Soda Crystals I've recently discovered the long lost joys of soda crystals/washing soda (sodium carbonate). What an amazing de-greasant, and at 65p for a kilo, it's a bargain too!!!

Who needs Mr Muscle or any of those expensive products when a solution of hot water and soda crystals does the job beautifully. So far I've cleaned the extractor fan meshes and today the racks from the oven. On both occasions, I've filled the bath with water and then sprinkled liberally with soda crystals before submerging the meshes and racks. You can see the soda crystals getting to work straight away as the dirt and grease starts to slide off.

Next trick: we'll be adding a little bit to our washing loads in place of some of the washing powder we use. Apparently one of the benefits of soda crystals is they soften the water (much needed in the Thames Valley) which in turn will increase the effectiveness of the other cleaning products meaning you don't need to use as much, saving money and the environment. It'll also help prevent the build up of limescale in the washing machine.

I'm quite chuffed by this "old wives'" product and it'll be on my cleaning product list for years to come, and like WD40, I'm sure I'll find many good uses for it.