Sodium Hydroxide - NaOH

What is Sodium Hydroxide?

Sodium Hydroxide is a solid ionic compound. It is also known as caustic soda, Iye, sodium hydrate or soda lye. It is a co product of chlorine production. In its pure form it is crystalline solid, colorless in nature. This compound is highly water soluble and consists of sodium cations and hydroxide anions. NaOH absorbs moisture from the air. It is highly corrosive and can cause severe skin burn and irritation to eyes and other body parts. It generates high level of heat and so is always created by mixing the compound into water not not the vice versa. In cosmetics, this inorganic compound is used as a buffering agent. It can also control the PH levels. The PH of sodium chloride is 13.

Properties of Sodium Hydroxide – NaOH


Sodium Hydroxide

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

39.997 g/mol


2.13 g/cm³

Boiling Point

1,388 °C

Melting Point

318 °C

Sodium Hydroxide structure – NaOH

Sodium Hydroxide structure

NaOH Uses (Sodium Hydroxide)

  • It is used in manufacturing of detergents and soaps
  • It is used in the production of bleach like chlorine
  • It is used in drain cleaners
  • It is used in removal of heavy metals from the water by the municipal water treatment facility
  • It is used in food preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold growth
  • It is used for canning
  • It is used in paper making and paper recycling process

Learn more about the Structure and properties of NaOH from the experts at BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

Phosphorus pentoxide on reaction with concentrated nitric acid gives dinitrogen pentoxide – True or False?