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Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate, also known as soda or soda ash, is an industrial chemical with multiple uses. The most popular uses of this chemical are in the making of coloring dyes and agents, fertilizers, synthetic detergents and fresh water treatment. In this article we’ll go over the uses of sodium carbonate, its safety, how it’s made and manufactured, some chemical comparisons, how it’s exported and where to buy sodium carbonate. Keep reading to become an expert on sodium carbonate.

Sodium Carbonate Powder

Properties of Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate formula: Na₂CO₃

Sodium carbonate density: 2.54 g/cm³

Sodium carbonate boiling point: 2,912°F (1,600°C)

Sodium carbonate melting point: 1,564°F (851°C)

Sodium Carbonate Structure

 (Source: Wikipedia)

Sodium Carbonate Uses

Sodium carbonate is used for various purposes, and the usage of the chemical depends on the form.

  • Soda ash light is highly soluble, and therefore very useful in various manufacturing reaction processes.
  • It is used in household detergents and cleaning agents such as dishwashing soaps. It is one of the best soap making chemicals and one of the best chemicals to manufacture detergent.
  • It is a good option to kill fungi and other microbes. In toothpaste making, manufacturers use it as a foaming agent.
  • Sodium carbonate is a very good fabric washer and is necessary to clean stains.
  • Sodium carbonate is very important in making water glass or sodium silicate, sodium phosphate, borax, and many other compounds that contain sodium.
  • Sodium carbonate can be used in glass manufacturing to reduce the melting point of sand in the process
  • Sodium carbonate can be used as a pH modifier to raise pH in gold mining and recovery

Soda Ash Light Bag

Sodium Carbonate Hazards

Consuming sodium carbonate is unsafe because it is slightly toxic and causes irritation of the air pipe, alongside shortness of breath, coughing, as well as edema in the lungs. Contact to the eyes can cause serious burn injuries. Likewise, skin contact to sodium carbonate can cause skin burns as well. According to sodium carbonate’s MSDS, using sodium carbonate as an industrial product is generally safe because if stored and managed properly, there are no health risks. Therefore, proper storage and disposal of sodium carbonate needs to be taken into consideration in order to avoid any unwanted effects.

To ensure safety and avoid damaging the eyes, skin or respiratory tract, there are protective measures to take when handling sodium carbonate.

Follow these protective measures when handling sodium carbonate:

  • Only use sodium carbonate in open and ventilated locations
  • Use goggles to prevent contact to your eyes
  • Keep it away from incompatible products where a reaction could occur
  • Use neoprene or rubber gloves when handling sodium carbonate
  • Wear an apron or clothes with long sleeves to prevent skin contact
  • Protect your feet by wearing rubber boots

How Is Sodium Carbonate Made?

Solvay process is the most prevalent process in the case of manufacturing sodium carbonate. When CO2 and NH3 are added to a saturated solution of sodium chloride (NaCl), it creates Sodium Hydrogen carbonate or NaHCO3. Now ignition of this compound will remove Hydrogen and you will get Sodium carbonate or Na2CO3.

Where To Buy Sodium Carbonate In Bulk?

You may be able to find sodium carbonate in your area. But if you want to buy large quantities of sodium carbonate, it is preferable to import directly from the manufacturers. They can issue certifications and provide cost savings which is better than buying the chemical in small quantities or from a distributor. If you require bulk quantities of this chemical, you can buy sodium carbonate directly from manufacturers as buying chemicals directly from the factory can result in cost savings. It can also be sourced from industrial chemical suppliers.

Which Countries Manufacture Sodium Carbonate In Bulk?

The main producers of sodium carbonate are China, the United States, Kenya, and Botswana. Consumption of sodium carbonate has increased dramatically across the world, especially in developing countries.

Sodium Carbonate VS Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are often confused for each other because of their similar names as well as their similar physical and chemical properties. Despite these similarities, there are differences in the uses of these two chemicals that can help in deciding which chemical is most suitable for your specific needs.

Sodium bicarbonate is a weak base made up of sodium, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. It’s chemical formula is NaHCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is often referred to as baking soda.

Sodium carbonate is a strong base made of sodium, carbon, and oxygen and its chemical formula is Na2CO3. Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda and sodium carbonate is often referred to as soda or soda ash.

Difference Between Sodium Carbonate And Sodium Bicarbonate Uses

Sodium Bicarbonate is an industrial chemical and is most commonly used in the food industry. Some of its uses are:

  • It facilitates the expansion of batter by serving as a leavening agent, allowing bakers to achieve their preferred texture
  • It is used when making sourdough to reduce the presence of an acidic taste
  • It can be used to produce a baking powder that will not require acidic ingredients for activation.
  • It is used in pyrotechnics for the making of fireworks
  • It delays combustion reactions so it can be used to extinguish a fire by releasing carbon dioxide.
  • It is used to treat or neutralize acid spills.
  • It can be used to treat heartburn or acid ingestion
  • It can be used for dental cleaning and controlling odor
  • It is used as a supplement when making feed for animals

Sodium Carbonate is an industrial chemical with many uses depending on its form. Some of its uses are:

  • It is used in the making of detergents and dishwashing soaps used in household cleaning and other cleaning industries
  • It is used as a foaming agent in toothpaste
  • It eliminates fungi and microbes
  • It can remove stains making it useful for washing fabrics
  • It is used for making sodium containing compounds such as Sodium silicate, Sodium phosphate, and Borax.

Soda Ash Light VS Dense

What Is The Difference Between Soda Ash Light And Soda Ash Dense

The chemical formula for soda ash light and soda ash dense is the same. The main difference between the two is their size, density, and shape which creates opportunities for different uses. The density of soda ash light tends to be around 500-600 kg/m3 and the density of soda ash dense is around 1000-1200 kg/m3. The price for soda ash dense is usually higher than soda ash light.

Soda ash light is most often produced using the ammonia alkali method which uses limestone and raw salt to create soda ash light. The solid phase water method is used to create soda ash dense.

Soda ash light is often used in detergent manufacturing, textile industries, and toothpaste production. Soda ash dense is used in glass manufacturing, chemical industries, metallurgy, and other environmental industries.

  • Most people use soda ash light as edible soda. On the other hand, you will find soda ash dense in most of the industrial stores.
  • Soda ash dense is a very common ingredient in the detergent manufacturing industries. It is very useful to break down the molecules of the staining materials and cleans the clothes.
  • As the names suggest, soda ash light is lighter than the same volume of soda ash dense. 1 cubic centimeter of soda ash dense weighs around 1.06 grams whereas the same amount of soda ash is lightweight around 0.77 grams.

Sodium carbonate granules

Differences Between Food Grade Sodium Carbonate And Industrial Grade Sodium Carbonate

The substances we use in the industries and those we use in our daily life are not always the same. The ingredients used in our daily life are harmless or the harmful chemicals are there in very little quantity. On the other hand, industrial substances may have a higher degree of harmful substances in them as there is no question of putting it in the mouth. This is why experts divide chemicals into food grade and industrial grades. Sodium carbonate food grade & sodium carbonate industrial grade both have their use cases. Please note, however, that using either of these grades improperly will surely lead to a bad outcome.

Sodium carbonate powder in bowl

How Is Sodium Carbonate Made?

Sodium carbonate is made from sodium chloride and limestone through the Solvay process. The Solvay process refers to the process of industrially producing sodium carbonate. In this process, limestone is used to release carbon dioxide which reacts with concentrated aqueous sodium chloride to produce sodium carbonate.

How Is Sodium Carbonate Exported?

Sodium carbonate is available in powder form or as granules and is available for sale in 500 grams and 1 kg packages. If you intend on buying them from the manufacturers, then soda ash light is available in 40kg packs and soda ash dense is available in 25.1 kg packs. Camachem successfully exported sodium carbonate to Kenya.

Sodium Carbonate FAQ

Is sodium carbonate the same as baking soda?

Sodium Carbonate is not the same as baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate is known as baking soda while sodium carbonate is often known as soda ash or washing soda. Although their names are similar, sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate are not the same.

Why is sodium carbonate called washing soda?

Sodium carbonate is also known as washing soda. It takes this name because sodium carbonate can be used along with other cleaning ingredients to remove soil from fabric and keep the soil in the water, separate from the clean fabric.

What are the benefits of Soda Ash in the production of industrial products?

The inclusion of Soda Ash in the production of industrial products like paper, textiles, and detergents helps to improve their performance and quality. By acting as a pH regulator, Soda Ash ensures that the desired pH levels are maintained, which is crucial for optimal performance. Additionally, its water softening properties aid in preventing mineral buildup and improving the efficiency of these products. Overall, Soda Ash contributes to the enhanced functionality and overall quality of these industrial products.

What is the other name of sodium carbonate?

Sodium carbonate is also known as soda ash, ash, and washing soda. This is not to be mistaken with baking soda which is the common name for sodium bicarbonate.

How does Soda Ash function as a water softener?

Soda Ash can remove both temporary and permanent water hardness. Temporary hardness is caused by the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium bicarbonates, which Soda Ash can convert into insoluble carbonates, thus softening the water. Permanent hardness is caused by the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium sulfates, and Soda Ash can also react with these compounds to mitigate water hardness.

How does Soda Ash act as a pH regulator?

Soda Ash, when added to a solution, can adjust and stabilize the pH level. It can act as either a buffer, helping to maintain a consistent pH, or as a neutralizer, bringing the pH level closer to neutral.

Is it safe to eat sodium carbonate?

Ingesting large quantities of sodium carbonate is not safe and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes death.

Sodium Carbonate Hazard

(Source: Science Photo Library)

What are the risks of sodium carbonate?

Direct contact of sodium carbonate with the eye can lead to burns and permanent eye damage. Excessive inhalation of sodium carbonate can cause irritation in the respiratory tract as well as coughing and shortness of breath. Ingesting sodium carbonate in large amounts can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes death.

In what food products is sodium carbonate used for coloring?

Sodium carbonate is used to color pasta, fruit juice, and cooking oil, adding visual appeal to these food products.

What benefits does sodium carbonate provide in food products?

Sodium carbonate helps improve the quality of food products and retain vitamins and minerals, enhancing their overall quality and nutritional value.

Why is sodium carbonate used as a food additive?

Sodium carbonate is used as a food additive because it provides a pleasant taste and similar behavior as citric acid, which helps improve the quality of food products and retain vitamins and minerals.

Is sodium carbonate soluble in water?

Yes, sodium carbonate is soluble in water. In order for a chemical to be soluble in water it must have the ability to dissolve when in contact with water. When in contact with water, sodium carbonate will dissolve.

How does Soda Ash improve the performance and quality of these industrial products?

Soda Ash acts as a pH regulator and water softener, which helps improve the performance and quality of products like paper, textiles, and detergents. Its ability to regulate pH levels and soften water contributes to the overall effectiveness and enhanced properties of these products.


Is sodium carbonate a bleach?

Sodium carbonate itself is not bleach but it is used in the process to make oxygen bleach.  Oxygen bleach is made from sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. It is also known as sodium percarbonate. This bleach releases oxygen when it comes in contact with water which is used to remove stains and soil off of fabrics.

What will happen if sodium carbonate is heated?

When sodium carbonate is heated a decomposition reaction occurs and it breaks down into sodium oxide and carbon dioxide.

Scoop Of Sodium Carbonate

​​(Source: Sodis Pour Le Commerce)

How much does sodium carbonate cost?

The price of  Sodium Carbonate is estimated at around $315 per Ton. However this price varies depending on the cost of production. For more accurate pricing contact manufacturers for a quotation for your quantity of choice.


Product Number

Product Description



AK Scientific


Sodium carbonate anhydrous





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, ACS primary standard, 99.95-100.05% (dried basis)





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, 0.05N Standardized Solution





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, 98%





Alfa Aesar



Sodium carbonate, ACS primary standard, 99.95-100.05% (dried basis)





Alfa Aesar



Sodium carbonate, anhydrous, Puratronic?, 99.997% (metals basis)





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, anhydrous, Puratronic?, 99.997% (metals basis)





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, anhydrous, Puratronic?, 99.997% (metals basis)





Alfa Aesar


Sodium carbonate, 98%







In what other industrial products is Soda Ash used?

Soda Ash is used in the production of various industrial products such as paper, textiles, and detergents.



Sodium carbonate, in its various forms, plays a crucial role in numerous industries. One such industry is household cleaning, where it is commonly used in the production of detergents and dishwashing soaps. Its inclusion in these cleaning products helps to effectively remove tough stains and grime, ensuring a clean and sparkling result.

But sodium carbonate's uses extend beyond cleaning products. In the realm of personal care, it serves as a foaming agent in toothpaste, creating a satisfying lather that aids in thorough cleaning and maintenance of oral hygiene. Its antimicrobial properties also make it a valuable ingredient, helping to eliminate fungi and microbes that can cause oral health issues.

Moreover, sodium carbonate finds its place in the realm of textile care. Its stain-removing capabilities make it an excellent choice for washing fabrics, ensuring that even the most stubborn stains are lifted, leaving garments fresh and clean.

While these industrial applications highlight the versatility of sodium carbonate, it is important to note that its role as a food additive cannot be overlooked. In the food industry, sodium carbonate serves a distinct purpose. It enhances the taste of food products, providing a pleasant flavor similar to citric acid. Additionally, its behavior aids in improving the quality of food items, ensuring the retention of essential vitamins and minerals. Notably, it is also utilized as a coloring agent for pasta, fruit juice, and cooking oil, adding vibrancy to these culinary staples.

In conclusion, sodium carbonate's multifaceted nature allows it to be utilized in various industries, from household cleaning to personal care and even food production. Its inclusion in detergents, toothpaste, and other cleaning products ensures effective stain removal and hygiene maintenance. Simultaneously, it enhances the taste and quality of food products, making it a valuable additive in the culinary world.<

Where To Buy Sodium Carbonate?

If you are looking for sodium carbonate in small amounts it can often be found in the detergent section of most stores. If you can’t find it in stores nearby it can also be purchased in small amounts online through Amazon or other online stores. To buy sodium carbonate in bulk, it is preferable to import directly from industrial chemical suppliers. Many chemical manufacturing companies in China have chemicals like sodium carbonate available in bulk.

Here at Camachem we have soda ash light & soda ash dense for sale. We export worldwide, so you can contact us for a FREE quotation today via email [email protected] or send a message on WhatsApp for a fast response +86-131-2037-9271.