Where to find caustic soda

Anywhere you live, wherever you go, be able to find your caustic soda, so that you never stop soaping 🙂

 

Since I left my home, I lived in three countries and every time I moved I had to resolve the enigma of where to find my caustic soda locally…

 

I start this post to gather information where to find caustic soda anywhere in the world – it will serve as reference to everyone!

 

PLEASE, HELP AND SHARE YOUR CAUSTIC SODA SOURCE in the comments – I will include them in the post with your signature.

 

Where to search for caustic soda

 

Many countries in the world have totally different regulations.

 

  • In many it is used for drain opening or for painting cleaning, so it can be easily found in almost all hardware/DIY and drug stores (not pharmacies), or in large supermarkets in the cleaning products section.
  • In some it is considered a dangerous substance and its selling is regulated. It is sold in pharmacies and drugstores only, often upon a presentation of your ID

 

You can also order caustic soda in

  • a chemical supply company. Just search for chemical supplies in the respective language and you will find a supplier.
  • an online soapmaking supplies shop – if you are living in a country with a large community of soapmakers, you are lucky, as there is always a number of these

 

How to identify a good caustic soda

 

Unless you order from a specialized store, you should know some basics on how to identify a good quality suitable for soapmaking. Generally, you can find

  • white beads/pearls – these are pure, concentrated caustic soda

Where to find caustic soda - beads

  • a solution of caustic soda in distilled water – pure, but not concentrated

lessive-de-soude-1l

 

 

When buying your caustic soda, pay attention to the following:

  • Caustic soda has to be pure – do check this – often it is used as an ingredient in drain opener products, which contain plenty of other chemicals you do not want to have in your soap… However, some of the drain opening products are pure caustic soda.
  • Always check the ingredient listdo not buy it, unless it is 99% or more and pure white pearls/beads (no grey, no yelowish) – that is the color of pure caustic soda!

 

  • The same applies to lye solution – found often at around 30.5% concentration (30.5% caustic soda, 69.5% distilled water) – buy only if the ingredient list states caustic soda and water – nothing else!

 

Where to find caustic soda – around the world  

australia-flag Australia

(thanks to Vivianne Kay! – visit her blog or like her on facebook)

Names: caustic soda

  • Mechanix brand is found in supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) in the cleaning aisle with other drain cleaners. It is recommended on the label as a soapmaking item – 98% pure
  • Bunnings Hardware sell the Diggers brand in larger quantities in the paint section with the turps etc. again is it almost pure so very suitable
  • Escentials of Australia are an online supplier of both NaOH and KOH and good prices for both.

 

Belgium-flag Belgium

(Thanks to Kim Vermeiren!)

Names: Natrium hydroxide

  • The easiest way to find sodium hydroxide is to buy it at a store called ‘Kruidvat’ – store that sells bath&body products and household products. They sell it as a drain cleaner in 500 grams orange bottle, 99% pure

 

CanadaFlagCanada

Names: sodium hydroxide

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia (thanks to Sonya Budge!): Home hardware stores, e.g. Tantallon Home Hardware

 

France-flag France

Names: la soude caustique (beads) or la lessive de soude (solution)

Caustic soda can be found pretty everywhere [my experience]LaBoiteAOutils

  • Hardware stores – e.g. La boite a outils (100% sure to be found at St Genis Pouilly, Ain, for around 7 EUR/1kg).  I did not find it in Leroy Merlin
  • In almost all large supermarkets you can find 30.5% caustic soda solution – in the cleaning section, e.g. Saint-Julien-en-Genevois in Carrefour – around 2EUR (thanks to Jennifer Roemer!)

 

Hungary-flag Hungary

(thanks to Agnes Horvath!)

Names: Nátrium-hidroxid, lúg

Much more difficult to find in a store, in fact only one sells it in Budapest called Azur shop for chemicals, the address is: AZÚR VEGYSZER KERESKEDELMI KFT., BUDAPEST, JÓZSEF KÖRÚT 65,
and the other is a soap-making supply webshop where you can order, the web address
is: http://www.hazikence.hu, 900 gr for 5.5 euros.

 

Netherlands-flagNetherlands

(Thanks to Kim Vermeiren!)

Names: Natrium hydroxide

  • Similarly to Belgium, the easiest way to find sodium hydroxide is to buy it at a store called ‘Kruidvat’ – store that sells bath&body products and household products. They sell it as a drain cleaner in 500 grams orange bottle, 99% pure

 

NewZealand New Zealand

(thanks to Chris)

Names: caustic soda/washing soda(sodium hydroxide) 

 

  • You can buy caustic soda/washing soda(sodium hydroxide)  at supermarkets- New Worldand Pak’nSAVE, 1kg packet about $3.50 as of March 2014.

 

 Portugal-flagPortugal

(thanks to Agnes Horvath!)

Names: Hidróxido de sódio, soda caustica

Pretty easy to buy any kind of big store for construction sell it: Leroy
Merlin, a chain callled Aki and Mestre Maco. The price is for one kilo somewhere
around 3 euros. All of them I have seen are the ones with the pearls.

 

Slovakia-flag Slovakia

Names: hydroxid sodnýNaOH, lúh

No regulations, caustic soda can be found pretty everywhere [my experience]

  • Some drugstores (drogéria)
  • hardware stores (Bauhaus, Hornbach…) – usually in the section of painting or hardware cleaning

Switzerland-flag Switzerland

Names: la soude caustique (beads) or la lessive de soude (solution) [french part]

My experience:

Caustic soda difficult to find,  considered dangerous primary chemical and its selling is controlled.

  •  Can be bought only in pharmacies and drugstores – usually upon presenting your ID, often has to be ordered (not in stock) – this is my personal experience from french part of Switzerland, but I think in different cantons of the german part it is the same.

 

UK-flagUnited Kingdom

Name: sodium hydroxide

According to this thread on craftsforum.co.uk it is sold in hardware or DIY stores as a drain cleaner in cleaning section. Shops mentioned are: B&Q, Focus, Wilkinsons, Boots…

 

USflag  USA

Names: sodium hydroxide

Online stores:

If you want caustic soda, in large quantities, then contact pampaperindustry@gmail.com with the following information
your order
your address
or call+66997741689

 

By state/town:

  • Fairbanks, Alaska (thanks to Candace Smith!): Ace Hardware Store

Other sources of information on where to find caustic soda

 

When you find your source of lye, come back and SHARE your place in the comments (including online shops, feel free to let the information on prices) !