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What are Caustic Soda Flakes, and How Do I Use Them?

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Calendar Icon September 27, 2022

What are the uses of caustic soda flakes?

  1. Unblocking drains
  2. Cleaning solutions
  3. Making soap and detergents

Caustic soda flakes are a common inorganic chemical product that you can often find in chemical supply stores and have many uses in the home. But what is this versatile substance? And more importantly, what are the uses of caustic soda flakes? 

In this post, we get into everything you need to know about this product, and why you should have a supply of it on-hand at home. Read on! 

What Is Caustic Soda?

Caustic soda is the common name for a chemical compound called Sodium hydroxide (NaOH). But you might know it by another name: lye. 

It’s a combination of sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen, and comes in three different forms, which include caustic soda pearls, caustic soda lye liquid, and — the subject of today’s post — caustic soda flakes. 

In its pure form, caustic soda flakes look like a white solid material shaped like thin strips or flakes of wax. In a less pure form, caustic soda flakes are also known as lye. The caustic soda that you can find for commercial use is usually sodium hydroxide (NaOH). 

Uses of Caustic Soda Flakes

Uses of Caustic Soda Flakes

Caustic soda flakes, though they are also used in industrial and manufacturing cases, are now a very common ingredient for everyday items. One of the most popular ways to use this chemical product at home is to make soap, but it can be used to make other products, such as: 

Unblocking drains

A blocked or clogged drain is often caused by a buildup of debris, such as hair or food particles, and grease. 

Natural drain cleaners are often too ineffective to remove these buildups completely, which can cause a problem for your pipes, drains, and appliances. In these cases, chemical-based cleaners are your best bet.

Caustic soda flakes have the ability to dissolve grease, which makes them a great ingredient for making a chemical-based cleaner at home. 

To use this chemical to unblock your drains, mix 100 grams of caustic soda flakes with a liter of cold water. Make sure to do this in an open area, while using gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself. 

Once the caustic soda flakes have dissolved in water, pour this solution into the blocked drain. After about 30 minutes, your drain should be cleared of any grease and debris!

Cleaning solutions

Caustic soda can also be used to make a cleaning solution for your paths, driveways, and other outdoor areas in your home, since it’s very powerful and can dissolve grease with ease. 

To make a caustic soda flakes cleaning solution for your outdoor areas, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of caustic soda flakes per 5 liters of cold water. Prepare this solution outdoors, and while wearing gloves and safety goggles. 

Stir gently until the caustic soda is fully dissolved. Then, take your cleaning solution and scrub the path or driveway with it. Once the area is scrubbed, leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, make sure to wash it down thoroughly with clean water. 

You can also use this cleaning solution on other hard-to-clean outdoor items and areas that often get coated with grease. This includes your outdoor trash bins, kennels, stables, and the like. 

Making soap and detergents

Lastly, caustic soda flakes can be used to make homemade soaps and detergents! This is great if you want to start making these cleaning products from scratch. 

Caustic soda flakes, or lye, is an essential part of this process — you can’t make “true” soap without it. This is because it provides the acidic base it needs to transform the fats of your oils into soap (also known as the saponification process).

Using this chemical product, your homemade soap will be hard and solid, which you can then cut into bars of soap. 

To use caustic soda flakes in soapmaking, you need to dissolve them in water, then combine them with whatever fats and oils you have chosen for your soap. We cover the full soapmaking process in another guide here

Safety Precautions for Using Caustic Soda at Home

Caustic soda flakes are an extremely useful thing to have at home — but this product should be handled with care at all times. This is because it is corrosive to the skin, and can cause pain and damage if it comes into contact with it.

Always be careful when using this product at home. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when using it: 

  • Keep your container of caustic soda flakes tightly sealed and away from moisture.
  • Keep caustic soda flakes away from children or pets.
  • Always use gloves, utensils, and safety goggles when handling caustic soda flakes. 
  • Always make your caustic soda flake solutions outdoors — or in a well-ventilated room. 
  • If the chemical touches your skin or eyes, immediately rinse with a large amount of clean water. Then, seek immediate medical help to treat chemical burns you may have. 

How to Get Caustic Soda

How to Get Caustic Soda

It can be a bit difficult to get a hold of this product, as it is a controlled chemical substance. And, it can be hard to find a chemical supplier that carries products that are quality sodium hydroxide, lye, or caustic soda flakes.

Luckily, Oktakem carries caustic soda flakes that you can use at home. Each order contains 1 kilogram of 99%-98% Sodium Hydroxide, and we make sure to package each order securely so that it arrives safely at your home! Order from our online store today to get the chemical supplies you need to make your own cleaning solutions and soap at home! 

Key Takeaway

There are many uses of caustic soda flakes — they can be used as a cleaning solution for your outdoor spaces, to unclog blocked drains and pipes, and even to make your own soap! It’s a versatile product to keep in stock at home, as it has so many uses.

If you’re looking for other raw materials or swimming pool chemicals, you can check Oktakem’s online shop here, on Shopee, or at Lazada. We offer these products in 1kg packs at affordable prices. For other inquiries, you may contact us here