solely with washing soda in a small washing machine.
Dissolve about 1 cup of washing soda granules or powder in hot water in a bucket then add to the washing machine. Half fill the washing machine with hot water, add the clothes, leave to soak for 30 - 60 minutes, fill up the machine and wash as per your usual cycle. For small loads you may like to try soaking the clothes first in a 20 litre bucket using about half a cup of washing soda and hot water before transferring both the clothes and water to the washing machine.

Dish washing
Dissolve 3/4 to 1 cup of washing soda in a litre of water then store in a plastic dispenser bottle with a flip cap. When you are ready to do the washing first rinse the debris from the dishes with a brush under a running tap. Then with the hot tap trickling squirt a little of the washing soda solution onto a sponge. Wipe the dish and put it to one side. Squeeze out the sponge, squirt a little more washing soda solution onto the sponge, wipe another dish and so on. When you have wiped all of the dishes just rinse them under a hot tap.

I have used this method for years and I no longer need to wear rubber gloves to protect my hands from defatting by harsh detergents.


1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32

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