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Soda Crystals gone hard?

Did you know that Soda Crystals are actually a 'wet' product? It's a physical characteristic that at above 32oC, they start to 'melt'. As their temperature drops, they will set solid. In the UK, this doesn't usually present too much of a problem as temperatures rarely reach, or stay at, those temperatures. Some people may think that they have somehow got wet, but that isn't the issue.

Obviously we don't produce Soda Crystals if temperatures are that high and we (and retailers) do everything possible to ensure that they don't reach those temperatures. Although we occasionally get reports of bags that have gone partially lumpy, or set solid, it's usually how they've been stored after leaving the store; after all, you'd know if they had set solid when you pick them up off the shelf. If there are some small lumps, they can usually just be squeezed and they will break up.

Our advice is to keep them away from high temperatures:

  • On warm days, don't leave them in your shopping bags for extended periods in the boot of your car
  • Keep them in a cool dry place and away from bright lights. Don't store them in airing cupboards, sheds or porches and never leave them out on window ledges
  • If storing under the kitchen sink, keep them away from hot water pipes or any hot appliances such as ovens or washing machines.
How to stop soda crystals going hard

Store Soda Crystals below 25 deg C

What to do if they HAVE gone hard

If there are just some lumps, they can normally be broken up with pressure. But if they have gone totally solid, like a brick, they still retain all their great cleaning and degreasing properties. We advise that you peel back the top of the bag and dip the block into warm water. It will readily dissolve and you can use the resulting solution for any suitable application. For example you could  leave them to dissolve in warm water and use as your regular drain clearing maintenance

25 thoughts on “Soda Crystals gone hard?

    1. Hi Ida
      Unfortunately we don’t have a distributor in Indonesia. The chances are that you will be able to pick them up on online via sites like Amazon.

  1. That’s sad and your loss. They are an amazing, versatile product. My favourite uses are with detergent powder in the washing machine (which I’ve done for years and years) and oven dishes or oven shelves with baked on food. My son loves it as a solution to remove dead bugs from the windscreen or even blobs of tar off the wheel arches, from the road.

    1. My opening sentence was in reply to Lesley Edmunds comment. And if they do go hard just bash the bag a bit before opening (take care not to split it). It’s no big deal and it’s not rocket science.

    2. Hi Teresa, I am very interested in how you use the product in your washing m/c. I wonder if they could be used (as I use them) to soften the water in the washing m/c? I add them with the liquid clothes cleaner at the start of the cycle and again when the rinse cycle starts. Is this useful for stopping limescale, or just a waste? Grateful for your thoughts.

  2. I’ve heard that as an old fashioned remedy Washing Soda crystals can be used to draw out water in the knee, buy putting it in a Muslim type bag and placing it on the knee and securing it with a cloth wrap doing this all over night. Is this true

      1. Very dangerous. Caustic soda is corrosive, and cleans blocked sinks and toilets! Washing-soda crystals like Dri-Pak are still an irritant, though, so you must still wear gloves.

        1. People with normal, unbroken skin will be fine putting their hands in a Soda Crystals solution. If the skin is broken, it will mildly sting, akin to getting lemon juice in a cut. So, yes, people with sensitive skin or if your hands are going to be submerged in the solution for any length of time are advised to wear gloves. But people should be under no illusion, despite the similar sounding names that they are as anywhere near as dangerous as caustic soda which will burn the skin on contact.

    1. Hi Karlie – although they don’t draw out water, they can draw out heat, which offers relief like an ice pack. More details here.

  3. Pathetic! You are saying to dissolve the WHOLE bag and then use it. I like the gentleman above only use a little bit at a time so that advice is unacceptable. Grating it – are you mad!

    I will not be purchasing soda crystals again – I have used them for years and have never had this problem before. And before you start pontificating they have been kept in the cupboard under my sink and also a cupboard in the bathroom – no heat nearby at all. ‘Cool dry place’both places.

    1. Hi Lesley – we are sorry you feel this way. The grating suggestion was sent in by a customer, so we shared it.

      We’re afraid that we can’t change the chemical properties of the product and they haven’t changed in years. Assuming that you’ve been using them without issue for years would suggest that something has happened to this particular bag. We assume you didn’t buy it hard. They only go hard for 2 reasons: they get hot or they get compressed by a heavy weight. Perhaps the bag in question was under something heavy. It is perfectly feasible that a bathroom or kitchen cupboard could get warm in summer. Given that we sell millions of bags a year with an extremely low ‘issue’ rate (which is almost always explained by heat), then we are at a loss as to what exactly we could do. Depending on the task you are performing, perhaps it can be met by another traditional product if you are only using the product very occasionally.

      1. I have been using empty 2ltr ice cream tubs to store bags of soda crystals; yes, three of them, to be exact. I use a whole bag in one go to make my own washing powder, as shown on the DryPak website. The other bags of soda crystals are kept dry while small quantities can be used. I keep three because I don’t want to run out of soda crystals and I replace a bag ready for the next time. I would like to know more about recycling the bag and not to throw it in the general waste bin, i e, landfill.

    2. Just bash the lumps. I bash the whole bag if it goes solid, only happened once. Bashing other lumps withe end of of my rolling pin. Small lumps they soon dissolve in the washing machine. I put a scoop in the wash and use the lowest amount of wash liquid and save money!

  4. I did store the Soda C in an airing cupboard (don’t see anything on the packaging to suggest otherwise…) so today found it rock solid. Only use a TBSP per wash in the washing machine, thus a bag lasts a long time – so don’t want to dissolve the whole block. Just how long would it remain in solution anyway?!
    Grating from such a large block not exactly practical either – and then the powder feels caustic, esp to any open cuts on your hands. OK, wear gloves, but still…

    1. Hi – the side of the bag clearly states ‘store in a cool dry place’. If you have a look around our site you’ll probably see that there are a whole raft of tasks that you could undertake with a dissolved bag. Why not pour some down all your sink and shower drains to remove any greasy build up? Or perhaps put it on a patio or paved area that has moss. You could give hard floors a clean or even do a service wash on your washing machine? Just dissolve it in a couple of pints of hot water, pour some in the detergent drawer and the rest directly into the drum and run it on an empty hot wash. Or you could soak some old stiff towels in the bowl….the opportunities are almost endless.

      1. It might be a good idea to note on the pack WHY this product needs to be stored in a cool dry place. A lot of product have these words on the packaging so you don’t automatically know that the reason for storing properly could lead to a rock hard product. I’ve had several bags go rock hard and tried melting them in water, with not a great deal of success; however, it didn’t occur to me that the reason for this happening was because I kept the product in my small, quite often, very warm utility room.

        1. It does seem counter-intuitive, but yes it’s the heat that makes them hard. We get so many requests for copy on the bag, that there simply isn’t room. It’s why we encourage customers to get extra information from the website….although we do have leaflets available for free that we are happy to post.

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