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Sodium Hydroxide

All the soap lovers and manufacturers should have the basic chemical knowledge about sodium hydroxide.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is an inorganic compound called as lye or caustic soda. It has wide range of applications. It is used in the preparation of cosmetic products, DIY products, soap making etc.

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In ancient times, England was the first who put forward their first step in the discovery of sodium hydroxide. They had conducted some small games too. In England and Spain only, they first discovered sodium hydroxide from animal and plant ashes.

Although France has also involved in the discovery but it was England who succeeded at last. In 1807, Sir. Humphry Davy discovered both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. Both are different chemicals, as we know sodium hydroxide is caustic soda and potassium hydroxide is washing soda.

The name NaOH is derived from English word “SODA”. In soda, salt is added to reduce its pH to obtain sodium hydroxide.


Sodium hydroxide is a white solid ionic compound. It is available in white flakes or White pellet form. The rate of absorption of sodium hydroxide is high. When it is exposed to air, it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and gets dissolved easily. So, it has to be stored in an air tight package or container. If the packet is opened, immediately it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and it gets dissolved resulting in stagnation of water in the package.

Talking about the solubility, it is easily soluble in water. Therefore it reacts with water and liberates heat. Thus exerts exothermic reaction.


It has wide range of application and it plays a key role in

1) Soap manufacture

2) Dry cleaners

3) Vegetables for skin peeling

4) Dissolving tissues ( In many movies, to dissolve dead body, NaOH is used)

5) Any form of fat will be dissolved by saponification.

That’s about sodium hydroxide. Use it according to your needs.



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