Washing soda

Stubborn stains on our clothes could be very annoying.

In such situation, soaps and detergents help us out.

The soap industry became popular in the 1700s with the discovery of soda ash.

Soda ash was obtained by burning plants grown on sodium-rich soils.

Word quickly spread that soda ash could clean clothes all around the world.

A thousand years later came the discovery of washing soda.

It is a major ingredient in most cleaning agents used today.

Washing soda is the common name given to sodium carbonate decahydrate. It has the formula .

It is a white colored powder, soluble in water and alkaline in nature.

Washing soda is obtained from sodium chloride by Solvay's process.

The Solvay's process involves three steps.

Firstly, a solution of sodium chloride is reacted with ammonia and carbon dioxide to obtain sodium hydrogen carbonate

Secondly, sodium hydrogen carbonate is heated to decompose it to form anhydrous sodium carbonate.

Finally, water is added to sodium carbonate which takes up the water of crystallization to give washing soda.

Washing soda has several uses.

It helps in the removal of permanent hardness of water.

Its use as a cleansing agent for domestic purposes is well known.

It is used in the production of glass, and paper industry.

It is also used in the manufacture of borax.

Revision

Washing soda is produced by Solvay's process.

It has the formula .

It is mainly used as a cleaning agent.

The end