Soda / bicarb

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

LeaBees 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
59
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Hi,
Is there a reason sodium bicarbonate is the recommended cleaning agent for tools etc?
Not wanting to blindly do things because it’s the way its always been done, I’m trying to understand why not just fairy liquid or some more modern detergent? I imagine soda/bicarb was all that was available back in the day.

Thanks
 

Jules59 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
61
Reaction score
36
Location
Warwickshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
4
Propolis is tenacious and will not wash off with washing-up liquid, but the alkaline nature of sodium carbonate makes it very effective.
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) will also dissolve away propolis but is much more expensive and volatile.
I found petrol won't work on propolis.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,616
Reaction score
3,799
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate.
N.B. Do not confuse with Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda), Soda Pop (Coca Cola) or Soda Bread!
Or Soda all else for that matter ....
 

LeaBees 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
59
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Propolis is tenacious and will not wash off with washing-up liquid, but the alkaline nature of sodium carbonate makes it very effective.
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) will also dissolve away propolis but is much more expensive and volatile.
I found petrol won't work on propolis.
Thanks @Jules59 . A rational reason. And yes, I did mean washing soda.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
1,102
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Washing soda simply has the ability to break down propolis, I add 2 or 3 chlorine tablets as well with my washing soda.
 

elainemary 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
837
Reaction score
978
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
10
This is good to have in your cupboard for propolis removal, especially on clothes and I sometimes use to spray on awkward corners on large gummed up items that are hard to clean by soaking in washing soda. Use one per season at £7

 

drex 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
3,184
Reaction score
622
Location
N.E. Essex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
My wife chucked out a load of Ariel washing powder, and rather than waste it I nabbed it for the apiary. Marvellous at removing wax and propolis. With a bit of bleach it is all I use . Much more efficient than washing soda.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
28,158
Reaction score
5,895
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
My wife chucked out a load of Ariel washing powder,
When I was on the boats SWMBO used to prefer OMO and usually kept it handy on the windowsill, but when I was home on days off she used to put it in the cupboard under the sink for some reason :unsure:
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,616
Reaction score
3,799
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
My wife chucked out a load of Ariel washing powder, and rather than waste it I nabbed it for the apiary. Marvellous at removing wax and propolis. With a bit of bleach it is all I use . Much more efficient than washing soda.
That will be the washing soda in it then !
 

Little_bees 

Field Bee
***
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
737
Reaction score
448
Location
Essex
Hive Type
national
Not wanting to blindly do things because it’s the way its always been done, I’m trying to understand why not just fairy liquid or some more modern detergent?
Make up a bucket of each and you'll soon find out why most beekeepers use washing soda instead of plain fairy 😀
 

AubMar 

New Bee
***
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
30
Reaction score
35
Location
Boyne Valley, Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
8
When I was on the boats SWMBO used to prefer OMO and usually kept it handy on the windowsill, but when I was home on days off she used to put it in the cupboard under the sink for some reason :unsure:
Was wondering if you ever got to the bottom of the reason for this behavior, and apologies for the pun!!!
 

Gilberdyke John 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
4,278
Reaction score
574
Location
HU15 East Yorkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
10
Washing soda simply has the ability to break down propolis, I add 2 or 3 chlorine tablets as well with my washing soda.
Since this thread has already corrected one chemical description it's worth pointing out Chlorine is a gas under normal temperatures and pressures. 😎
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,809
Reaction score
137
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 and 18 Nucs
Caustic Soda is vicious stuff. We used in in water based drilling mud and by crikey if you had a cut you knew about it. One guy wanted to take off the aluminium oxide on his hard hat so left it overnight to soak. In the morning on pulling up the welding rod supporting the hat out of the solution, there was only the rim left. It's not stuff to mess with tit can and does fight back.

PH
 

Latest posts

Top