Newest Review: ... live in an old flat, with old plumbing so I like to be pro-active after we suffered some blocked pipes shortly after moving in. I put hal... more
Cillit wishes it had this much Bang
Dri-pak Soda Crystals
Member Name: shroud
Dri-pak Soda Crystals
Date: 29/05/07, updated on 29/05/07 (671 review reads)
Advantages: cheap, easy to use, very effective
Disadvantages: need to wear rubber gloves (you should anyway!), and kept out of reach of children.
~~~Why I am even interested~~~~
To quote Koshka on a comment she placed on one of my reviews.....I am such a domestic goddess........ok...Maybe Domestic Diva is more apt! LOL. Goddesses wear little black dresses, high heeled shoes, and have great nails and just so hair and make up. Us divas, get to wear jeans and be more casual! That's my story and I am sticking to it! Anyhoo, as a domestic diva, I am always managing some household task or another. I like to have things fairly tidy, definitely clean, and I absolutely refuse to spend a fortune! I grew up with a very 70's military Stepford mom.
Base housing had to meet certain standards of cleanliness, and they even came and measured the distance of the grass from the kerb to ensure it was edged within regulation, and the grass cut to a regulation height Houses upon moving were subject to full white glove inspections, and if you called for a service, or had Housing make one for you (such as the every 6 month cockroach spray man), then you better have it in military order, because if you did not, a Housing officer came to chat with you about it. This suited my Mom just fine. It was the 70ís; she was a housewife, and a Virgo to boot. You could come in and eat off her floor any time! These habits were ingrained into me from an early age, and being on a budget, a good bit of her know how was passed on to me.
There are many new cleaners out on the market. Most do things we don't actually need them to do, and are advertised in such ways to make us think we do. The truth is, you only need a very small handful of things to keep a clean and sanitary home. The old standbys of washing up liquid, vinegar, ordinary soap, and washing soda can all clean effectively and kill germs too. Many people know the value of washing up liquid for washing dishes, and even washing windows. You might even know about the properties of vinegar, and baking soda. Soap is fairly obvious to many, but I am astounded at the sheer numbers who have no CLUE about washing soda!
~~Ok, so what is it then?~~~~
Washing soda is a form of sodium. To be exact, it is sodium carbonate, chemical name Na2CO3. It is closely related to baking soda, which is edible, however this is a caustic powder and should be kept away from children and pets and rubber cleaning gloves should be worn when using it neat. Like baking soda, it is highly alkaline, and so can be used to soften water, neutralise acids, and is great at dissolving greases and oils for easy clean up. These properties give it a wide range of applications that you would otherwise have to have specialist products for.
Live in a hard water area? Add 1-2 tablespoons of washing soda to a normal water sized helping of detergent (actually half of that), and its softening capabilities will render the detergent much more effective. Need to save cash? This is the base for most early and even modern laundry detergents. You can make your own like this:
1 cup plain soap (such as Simple), grated or shredded (I use a food processor)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax (order this from the chemist, also very cheap)
Or better yet make your own laundry gel. It only takes, literally, 10 minutes to make a 3 month supply. This goes in the drum, not the drawer
1 bar unscented white soap; such as Simple
1/2 cup washing soda crystals -
4 litres hot water
Heat hot water, and when starting to boil, remove pan from water and stir in grated soap. Heat on low until all is melted, and then remove from heat. Stir in washing soda, allow to cool slightly, and pour into a large Tupperware type lidded container. Once it has completely cooled, it will turn into a gel. You use half a teacup, or about half a laundry scoop per load, added to the drum. You can add lavender essential oil before it sets if desired (about 20 drops). This is suitable to replace non bio detergents and is popular amongst mothers of infants, especially for washing baby bedding, clothes, and nappies.
You can also place a cupful in a bucket with hot water, and soak mildewed shower curtains, pram seat covers, grass stained jeans, etc in and it will shift them without going to great expense. Just soak for thirty minutes or up to 1 hour, and then wash as usual. Set mildew stains may need scrubbing with a soft vegetable type brush as well before washing. Itís also a great way to brighten whites without bleaches. Best of all, it will not damage clothes like a bleach can. Just don't use on wool or silk, as these need specialist cleaners! You also need to be certain the item is colourfast of course!
You can simplify this by making a simply laundry pre-treatment:
Make a paste with 1/4 warm water and 4 tablespoons washing soda. Dampen stain and apply paste. Wash as usual with usual detergent. If commercial detergent, add half a cup washing soda to the load to aid in effectiveness. This works best on fresh stains, needless to say.
~~~What else can I use this for?~~~
Got a blocked kitchen sink? Leave to its work, or if you feel brave, pour in a small amount, pour hot water from a kettle standing well back, and watch it go. Even more effective than baking soda, and gives Mr Muscle a run for his money.
Dirty pan racks? Soak in the bath with a cup of these in hot water, leave overnight. Then merely wipe down with a sponge. You can also use it on steel pans, but NOT aluminium. It will also clean the oven easily. Simply take a spray bottle of water, spritz the interior, and sprinkle on.....or make a paste and spread it thinly. Leave on overnight, then get up and wipe away.
Made into a paste with some warm water, it effectively cleans counters, PVC window frames barbecues, plastic furniture etc without scratching, kitchen exhaust units, and rinses cleanly away, unblocking the drains as you go. Much cheaper than CIF, I can tell you!
As long as your bath is not fibreglass, but is plastic or enamel, you can also use it here. Clean, sanitise, polish, and deodorise all with a single product! Simply apply with a damp sponge and wipe, then rinse clean. You can even clean your toilet bowl with it, simply sprinkle in and brush. Just remember to disinfect your brush afterwards to kill any germs the brush picks up! If using on bathroom surfaces or kitchen worktops, I do urge you mix to a paste and mix with a few drops of tea tree oil to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Tea tree oil is even proven against MRSA, so is perfect for surfaces where absolute sanitation is desired.
Rubbish bins, nappy bins, and refrigerators washed with 1/2 cup of washing soda and a bucket of warm water will come up clean as well as deodorised.
~~~Okay, where do I buy this and how much is this wonder product?~~~
This household staple is available in a blue and white plastic bag and has the trade mark DRI PACK WASHING SODA for the name brand emblazoned upon it. It is only in 1 kg sized bags, and you find it on the laundry aisle at supermarkets and Wilkinson's. It will set you back..wait for it....a whole 50 pence or so. You can also buy it premixed with water, but pass on this. better value to get your own powder and mix with water!
So, for 50 pence, and some water, and a bar of plain soap, you can make 3 months of effective and gentle laundry gel; clean your kitchen, bathroom, and more. So what are you waiting for? Don't get ripped off any more on that cleaning aisle. It is simple to use with a lack of faff, effective, and cheap. It's every consumer's dream, so go BUY IT.
Summary: All natural product that is cheap, simple to use, and out performs most commercial cleansers