* Prices may differ from that shown
==This is a review for Homecare essentials Soda Crystals==
Having heard the magical 'Soda Crystals' being praised on Ciao & Dooyoo, I thought I would try them out since they had so many uses. The many reviews I read people were praising Soda Crystals because they cleared blockages in drains or helping the washing machine etc. but I found there were many more uses to them...
I had seen the bag (which whom dri-pak made them) but thought they would soon spill over & make a mess & also I did not want to waste them either! In most stores (e.g. Wilko's, Tesco's) they were 90p for a kilo bag, which was good value. I thought I might leave buying until going to ASDA because items such as this are always cheaper there than the other supermarkets, but to my surprise, no green bag was there at all. I started panicking searching for them but soon found this long, thin white bottle with a bright pink sticker on the front emblazing 'Soda Crystals', 'The original & best Stain Remover' in white. The Homecare logo are situated in the top left hand corner with a picture of a cartoon washing machine stuck in the middle of the label. The label also boasts that the Soda Crystals remove tough stains such as: Grease, Blood, Ink, Tea & Coffee. It has a safety screw lid like the kind you'd find on kids medicines so this will be safer for you at home.
==Soda Crystals HISTORY==
Soda Crystals have been used successfully for over 150 years. Firstly invented for softening water when doing the weekly wash, many people found other uses for them. They were commonly used alongside Household Borax, Bicarbonate of Soda, White Vinegar & Soap Flakes for many household cleaning tasks.The simple cleaning power of Soda Crystals was soon replaced by the likes of Vanish, Mr. Muscle & Brillo pads & were almost forgotten. Some of the population in the UK, still use them. Soda Crystals are environmentally friendly as all the formulation is is basically Sodium Bicardonate. It is an IRRITANT to eyes but not to the environment!
==Where do i get them?==
As mentioned earlier in the review I said you could buy these from ASDA, a 1kg bottle for only a staggering 70p! I was glad now that I had waited! I could just as easily refill the bottle with some dri-pak Soda Crystals anyway. It looked more like a stain remover than a multi-use cleaner.
Anyway, better be getting on with the uses!
==Uses for Soda Crystals==
Soda Crystals are very good for when doing the laundry because they are a 3in1. 1) They shift heavy stains from clothing, 2) They soften water & 3) They help prevent limescale build up so no need for Calgon!
In some dirty washes I have subsituted some of my washing powder for 50-100ml of these crystals which means I use less detergent. (e.g. If I normally use 130ml of detergent every wash I could substitute & use 70ml of powder (50ml less) & 50ml Soda Crystals). I live in a soft water area but some detergent residue might build up inside so use a few of these in every wash & it will have the same effect as using Calgon!
The crystals shift stains on the quick wash but sometimes they need a soak first before washing. I sometimes do this on my whites when they're a bit dirty & soak them in 100ml of Soda Crystals in 5ltrs of water. It seems to have done the same as Bio-Tex & stains wash out if you use them in the machine afterwards. They can also be used as an in-wash booster, (I add max. 50ml).
You can also clean your washing machine with these too! You might be thinking, Why do I need to clean the WASHING MACHINE? But you do. Over time, detergent & limescale weigh all the vital parts of your washer down, thus using more energy everytime you wash. However, if you put 200ml of Soda Crystals in the drawer, & then put 200ml of White Vinegar in the drum (make sure nothings in there!), set your washer to a 90c wash & you will eliminate smells, bacteria & even limescale if you do this once a month. Your washing machine will use less energy & it will work more effeciently too!
UNBLOCKING SINKS & DRAINS:
This is where these come in handy. If you have a blockage in your sink or toilet, pour a mugfull of Soda Crystals down them, followed by 300ml of White Vinegar, the leave it for a few minutes before flushing the drain with plenty of hot water (if you're unblocking the toilet, just flush it). If you do this monthly, your drains will be kept clean & clear. All that is needed to unblock a drain, is about £3 cheaper than the likes of Buster or Mr. Muscle (once again).
TO DEGREASE COOKERS, PANS & BBQ'S:
Add approximately 30-50ml Soda Crystals to 500ml of hot water & begin cleaning (or scrubbing in some cases!) the inside & outside of the oven, the BBQ racks, the BBQ itself even, extracter hoods, & hobs to get them sparkling like new! They do make a brillaint alternative to caustic oven cleaners that I can't use because i'm asthmatic so that's a plus+
GENERAL CLEANING (this is split into different parts):
You can use Soda Crystals on practically everywhere in the kitchen, the cooker, fridge/freezer, washing machine (if your's is in the kitchen), worktops, the sink (unblocking & cleaning) & even the dishwasher. For kitchen cleaning, add from 30-75ml into 1ltr of hot water to help being the worktops their sparkle back, to help the appliances stand out & to helo keep the sink free from blockages. May I point out you can also use Soda Crystals instead of your usual detergent. Say you have a load to put on only to find you don't have any darned DISHWASHER TABLETS!! Simply add about 25ml of Crystals to the detergent compartment & switch on, they should get the plates clean!
Simply add 50-150ml of Soda Crystals to 4 litres of water to clean the soap ring from around the bath, to remove the limescale around the taps, to help give the tiles their natural shine back & to keep the shower door glass sparkle in check! Use them in the toilet to unblock & clean the muck off! :) (even though im sure many of our toilets are clean, aren't they? Unless you've had a little accident!
(NOTE: Soda Crystals cannot be used neat or with other cleaning products)
Use about 25-50ml of Soda Crystals dissolved in 5ltrs of hot water to tackle dust & dirt on the wooden furniture. Also use them on the windows to keep them sparkling like new! Use on the bed to help keep it clean & shiny!
Have you got a recent spill that made the carpet go dirty? No problem! to 5ltrs of Hot water, add 150ml of Soda Crystals & begin to rub in a circular motion in towards the stain with a damp colourfast cloth (make sure you had vacuumed before hand). Then leave it to dry & vacuum when dry. Your carpet should be left fluffy & rejuvinated.
REMOVE MOSS FROM PATHS:
Simply sprinkle Soda Crystals over the affected area then spray water over that (light mist if possible) before leaving for a day or so. Then sweep away.
Soda Crystals are the best cleaner going. From this review, they will have more uses than I have listed here, let me assure you. At 70p for a 1kg they will do the jobs of cleaners all put together working out at £10+! I have used half of the tub since I brought them a few months ago but I will use them on my whites washes & scrubbing down the BBQ with them! Now I see why they can't make them less than a 1kg size because the conumers would be running out faster than you can say "I need more SODA CRYSTALS!"
Do you have any tips for cleaning with Soda Crystals? If so please comment below!
Thanks for reading, rating & commenting.
When it comes to my washing I really am a fussy pot. I like buying special products to bring my whites up whiter, fabric softener to make my fabrics smell wonderful and feel great and I guess I spend rather alot on my washing when I sit down and think about it lol!
At 70p this was a product I was unable to resist whilst browsing in my local Asda store.. being a stain remover, cheap and I'm a mucky pup I decided it really was very worth a go!
The bottle the powder comes in is white plastic with a push to twist off safety cap/lid to the top of it. On the front of the bottle there is a bright blue label and on that I am shown a picture of a washer machine and told that it is Homecare Essentials Soda Crystals 'The original and best stain remover' and that it 'Removes tough stains including: grease, blood, ink, tea & coffee'. On the back of the bottle other information listed includes being given instructions on how to use it and cautions and size and contact details for Homecare products are given. It's a simple looking bottle and I do like it's simplicity and the fact it has a safety cap to the top of it.
Using the Product:
Well all the soda crystals are, are a pure white thickish powder with no fragrance to them at all. You simply pop your required amount in the drawer of a washing machine on any coloured item of fabric so long as it is cotton or linen and of course select the temp/cycle you want to wash on. Alternatively you can soak items first with this for a while and then wash in a washer machine for really, really tough stains if you'd prefer to.
I have used this on one item with blood on it and have also added it to a whole wash of lights just to brighten them up again and personally I really do recommend them. I have used these to really remove ingrained stains and daily grime and do find on whites in-particular that they comes out fresher and whiter looking then without using them.
You can also use this to unblock sinks and drains, to degrease cookers, pans and barbeque's, simply as a water softener in a washing machine and to remove moss from garden paths, so don't just be thinking this is only for washing (although I found it in the laundry aisle of an Asda store!), it really is a multi tasking product and I have used this on a dirty hob by mixing a small amount of the crystals with hot water and wiped down and think its great and makes cutting through grease and grime a pure doddle.
A really good all round product, I find these to effectively wash my clothes and remove stains that sometimes washing alone doesn't!
Available in all good supermarkets etc costing about 70p a bottle.
Soda crystals, also known as washing soda are crystals of sodium carbonate and have been used both industrially and in households for cleaning for about one hundred and fifty years. It was once a staple product in every scullery and I remember my mother always had a bag of washing soda for use on wash days. Although use of this product fell out of favour for quite a few decades as the market was flooded with more and more washing powders, gels and tablets, their popularity has risen again in recent times as people have begun to realise how eco friendly they are as well as extremely economical. Soda crystals green credentials are that they contain no phosphates, bleach or enzymes and yet clean just as effectively, if not more so, than many products on sale today.
Anyone who has watched Kim and Aggie cleaning some of those disgusting homes in How Clean is Your House will know that they are both advocates for using soda crystals as an effective cleaning agent. And, of course, anyone who is interested in making their money stretch that little bit further, and who isn't these days, will also be aware of the fact that this product can save you quite a bit of money.
The Homecare Soda Crystals shown here are available from ASDA for a staggering 70p. All the other major supermarkets also sell these for approximately the same price, although not in a plastic container which is where the ASDA soda crystals score over the others. Normally, they are sold in bags which are prone to tearing and so need to be decanted into another container.
Below are just some of the uses that these super little crystals can be put to, but remember to wear rubber gloves, especially if you are susceptible to allergies, as they can be pretty caustic.
Soak your whites in a medium solution of water and soda crystals for removing stains, especially grease or oil.
Replace some of your washing powder or liquid with soda crystals to give your whites a boost. Soda crystals act as a water softener and will make your washing powder or liquid go further and prevent lime scale build up if you live in a hard water area.
If your washing machine develops that stale water smell which is often the result of leaving the door closed for a long period or after the washing cycle has finished or you've left a load of washing in too long, just run the machine on a hot cycle using soda crystals instead of washing powder and it will give your machine a clean, fresh smell once more.
A mild solution of soda crystals dissolved in water is great for cleaning paintwork. It cuts through any greasy marks and leaves paintwork sparkling clean.
Dissolve soda crystals with hot water in the sink to clean both the sink and drainpipe. Gets rid of all those horrible sink and drain smells.
If the sink is blocked, try a cupful of soda plus a cup full of white vinegar. This foams up and, hopefully, will unblock your sink although it might need more than one application.
Great for cleaning all glassware but is especially useful for glass jugs and cut glass or lead crystal vases. Part fill the vase with warm water, add some soda crystals and swoosh the liquid around. You'll be impressed by how much your glassware will sparkle.
Paths and Patios:
Soda crystals in water used with a stiff brush will clean them up a treat.
If you run out of washing up liquid, add soda crystals to the water instead to help cut through the grease on plates and cutlery.
I'm sure there are plenty more uses for this miracle of nature but I hope the above has demonstrated that Soda Crystals are one of those invaluable household items which are incredibly versatile and have so many different uses that by spending very few pence you will save yourself pounds!