CAS Number: 497-19-8 (anhydrous
IUPAC name: Sodium Carbonate
Other names: Soda Ash, Washing soda, Soda crystals
Sodium Carbonate (also known as washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals, and in the monohydrate form as crystal carbonate), Na2CO3, is the water-soluble sodium salt of Carbonic Acid.
It most commonly occurs as a crystalline decahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Pure sodium carbonate is a white, odorless powder that is hygroscopic It has a strongly alkaline taste, and forms a moderately basic solution in water. Sodium carbonate is well known domestically for its everyday use as a water softener.
1. Domestic uses
1.1 Soda ash is used as a water softener in laundering: It is one of the ingredients of washing powers and other detergents.
1.2 Sodium carbonate can be used to remove grease, oil, and wine stains.
1.3 Sodium Carbonate is used in some aquarium water pH buffers to maintain a desired pH and carbonate hardnes.
1.4 Sodium Carbonate, in a solution with common salt, may be used for cleaning silver
1.5 In cooking, it is sometimes used in place of sodium hydroxide for lyeing.
1.6 It is the main ingredients in “Self Raising Flours” which is used for making cakes and other bakery products.
2. Healthcare and Personal Care
2.1 Sodium Carbonate is used in toothpastes, where it acts as a foaming agent and an abrasive, and to temporarily increase mouth pH.
2.2 sodium Carbonate can be used as a bath salt.
2.3 Sodium Carbonate is used to provide Sodium Ions in body electrolytes replenishment preparations, such as infusion solutions and oral rehydration salts and energy drinks.
2.4 Sodium Carbonate is essential in the formulation of effervescent preparations such as certain energy drinks, vitamin C tablets, etc.
3. Industrial Applications
3.1 By far the largest consumption of Sodium Carbonate is in the manufacture of glass, paper, rayon, soaps, and detergents.
3.2 Sodium Carbonate is a food additive (E500) used as an acidity regulator, anticaking agent, raising agent, and stabilizer.
3.3 Sodium Carbonate is used by the brick industry as a wetting agent to reduce the amount of water needed to extrude the clay.
3.4 In casting, it is used as "bonding agent" and is used to allow wet alginate to adhere to gelled alginate.
3.5 Sodium Carbonate is used by the cotton industry to neutralize the sulfuric acid needed for acid de-linting of fuzzy cottonseed.
3.6 Sodium Carbonate is used as a pH regulator to maintain stable alkaline conditions necessary for the action of the majority of photographic film developing agents.
3.7 It is a common additive in municipal pools used to neutralize the corrosive effects of chlorine and raise pH.
3.8 In chemistry, it is often used as an electrolyte in the process of electrolysis.
3.9 It is also used as a primary standard for acid-base titrations because it is solid and air-stable, making it easy to weigh accurately.
Sodium carbonate typically found in consumer products may pose a risk of symptoms due to skin or
inhalation exposure. Sodium Carbonate can produce the following adverse health affect:
1. Contact - Skin exposures can cause symptoms ranging from minor skin irritation or itching to
redness and swelling.
2. Eye exposure to Sodium Carbonate may result in redness, tearing or severe eye irritation. In severe exposures, irreversible eye damage may result.
3. Inhalation - The inhalation of Sodium Carbonate dusts can cause nose and throat irritation or
coughing. Repeated or prolonged exposures may cause sore throat or nosebleeds.
4. Ingestion - The ingestion of Sodium Carbonate may cause severe irritation of the mouth and
throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal irritation and diarrhea.