clean washing machine using caustic soda

How to Use Caustic Soda to Clean a Washing Machine

If you’ve been told to use caustic soda to clean your washing machine, you might be wondering if this is actually a good idea. After all, caustic soda is an extremely strong chemical that can burn! 

So, should you use caustic soda to clean a washing machine?

While caustic soda may be great at getting rid of weeds, tackling tough grease and even clearing out the dirtiest of drains, it might not be the best product to stick in your washing machine.

The issue is that there are a lot of intricate parts in a washing machine that are likely to become damaged when you pop caustic soda onto them, for example the seals and hose. 

This may be irreparable damage or repairable damage, but it’ll still result in needless cost for you. 

Plus, if the washing machine doesn’t flush out all of the caustic soda the next time you wash a load of laundry they may also get ruined by the chemical’s remnants. 

In short, while some people will say that using caustic soda is a good idea, it’s not the best and safest cleaner for you to use. 

There are multiple ways you can clean a washing machine and it would be better to start off with them first, rather than cause needless harm to your machine. 

However, if I really cannot convince you to try out some other cleaning methods, follow the steps below to clean your washing machine with caustic soda, but you do so at your own risk

Tips When Using Caustic Soda

tips when using caustic soda

You should take note of and follow the tips below when using caustic soda:

  • Caustic soda is a strong chemical that can cause serious harm if it is not controlled and used correctly.
  • Protective clothing is essential when working with caustic soda. 
  • You may have trouble finding caustic soda in a shop near you, so you may have to buy a product that contains caustic soda instead – find out where you can buy caustic soda here
  • Caustic soda is not the same as bicarbonate of soda
  • You should not mix caustic soda with any other products as this could cause a bad chemical reaction. 
  • Take your time when working with caustic soda!  
  • After you’ve opened the bag/bottle of caustic soda make sure the lid is shut properly/the bag is sealed correctly.
  • Open windows for ventilation when working with caustic soda. 
  • You should keep pets and children out of the way when you bring out the caustic soda. 
  • Using caustic soda is likely going to void your warranty


How to Use Caustic Soda to Clean a Washing Machine

how to clean washing machine with caustic soda

Follow the steps below to clean your appliance with caustic soda: 

Note: Remember that you try this method out at your own risk. 

Steps to follow:

  1. Turn your washing machine off entirely – so there’s no chance of it activating itself when you are preparing the machine. 
  2. Put all your protective gear on – suit, shoes, mask, gloves and eyewear. 
  3. Read the label on the back of your caustic soda packet.
  4. Find out how much product you are supposed to use then half it – avoid using the full bottle/pack at first because the cleaning session may not work out as you hope.  
  5. No detergent and no clothes should be added to the machine. 
  6. Add the product to the drum. 
  7. Power up the washing machine and start a hot cycle and leave the machine to do it’s work. 
  8. Go and check your washing machine over when the cycle has ended but make sure you’re still wearing your gloves – check for damage. If there is damage, it will need to be fixed. 
  9. When the cycle has finished, run another cycle but this time add some detergent to the machine – this will flush away any chemicals that have been left behind. 

If you don’t feel happy using the method outlined above, try using the products or following the steps mentioned in the next section to clean your washing machine safely. 


How Do You Clean a Washing Machine?

Washing Machine May Look Cleaner using dishwasher tablet

Washing machines can be cleaned relatively easily with just a couple of ingredients that you can find at home. These include: white vinegar, water and bicarbonate of soda

Generally, the acidic nature of white vinegar can tackle through tough dirt and bicarb can neutralise poor odours. When put together these two products alone can clean the dirtiest of washing machines with ease. 

And if you don’t fancy making up your own potions you can buy washing machine cleaners that’ll do the job for you. These include: Calgon, Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner and Soda Crystals

Most of these products can be found in supermarkets up and down the UK. And in some cases, you can purchase a supermarket’s own brand washing machine cleaner to do the job for you. 

Find out how to clean your washing machine in our step-by-step guide. You’ll also discover how to clean each important section within your appliance too, so you can do some spot cleaning as and when you need to.