The sodium salt of carbonic acid is known as the soda ash. It is also known as sodium carbonate or washing soda (Na2CO3). It is very commonly used in our daily routine as a water softener. Since this product can be manufactured at a very low cost, it can be abundantly found everywhere. Its uses are many. Now that we know what is soda ash, let us throw some light on some of its facts:
Soda ash can be found in the form of crystalline heptahydrate, which can be used to form its white powder, commonly known as monohydrate. This kind of product can also be extracted from the ashes of plants, or by simply processing the common table salt.
Since it can be manufactured easily and it is found in abundance, there are many uses of soda ash. When this ash is combined with silica, the mixture is used to manufacture glass, which has a never ending demand. When this mixture is heated on a very high temperature, and made to cool instantaneously, glass is manufactured.
Another important use of sodium carbonate is the role it plays (as a pH regulator) in the process of stabilizing the alkaline conditions for various developing agents. When washing soda is added to boiling water, in which a human or an animal body is immersed, it quickly separates the flesh from the bones and skulls, which is used in educational display for medical students. While, in case of chemistry, soda ash is commonly used as an electrolyte. There is a more common use of washing soda in our day to day activities. It is used a water softener by laundry service centers. If no soda ash is mixed in the water, they will have to use more detergent. Besides, washing soda is used to remove stains of grease, alcohol or mud from the cloth.
While many believe it is inedible, it is nothing more than a misconception. In fact soda ash is a major food additive. It is commonly used by chefs as anti caking agent, stabilizer, rising agent, and an acidity regulator.
Many use washing soda to clean their coffee machines. Due to heavy usage of the coffee machine, the residue particles build up in the machine. However, when a mixture of water and soda ash is smoothly run through the machine, it cleans up all the residue particles and makes the coffee machine surprisingly clean. By have a regular clean-up with soda ash, you coffee machine will last longer, and will continue to give coffee for a long time.
Apart from the above uses, soda ash is largely manufactured in the industries and is used extensively for a variety of purposes. The production of this chemical has been benefiting the human kind since past many years, and will continue to help us, until we come up with something cheaper, more useful and equally efficient.