Soda ash is the common name for sodium carbonate (with the chemical formula of Na2CO3). It is actually an acidic substance, with the physical properties of a crystallized heptahydrate. Soda ash can, however, be broken down into a monohydrate—like when it is in white, powdery form.
Soda ash is made from the ashes of some kinds of plants. It can also be made from table salt. The materials and the procedures are relatively simple and inexpensive, making soda ash a popular ingredient for consumer products where prices have to be maintained at a particular level in order for the brand to remain competitive.
For example, not many people know that soda ash is also an excellent cleanser. It is quite efficient in removing dirt, but is non-abrasive. With the right proportions, it can be used on clothes and metal appliances without risk of abrasion. That is why soda ash is used in making laundry detergents and stain removers. It can also be used to clean small appliances like the percolator and espresso machine. Soda ash can be found in commercially available products or is sold in boxes for people to use on their own.
Soda ash has many useful properties. For example, it is a key ingredient in the production of glass. When soda ash is combined with sand and calcium carbonate, and exposed to the right levels of heat, the glass is known to be stronger and clearer. In fact, most windows in people’s homes contain soda ash.