What Does Caustic Soda Clean?


More and more of us are after cleaning hacks that will leave our homes sparkling and smelling fresh.

Whether we have found ourselves obsessed with Instagram home accounts or struck by a desire to clean our house, we wonder what new hacks we can use to save time and see outstanding results.

Through this, you might have heard of caustic soda and be wondering, what can I clean with that? Well, today, we are going to find out!

We are tackling your burning caustic soda questions to get your homes clean. Keep reading for all the answers you will need!

What is Caustic Soda?

Caustic soda, or sodium hydroxide as you might know it, is a versatile substance used frequently in manufacturing and cleaning. It’s a co-product of chlorine production and has some fascinating uses!

Depending on your needs, the substance can neutralize acid, clean, and sanitize in flake or liquid form.

It’s featured in many household products such as paper, aluminum, drain and oven cleaners, soaps, and even detergents!

It’s used to blanche paper, giving it that crisp white color and an excellent ingredient in cleaning products! It’s also used for water treatment, food, textiles, glass making, and other manufacturing processes. 

The substance is incredibly corrosive, though, and needs to be handled with caution.

Caustic soda can cause allergic reactions, burning, and irritation to your eyes and skin, and you must wear protective clothing and equipment when handling caustic soda.

When added to other products, take care to avoid physical contact with them and read the instructions on the label very carefully. 

How to Clean with Caustic Soda?

Caustic soda is perfect for cleaning drains and is often used in drain cleaners, both for domestic and industrial cleaning. The sodium hydroxide will convert fats and grease that clog pipes into soap, which dissolves into the water.

It’s excellent for blocked or clogged drains, efficiently removing blockages, and returning your drains to full working order.

Caustic soda can also clean your toilet, removing and dissolving limescale in its wake for a clean and fully functioning toilet. You will need to take care when using caustic soda, avoiding any physical contact with the product. 

In homes with children and animals, you will need to be extra vigilant. It’s best only to buy as much as you need so you don’t have any around the house that could fall into the wrong hands. 

You can also use caustic soda to clean your oven, but remember your protective clothing and gloves before doing so! 100g of caustic soda mixed in with 1 liter of cold water will allow the mixture to heat itself!

It’s best to mix them in a deep plastic container. Stir the water and soda gently, and you can use this to clean your oven.

It can be used through a spray bottle or by dipping a sponge directly into the mixture. Apply the cleaner to the buildup grease inside the oven and leave it for 10 minutes.

Be mindful that no one comes into contact with the caustic soda during this time! Once the ten minutes have passed, you can wipe the appliance and allow it to dry.

You should notice the grease has been removed, and your oven is sparkling once more! 

Can Caustic Soda Damage Pipes?

Depending on the pipes, caustic soda can cause damage to them. The caustic materials can cause a chemical reaction, causing PVC pipes to heat up, melt, or warp the pipe, depending on the heat.

Caustic soda can also cause damage to galvanized steel, copper, and iron pipes. 

The heat is caused by the exothermic reaction when caustic soda mixes with water. When used in excessive amounts, you can see the water boil, wreaking havoc on plastic and PVC pipes, leaving you with a hefty repair bill. 

Due to the corrosive nature of the substance, it can often cause leaks in the pipes, leading to costly repairs depending on the severity of the damage.

In these cases, it is usually when large quantities of undiluted caustic soda are used. You are unlikely to see these effects if you are using a  drain cleaner that contains small amounts of caustic soda. 

In these cases, be sure that you are only using a small amount of caustic soda to avoid causing this level of damage. It is also best not to use it too frequently too.

Frequent drain cleaning is advised, but if you find yourself needing to use a heavy-duty drain unblocker frequently, there is likely to be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

It’s best to contact a professional to have your pipes assessed and dealt with immediately. Not only will it save you frequent unblocking, but it prevents burst pipes and other issues from arising in the future. 

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