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Don’t confuse Soda Crystals with Caustic Soda

From time to time on the internet, we see comments from people confusing Soda Crystals with Caustic Soda (sometimes mistakenly called Caustic Soda Crystals).

Caustic soda is sodium hydroxide and is a more 'aggressive' product than Soda Crystals (Sodium Carbonate Decahydrate). The confusion may occur because Caustic Soda is commonly used to clear blocked drains; our advice is that it's best to keep drains clear in the first place, before they become blocked. As they say, 'prevention is better than cure'. This is the advice we give on keeping drains flowing.

The 'Corrosive' warning applies to Caustic Soda
The 'Corrosive' warning applies to Caustic Soda
The 'Irritant' symbol as used on Soda Crystals packaging
The 'Irritant' symbol as used on Soda Crystals packaging

All cleaning products sold in the UK are safe to use WHEN USED AS DIRECTED. Dri-Pak is an active member of the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association, which among its many roles, serves to help educate the public on how to use cleaning & laundry products safely and to help avoid tragic incidents like this. Even this article from ITV refers to the product he drank as caustic soda crystals and not simply caustic soda! You can see how the confusion gets spread.

ALWAYS read the labels on cleaning products, even if you think you know how to use them. For example, bleach can give off poisonous chlorine gas if it is mixed with some other products. It could be potentially fatal as this lady discovered.

Also make sure that you keep cleaning products out of the reach of children. Some products, such as liqui-tabs can seem very inviting to young hands (and mouths).

We believe that our traditional cleaning products are amongst the safest for every day use, but they are still chemicals and need to be used correctly and with care. If you have any questions on the best way to use our products, don't hesitate to contact us.

UPDATE: Here is an example of why you shouldn't confuse Soda Crystals with Caustic Soda. Observe how the person posting even calls them Soda Crystals when the product his cleaner used is Caustic Soda.

11 thoughts on “Don’t confuse Soda Crystals with Caustic Soda

    1. In theory yes, but you’d need much more because of the differing pH levels. Specialist soap making sites may be able to advise on the saponification process.

    1. Sorry we can’t comment as we would never sell caustic soda of any kind. You’d have to ask a company that does. Is there a particular task you need to accomplish that needs such a corrosive product?

  1. What is the difference between Caustic Soda and Liquid Bleach and which is better for cleaning fungus and molds from ordinary bricks ?

    1. They aren’t products that we do so wouldn’t want to comment. Have you considered trying Soda Crystals which will be far kinder to the environment and wildlife and will most likely tackle the job.

    1. There is no such thing as caustic soda crystals, just ‘caustic soda’ or ‘soda crystals’. It’s one of the reasons we wrote this blog post, because some people mistakenly refer to caustic soda as caustic soda crystals.

  2. Can soda crystals turn caustic at high washing temperatures? Are there any conditions that could turn them caustic?

    1. Only under laboratory conditions in which they had been heated at super temperatures under pressure. For use in the home, then a definite ‘no’.

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