Sodium carbonate is formed from the mixture of salt and carbonic acid. It is sometimes known as soda ash or washing soda. It has many uses, the number one being an ingredient in the manufacture of glass. The compound is also a great water softener, and is commonly used as a mold combatant.
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In the manufacture of glass, it is combined with sand and calcium carbonate. Glass is produced when the mixture is heated to very high temperatures and rapidly cooled. This type of glass is called soda lime glass; it's the most prevalent type of glass on the market today. It is divided into two categories, float glass and container glass. Float glass is used for window panes and building applications, while container glass is used for food storage, bottles and jars. Most glass bakeware is also made from soda lime glass.
Sodium carbonate covers and kills mold spores. It is sold commercially in spray bottles, where it is mixed with water. The solution not only works well on countertops and interior surfaces, but it can also be used to blast mold from wood. Mold killers containing sodium carbonate can be found at many home and hardware stores, and usually retail for around $30.
Sodium carbonate is frequently used in households as a water softener used when doing laundry. It works by preventing the calcium and magnesium ions found in hard water from bonding with the detergent being used. Without its presence, more detergent is needed to soak up the hard water ions. This additive is called Washing Soda or SalSoda, and is found in the detergent section of stores.