...millions of years in the making. Volcanic activity upstream produced mineral-laden rocks. Glaciers ground up the rocks, leaching their minerals and dissolving them in water. The runoff flowed down from the mountains and into the lake. As the earth warmed, the water largely evaporated, leaving layers of brine that the desert sun bakes into crystals..
What a journey! And along the way these crystals have also soaked up a power to clean. They hold qualities which cause the chemical reactions for degreasing, disinfecting, and general dirt removal to occur. They possess an energy, is it magic? Is it science? Or is a mixture of both?
Some things will remain a mystery, yet for centuries prospectors have scoured avid ranges and desserts to find sought after crystals. Some for the pure love of discovery and others for the pure love of money. Some of the most lucrative of these minerals, then and even now, is where our Washing Soda, Bicarb Soda and even Borax are derived from.
Trona, Natron, Thermonatrite are a few of these amazing crystals, from which naturally occurring Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda) and Sodium Bicarbonate (Bicarb Soda) is derived. Found only in certain deposits throughout the world, with one of the largest being in Death Valley, USA.
Usually tough, avid terrains that without the help of modern technology would have been gruesome to mine and navigate.
Nowadays, the process is rather simple. The minerals are mined and refined to produce the final powders in varying consistencies and based on their purpose.
The list of uses and demand for these products is incredible, used to make glass to cakes to your laundry powder! The universe really does provide for us in the most magnificent way, giving us all the resources, we need to live.
However, corporate greed, disrespect for the environment and today’s lifestyle choices are taking advantage of this gift. These natural resources are not only being exploited, but they are also being replicated synthetically with an even more detrimental effect.
Thank you to the various sources relied upon the compile this article
Great Mining. (n.d.). Trona. Retrieved from https://www.greatmining.com/trona.html.
mindat.org. (n.d.). Natron. Retrieved from https://www.mindat.org/min-2858.html
Sedgwick, J. (2020). What Draws Hundreds to This Lake Bed? Spellbinding Crystals. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/arts/gem-o-rama-crystals.html
A Trona Crystal Photo: Sourced from the Amethyst Galleries Mineral Gallery http://www.galleries.com/Trona AU&cm_sp=Insite-_caSrpResults_srpRecs_srpModel_sodium%20carbonate-_-srpRecs3-1
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Sodium Carbonate. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_carbonat