Caustic soda (aka sodium hydroxide) is a very common chemical compound that is known to contain a very strong base, and as such could harm humans when mishandled. It has many uses for both industrial and domestic uses. However, due to its corrosive nature, it is best if Caustic soda, also known as lye, is handled by professionals.
Uses of Caustic Soda
Being a strong base, Caustic soda has many uses at the industrial level. It is used in the manufacture of cleaning agents such as soaps and toilet cleaners.
At home, it is used to unblock all drainage. A little quantity of caustic soda poured into blocked drainage pipes can clear the pipes of any blockages.
Caustic soda is also used as a paint stripper. When there is a need to remove paint on any surface including wood, metal, or any furniture caustic soda can come in handy when removing the old paint. When applied to the surface, it causes the paint on the surface to detach itself. This process is known as paint stripping. Caustic soda clears the surfaces of any paint.
Most people use caustic soda on door stripping. When they wish to change the paint on doors, they use caustic soda to remove the old paint from the doors. Caustic soda easily strips off paint from doors. However, handling caustic soda requires high levels of caution as it is a very corrosive chemical compound that is very hazardous to humans.
Health Dangers of Caustic soda to Humans
- When caustic soda gets into contact with the skin, it causes serious burns to the skin. Therefore, protective rubber gloves should always be used when handling caustic soda.
- When inhaled, caustic soda can cause serious respiratory problems.
- When the vapours of caustic soda come into contact with the eyes, they irritate the eyes and in rare cases, can cause blindness.
- When ingested, caustic soda can burn the digestive tract, causing serious health issues.
Since caustic soda can damage human’s health, it is best left to the professionals to handle it. Premium Door Stripping is a company that offers caustic soda paint stripping services. Our qualified experts have protective gear and are best qualified to handle caustic soda.
Accidents can happen anytime, and it is therefore not safe to have caustic soda at home. Contact Premium Door Stripping for all caustic soda paint stripping services. We remove paint on furniture, doors, metals, and any wood surfaces in a professional way, without causing any damages to the surface, or the people handling the caustic soda.
A caustic soda stripping tank is the most commonly used method to strip paint, lots of people say the stripping tank is an acid bath, in fact, it’s totally the opposite; caustic soda is an alkaline, it still burns like hell, as it’s highly corrosive but it’s not acid, therefore it doesn’t eat your doors.
There are two types of caustic tanks: Hot and cold.
The cold tank is only for metal items.
Metals can be stripped in a cold tank, as there is no risk of damage as these metals obviously aren’t porous. The hot tank can be used for both wooden items and metalwork.
Please note: you can not strip aluminium or aluminium alloys with a caustic stripping tank, it will damage it.
The heating of the caustic soda greatly accelerates the stripping process, making it a lot safer for the woodwork, as it’s in the solution for a lot less time.
Pine doors, windows, furniture, and woodwork strip really well, but these must be done in a hot tank, or there is a good chance the items will be damaged.
One of the most common asked questions to Premium Door Stripping is: does it loosen the joints or warp the doors?
The answer is no, not if it’s done properly. The only problems you may find is that on some furniture where the wooden blocks they used in the construction were glued with animal glue, and these can come off through the temperature of the liquid, so if the wood has lots of woodworm or rot and is soft, it may take forever to dry out – saying that, if it has an average amount of woodworm, it will kill the woodworm and prevent re-infestation.
You hear all these horror stories about pine stripping, if it was that bad, why would you have hundreds of antique dealers up and down the country using this method. To have a good paint stripping tank, you must keep your caustic fresh and heat your tank really hot and keep it that way, and this costs a lot of money, then the doors aren’t in the tank for long periods at a time.
When you get a recession or so-called “credit crunch” it seems that every builder, plumber and whoever hasn’t got a lot of work on, sets up a tank in his shed, after a while the caustic is old, he’s getting a bad name and not much work coming in, and can’t afford to heat the tank properly so the doors are submerged in the tank for half a day or even more, and the doors are ruined.
At the end of the recession, they get back in their Transit van and are gone, and we’re left with “doesn’t it loosen the joints and warp the doors”.
So always try to go to an established company with some history.