Soda Crystals and washing machines

Soda crystals

Soda crystals are good at dissolving grease. They can be used to help clean out a dirty washing machine, or more importantly to help prevent a build up of damaging grease inside. They can also be added to wash cycles to aid cleaning and water softening. Soda crystals have multiple uses, and they are relatively very cheap to buy.

Use if you have hard water

Soda crystals can be used to soften water, and to remove stains. They can be used to clean sinks, taps, baths, and drains, and all our white goods appliances and more. If you have hard water, you can put soda crystals in with the detergent. This will help soften the water, and allow you to use the recommended detergent dose for soft water instead of for hard. As soda crystals are much cheaper than detergent, it may make sense.

Soda crystals can clean inside washing machine

There are plenty of dedicated products for cleaning inside your washing machine or dishwasher. However, soda crystals can also be used. They should be good at dissolving grease. All you do is put them inside the drum and put the washing machine or dishwasher on a very hot wash. You should definitely do a regular maintenance wash, particularly if you use mostly low temperature washes and/or use liquid detergent. Otherwise, you could shorten the life of your appliance by years. Read more on this here – causes of washing machine grease, mould and smells, and how to clean.

Can soda crystals damage the washing machine drum?

The last time I used some soda crystals, I noticed that on the back of the packet it said that they should not be used on aluminium. As an engineer, I know that there are aluminium fixings inside a washing machine. I instantly thought about the alloy drum spiders inside washing machines and wondered whether soda crystals could cause any damage.

So I emailed a manufacturer of soda crystals. They told me that there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. The only reason they advise against using the soda crystals on aluminium, is that it can cause pitting (small indentations). This would be undesirable on anything on show. But as no one can see the drum spider, it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think the soda crystals would undermine the strength or stability of something made of aluminium, just maybe cause small pitting.

Need a Repair?

Fixed-price repairs, Pay monthly option, Repair & protect & no-fix no-fee

Repairs
Fixed-price repairs, Pay monthly, Repair & protect your whole appliance..
Save money

Subscribe to Which? today and start saving time and money

Various membership options available.
Spares

Ransom Spares is a family company with over 1 million spare parts. Next day delivery available, friendly company with over 5000 reviews on Trust Pilot - Buy your appliance spare part

Price match promise: "If you find the exact same part cheaper, we’ll not only match it, we’ll beat it!"

Comments Policy

Comments must be on topic with the article


25 thoughts on “Soda Crystals and washing machines”

  1. Hi all.
    My 21 year old AEG machine suffered a drum spider failure two years ago at 19 years old (it’s a well-built machine – much better than many new ones). I replaced the spider with an original part but it has only lasted another 2 years. The bearings are fine and we don’t overload the drum. The only thing different is that my wife has started using washing soda crystals in most washes and she tends to do low temp washes as we always did. Generally two washes a week on average.

    The “new” drum spider is completely corroded and 2 arms have failed. I wonder if the alkaline content of the soda crystals has actually accelerated the corrosion? The first spider lasted nearly 20 years in the same hard water area before it failed but my wife wasn’t using soda crystals. A chat to a chemist at work suggested that soda crystals will increase the alkalinity of the washing powder or liquid and this will have a corrosive effect on aluminium. The solution is to design a stainless steel spider like the drum or even a plastic/composite spider.

    Has anyone else experienced such premature failure of a spider and could washing soda be to blame?

  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hi Rick. Corroding of the drum spider is usually associated with not using enough detergent. As my article describes, when I contacted the manufacturer of soda crystals, they assured me that the soda crystals they only cause small pitting on aluminium.

    Have a look at my related article about grease and slime inside washer machines, which is far more likely to cause the corrosion you describe. I would also steer clear of liquid detergent’s. I also wouldn’t use soda crystals if you have soft water, as they soften water even further. If water is too soft, it makes cleaning the laundry more difficult, as it creates a lot of soap suds that cushion laundry from rubbing against each other. It also makes it harder for detergent to dissolve.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments must be on topic with the article

Scroll to Top