BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Caustic soda

  • Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
 #4457  by colinr
 11 Aug 2019, 18:43
Does anyone clean their equipment - especially poly hives/nucs - with caustic soda? If you do, how do you dispose of the resultant liquid (ie the used caustic soda) when you've finished?

 #4458  by Patrick
 11 Aug 2019, 22:21
Hi Colin and welcome to the Forum.

Others who use polyhives no doubt can advise you. I wouldn’t consider caustic soda for anything personally, it’s horrible stuff and as you point out it’s a liability to dispose of.

Normal washing soda or standard washing powder in warm water does a good job cleaning most tools and hive parts.
 #4459  by Chrisbarlow
 11 Aug 2019, 23:06
I agree with Patrick, i suspect washing soda is what you've been told about.

Caustic soda will burn you when it comes into contact with your skin and I believe gives off gases you don't want to inhale at the same time. However I ain't a chemist.
 #4468  by AdamD
 12 Aug 2019, 09:16
I only use washing soda - which dissolves propolis quite well.
 #4474  by NigelP
 12 Aug 2019, 15:26
Spray with dilute bleach, leave for 1 minute or so and hose off......job done. Scrape any propolis/wax bits off first.
 #4477  by colinr
 12 Aug 2019, 16:54
Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions everyone. I've only recently started to use caustic soda - usually in the form of a popular oven cleaner - and been impressed with the results. I've even more recently started to use a 'tub' of caustic soda, again good results, but what to do with the resultant liquid? I could just stick it down the drain as caustic soda is a recognised drain cleaner, but its got bits of wax in it and I don't want the wax to accumulate in the drains.
Looks like I'll be going back to using washing soda (and bleach).
Thanks again.
 #4493  by Alfred
 13 Aug 2019, 20:40
I've found the "caustic soda" you buy in small fancy bottles and tubs has been 'cut' with a filler and isn't much ,or any ,stronger than washing soda crystals.
Real caustic soda can dissolve aluminium.
Whatever the soap is in Brillo pads is I don't know but they do a sparkling job on slotted steel queenX's