Soda Ash is a substance that is used in many of today’s products. It is the invisible ingredient that is used in many manufacturing processes.
Over half of all Soda Ash production is used in glass manufacturing, but it is also used in a wide range of other products, such as powdered detergents and soaps and rechargeable batteries, as well as being used extensively in metallurgical processes, and across the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Importantly, Soda Ash is increasingly being used to improve our environment and reduce polluting emissions by removing sulphur dioxide and other harmful chemicals from exhaust fumes in shipping and other industrial flue gas emissions.
Soda ash is also known as Sodium Carbonate, it is a white, anhydrous, odourless powder. It is non-toxic and non-flammable, thus it is safe to use and even kept in the household.
It has been used in ancient Egyptian times in the making of glass ornaments and vessels. The Romans also used soda ash for baking bread, making glass and for medicinal purposes. In the modern day, it is still a widely used commodity. There are 3 different grades of Soda Ash: Dense Soda Ash, Light Soda Ash and Washing Soda.
Soda Ash Industrial uses
1. Production of Detergent
Sodium carbonate replaces the phosphates in household detergents previously and exists in many common cleaning products.
2. Production of Glass
Used to lower the melting point of silica, it is a crucial component of glass. This is also the most common use for Soda Ash.
Soda ash is used to de-calcify or, remove sulphurs and phosphates from some ferrous and non-ferrous ores. It is used in the recycling of zinc and aluminium.
4. Other Industrial Chemical
Due to its high solubility sodium carbonate is used in many chemical reactions. It is used as raw material for the manufacture of fertilizers and dyes and colouring agents. It is also used as a chemical agent in the petroleum and enamelling industries.
5. Water Treatment
Due to the alkalinity of Soda ash, it is used to treat and balance the pH of the lakes that are affected by acid rain.
6. Waste air cleaning
Soda Ash is used in the removal of sulphur dioxide and hydrochloric acid from stack gases
Soda Ash Commercial Uses
7. Unclog and freshen drains
Using a solution of 1/2 cup washing soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Run hot water down the drain and add the solution. Flush the drain with hot water. Use as needed or every few weeks. It’s safe for septic systems. Do not use commercial cleaners as they do not interact well.
8. Tile Descaler
Concentrated washing soda acts as a tile descaler, which is a problem when you have hard water. Just mix 1/2 cup of washing soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Rinse with warm water.
9. Remove Moss from surface
Sprinkle Washing soda on the moss-covered surface, adding just enough water to form a paste. Let it sit in the sun for a day or two and then simply rinse with a hose to clear away the dead moss.
10. Clean grease off concrete
Sprinkle Washing Soda on the stains and add a bit of water to make a paste and let it sit overnight. The next day, hose the area and wipe clean. Repeat if necessary.
11. Strip off old paint or wax from floors
Mix washing soda with just enough water to form a paste and spread it on the area to be stripped. Be sure and wear gloves. You can start checking for progress after a few hours but plan ahead, you may need to leave it overnight.