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04Apr 2014
How To Use Caustic Soda
How To Use Caustic SodaFor those who are looking for the most powerful way to clean out their drains without resorting to hiring a professional, caustic soda might well be what you are looking for. As one of the most highly corrosive substances available to purchase from regular supermarkets, the power and the effect of the substance should not be underrated. But as such a corrosive element, and with the potential to do as much harm as it can do good, taking the right measures to use caustic soda properly is essential. When it comes to unblocking your drains using this powerful chemical, how should you approach the cleaning situation? Blocked drains can build up over a long period of time, especially in the kitchen. When grease and food detritus gets poured down the drain, it can built up in the pipes and eventually lead to blockages. As such, the sink will start to drain more and more slowly, with the water in the sink lingering for a longer time before disappearing down the plug. So it falls to the owner to find a way in which to get rid of this build up. While there are a huge number of products out there which claim to be able to unblock a drain, few are as powerful as caustic soda or lye. Sodium Hydroxide – to give it its proper name – is a highly corrosive chemical which can be used to remove the build-up of anything in the pipe. As an alkali, it has the power to burn through those build-ups and get your pipes flowing again. It is always important to - remember whenever you are in contact with caustic soda – is the corrosive power. As such, the preparation work which you do during the cleaning process will be vital in order to ensure that you reduce the risk as much as possible. The clothing you wear should be a big consideration. Rubber gloves are the most obvious item to use, but make sure to dress in old clothes which you don’t mind getting damaged, just in case there is a spill. Try to cover your arms beyond the gloves and the sleeves or your shirt, taking steps just to reduce the risk which you expose yourself to. One of the things which people most often forget is to cover their mouth and nose. While this is unlikely to cause too much of an issue, the state in which caustic soda is sold in supermarkets means that the powdery substance could be breathed in. This can lead to long term health problems, so using a face mask or even a tea towel covering your face really helps. With all of this in place, all you really need is a big metal bowl, the caustic soda and some water. Fill the bowl with about a litre of water. Add in 50mg of caustic soda, always making sure to add the chemical to water rather than the other way around. You can use a mixing stick (something you don’t mind throwing away) to stir the liquid and the water should begin to turn cloudy. The longer you stir, you might find the bowl is beginning to heat up. You are now ready to move to the next step. Take to bowl to the supposedly blocked sink and pour the solution down the drain. Ensure that all of the liquid is moved from the bowl to the sink and then leave it for five-ten minutes. During this time, boil the kettle. After leaving the sink to settle, pour the boiled water down the sink. This should have the desired effect and your drains should be free from blockages and ready to use.


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