Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate or soda ash, is a white powder used in homes and manufacturing industries. In homes, washing soda is useful in removing stains, such as those from grease and oil, and softening hard water for laundering.
Washing soda acts as a descaling agent to remove limescale found in water heaters, kettles and boilers. It is also a food additive and commonly used as a raising agent, stabilizer and anti-caking agent.
The glass-manufacturing industry uses washing soda as an ingredient for making glass. The cotton industry uses the compound as a neutralizing agent, and the brick industry uses it as a wetting agent.