Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph. Updated February 03, Caustic soda is one of the common names for sodium hydroxide NaOH , which is also known as lye. Its common name derives from its chemical identity as a sodium hydrate and because it is caustic or corrosive. In pure form, caustic soda is a waxy, white solid.
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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph. Updated February 03, Caustic soda is one of the common names for sodium hydroxide NaOH , which is also known as lye. Its common name derives from its chemical identity as a sodium hydrate and because it is caustic or corrosive. In pure form, caustic soda is a waxy, white solid. It readily absorbs water and forms aqueous solutions. It is also known as lye, although lye may refer to either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. Pure caustic soda is sold for making candles or soap.
Impure caustic soda is found in drain cleaner. However, small containers are available in stores and online. Uses of Caustic Soda or Lye Lye is used for soap making, candle making, homemade biodiesel, frosting glass, making several foods, and for chemistry experiments.
The main source of caustic soda was Red Devil Lye, but that product is off the market now. Why is it hard to get lye? The reason is because it can be used to control pH during methamphetamine production. There are still a few ways to get the chemical.
This is especially important if you are making food, since an impure product may contain dangerous contaminants. Sources of lye include: Drain cleaner check the label - e. You may be able to find other people that need the chemical to help split the cost. Keep the container sealed and away from moisture. Caustic soda absorbs and reacts with water. Keep lye away from children and pets. Touching or ingesting it can cause a potentially severe chemical burn. Perform reactions involving this chemical in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.
The reaction releases heat and noxious fumes. This is a chemical you can, if you are extremely dedicated, make yourself by soaking wood ashes in water.
To do this, soak a large quantity of ashes in a small amount of water. Allow about a week for the water to extract the lye. Drain the liquid, which contains potassium hydroxide, filter it, and boil it to concentrate the alkali.
Be careful and use gloves when handling the liquid. The project should only be performed outdoors or in a well-ventilated space. Additional References Brodale, G. Giauque Haynes, William M. CRC Press. ISBN Hine, Fumio Handbook of Chlor-Alkali Technology, vol.
Berlin, Germany: Springer. Chapter 2: History of the Chlor-Alkali Industry, p.
What Is Caustic Soda and Where Can You Get It?
Sodium Hydroxide - Lye - Caustic Soda : 1kg
Caustic Soda Lye (NaOH)