Nearly all cleaning products by nature will contain an alkali ingredient, which means the pH > 7. Strong Alkali's are used to make soap through the process of saponification. The same principal applies when cleaning with them, as they turn the grease, grime & oils into a dissolvable ‘soap’ which can be cleaned away with water.
By nature they have powerful degreasing & stain removing qualities as well as can soften water.
Washing Soda, Borax & Bicarb are the alkali sodium cousins which range in pH levels & in power. They can all be found naturally in ancient mineral deposits & in your Under Your Sink Starter Kits.
Click on the tabs for a quick summary & the picture if you want even more detail about each ingredient
- WASHING SODA
Washing Soda - Sodium Carbonate
A white powder crystal like powder which is naturally harvested from ancient mineral deposits found only in certain parts of the world. Used for centuries & still today because in a whole range of uses in particular cleaning.
It raises the pH of water which assists in breaking up grease & grime. Strong degreaser, disinfectant & general cleaner.
The strongest of the sodium cousins & most commonly used in commercial products.
Borax - Sodium Borate
Borax like Washing Soda is a natural mineral that is harvested from certain deposits in the world. It has an array of commercial uses but when it comes to cleaning, it's a builder which enhances the action of surfactants (eg soap) by softening water. Also has moderate whitening/disinfecting power.
A controversial ingredient that is often promoted as great for health if ingested, this is where majority of the ‘safety concerns’ lay. But in terms of cleaning with it, centuries have proven its benefits.
This is a great team playing ingredient that blends well with soaps & other alkali's to create a powerful cleaning mixture.
Bicarb - Sodium Bicarbonate
This is a very well-known natural cleaning ingredient with many practical uses around the home. It just like the others (washing soda, borax) is naturally harvested from ancient mineral deposits.
The chemical structure of Bicarb converts some water molecules to hydrogen peroxide providing a mild whitening/disinfecting power. It also is softening water which enables surfactants to work more effectively.
By nature absorbs moisture, making this great to use in damp areas or as an odour eater.