Do Soda Crystals Kill Bacteria?

do soda crystals kill bacteria

Soda crystals are incredibly versatile around the home. You can wash your clothes with them, degrease your kitchen, clean your oven, unblock sinks, clear your patio of moss and much more!

Soda crystals are great for general cleaning, but do soda crystals kill bacteria too? Could you replace your normal anti-bac spray with soda crystals?

Soda crystals can kill bacteria due to their natural alkalinity. This is because bacteria have difficulty multiplying in an alkaline environment. However, the makers of soda crystals (Dripak) do not claim that soda crystals are, or should be used as a disinfectant.

Vinegar is naturally antibacterial too and it does that by creating the opposite, an acidic environment.

Both vinegar and soda crystals have the capacity to kill bacteria due to their PH levels, but neither is proven to kill all bacteria on contact or are recommended for use in a medical setting.

If you are looking for a natural antibacterial solution and you don’t require a high level of safety, then soda crystals or vinegar could be your answer. If you have infants or people with compromised immunity in your household then you need your surfaces to be medically safe, in which case you should use a bleach-based cleaner instead.

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What are soda crystals?

bag of soda crystals

Bag of soda crystals

Soda crystals can be used around the home for softening water, dissolving grease and removing stains.

Soda crystals are commonly referred to as ‘washing soda’ because they were once used in place of modern laundry detergent. However, soda crystals are a useful laundry additive even today, because they have the effect of softening the water meaning you can reduce the amount of detergent you use.

The chemical name for soda crystals is ‘hydrated sodium carbonate’. There is often confusion over whether soda crystals are the same as baking soda. They are similar. Soda crystals contain sodium carbonate whereas baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.

If you heat baking soda, you get sodium carbonate (soda crystals), water and carbon dioxide.

The best way to use soda crystals to clean your home and kill bacteria

If you have infants or people with compromised immunity in your household, then you need your surfaces to be medically safe when you clean them. In that case, you should use a bleach-based cleaner.

Soda crystals can kill bacteria because they are naturally alkaline. However, the makers of soda crystals (Dripak) do not make any claims that all bacteria are killed because no studies have been done and it doesn’t have the regulatory approval to make any such claim.

Whichever method you use to rid bacteria from a surface, you should make sure that it is free of dirt and debris first.

I like to wipe over surfaces with a damp microfibre cloth until I can feel that there is no friction underneath the cloth. A cloth will glide over a surface when it is clean, but when there are sticky spots you can usually feel them because the cloth will drag a little.

You can make a cleaning spray by mixing warm water and soda crystals in a spray bottle or you can buy ready-made liquid soda crystals.

Once your surface is free of dirt, spray the surface with the liquid soda crystals and wipe.

Best uses for soda crystals in your home

I love cleaning items that have multiple uses, and soda crystals fits that bill perfectly. Plus they are very cheap to buy.

Here are all the ways I like to use soda crystals in my home.

Laundry additive

Soda crystals will naturally soften the water and lift stains, which helps to make your normal detergent work better. You can even reduce the amount of detergent you use.

  • Add a tablespoon of soda crystals to your normal wash.
  • Add detergent according to the directions for soft water.

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Soda crystals make a fantastic degreaser. My favourite use for them is for cleaning the cooker hood filter. I take mine out and soak it in a bath of warm water along with some soda crystals. The grease simply melts off. There is no need for any scrubbing, it’s amazing!

Here’s how I clean my greasy cooker hood filter with soda crystals:

  1. Remove the filter from the cooker hood.
  2. Dissolve a generous amount of soda crystals in a sink of hot water. Use the bath if your filter does not fit in the sink.
  3. Submerge the filter in the water.
  4. Leave to work for an hour or so.
  5. Rinse with clean water.
  6. Dry and put your filter back in the hood.

You can also use a soda crystals bath to clean your greasy Venetian blinds.

Unblocking sinks

Soda crystals combined with vinegar makes a great and natural sink unblocker. There is no need to use a preparatory sink unblocker because this method is so effective.

This is what I do to unblock my kitchen or bathroom sink:

  1. Pour some soda crystals down the sink hole.
  2. Pour some white distilled vinegar down the hole. There will be a fizzing action.
  3. When the fizzing dies down, pour in some hot water. Make sure you stand back because sometimes hot water will spray out as the drain clears itself.

Here’s a very useful video from Dripak.

Related reading:

How To Keep Hair Out Of Your Shower Drain

Cleaning the washing machine

I wash most of my laundry in cold water along with an Ecoegg.

When you run mainly low-temperature washes you should run a maintenance wash at least once per month to keep your machine clean and smelling fresh. You can do this with Ecoegg detox tablets. Another option is to use a quarter to a half bag of soda crystals on a hot wash.

How to clean your washing machine with soda crystals:

  1. Add a quarter to half a bag of soda crystals directly to an empty drum.
  2. Run the hottest wash you can.

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Cleaning your oven

Using soda crystals to clean your oven is a safe non-toxic way to get your oven lovely and clean.

How to clean your oven with soda crystals:

  1. Remove the racks and soak them in a solution of soda crystals and hot water.
  2. Sprinkle soda crystals on the base of the oven and use them to scrub the bottom and sides of the oven.
  3. Leave it to work for an hour.
  4. Rinse off with water.
  5. Rinse the oven racks with water and then put them back in the oven.

You can clean the oven glass effectively with baking soda and vinegar.

Here is a useful video showing how you can clean your whole oven including the stove and the racks with just soda crystals.

Related reading:

Using soda crystals to clean your patio

I’ve never done this, but soda crystals make a great patio and moss cleaner.

How to clean your patio with soda crystals:

  1. Make up a mixture of soda crystals and hot water.
  2. Spread evenly over your patio.
  3. Leave it to work for an hour.
  4. Spray the area with water to rinse.

Be careful not to let the solution run onto plants or your lawn as it could kill them.

Frequently asked questions

Will soda crystals kill grass?

Due to soda crystals being an alkali they should not be used on your lawn as it will kill it. You can safely use soda crystals to clean your patio, but don’t let the solution run onto your grass.


Penny | SparklingPenny

Hi, I'm Penny. A busy mum of two boys and one dog, with the aim to enjoy life to the full.