Sodium Hydroxide is perfect for unblocking sinks and plug holes. But why do people use it?
Sodium Hydroxide (also referred to as Caustic Soda) has fantastic degreasing qualities – meaning it can break down grease and fat, which are the most common causes of blocked drains.
To unblock a sink using Sodium Hydroxide, we recommend using a solution of around 10%. To create a 10% solution of Sodium Hydroxide, simply dissolve 100g of Sodium Hydroxide in 1L of water. If you require more or less, just use the same ratio of 1 part Sodium Hydroxide to 10 parts water. If you wish to speed up the dissolving process you can stir the solution using a plastic stick.
We strongly recommend you use cold water to begin with. When Sodium Hydroxide is dissolved in water it will heat up. In chemistry terms this is known as an Exothermic Reaction. There is no need to use boiling or even hot water to begin with because the solution will generate heat of its’ own.
Simply pour the 10% solution down the drain and let it get to work. Leave it for a few minutes so it has time to break down the deposits in the sink. When about 5 minutes has elapsed, slowly run some water into the sink, increasing the water pressure if the sink appears to be clear. If it isn’t clear, leave it for a few more minutes and try again. If the sink still isn’t clear, repeat the process of creating a solution and pouring it down the sink. You may wish to increase the strength of the solution, however please be mindful that the level of potential hazard will rise in line with the strength of the solution - if a 20% solution will not break down the deposits in the sink you may require something other than Sodium Hydroxide (such as Sulphuric Acid, which is better at breaking down things like hair build up, although please do not pour Sulphuric Acid down the sink immediately after using Sodium Hydroxide – it will have a very aggressive reaction, and may even boil as soon as they come into contact with one another!).
Please don’t put pellets directly down the drain as they can turn into a big lump and go hard – this can block a sink even further than it already was to begin with!
It is strongly advisable to use suitable Personal Protective Equipment (more commonly referred to as PPE) when handing Sodium Hydroxide. As a minimum we suggest using safety gloves and glasses. It is also advisable to consult the Material Safety Data Sheet for Sodium Hydroxide before you handle the substance.
Once finished, ensure you rinse the sink thoroughly to ensure that any remaining Sodium Hydroxide deposits are removed. You can also use Sodium Hydroxide to unblock plug holes, outdoor drains and toilets.
ReAgent supply an enormous range of Sodium Hydroxide. Our General Use Sodium Hydroxide is ideal for unblocking sinks, along with many other applications. We also provide numerous high-purity grades of Sodium Hydroxide solid for specialist applications such as testing and analysis, although it wouldn’t be logical to use these for unblocking drains – they are more expensive and there is no benefit in using them if you are only going to unblock a sink.
Due to the hazardous nature of this product we must use specialist couriers to supply the product, but keep in mind that using pure chemicals is much more effective than what you can buy in a supermarket. We also provide a wide range of ready-mixed solutions, including a 10% Sodium Hydroxide Solution, although it is better value to create your own.