Uses of Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide is a highly versatile substance and is a co-product of chlorine production. It is also known as caustic soda. It is represented as NaOH. It is one of the common alkalis or bases. It is used for various purposes in daily life, as it is a strong base. Let’s see some uses of sodium hydroxide.

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Uses of sodium hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide is a white crystalline solid at room temperature. It is odourless and absorbs moisture from the air. When it is mixed with water it liberates heat which is sufficient for the ignition of combustible substances. Below are the four important uses of sodium hydroxide in various fields:

  • Sodium hydroxide in soap
  • Uses of sodium hydroxide in home
  • Uses of sodium hydroxide in industry
  • Uses of sodium hydroxide solution

Sodium hydroxide in soap:

One of the mandatory ingredients in soap making. Sodium hydroxide is also called lye. When lye solution is mixed with oils and fats it gives rise to a chemical reaction. This reaction is called saponification. This results in a beautiful handmade soap.

Uses of sodium hydroxide in the home:

Drain cleaners and oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide and are the products used at home. The clogged pipes which contain grease and fats are converted to soap by sodium hydroxide. Also, oven cleaners work in the same process and the soap can be wiped with a wet sponge.

Uses of sodium hydroxide in the industry:

It is used in the pharmaceutical industry in the manufacturing of various drugs like aspirin, which is a pain reliever, cholesterol-reducing medicines, and blood clot-preventing medicines. It is used in the paper industry to make paper. It is used in the aluminium industry to manufacture aluminium products. It is also used in detergents industry

Uses of sodium hydroxide solution:

It is a colourless liquid. It is much denser than water. When it comes in contact it might cause irritation in eyes, mucous membrane and skin. The metals are corrosive. To make crispy german lye rolls, they are glazed with sodium hydroxide solution before they are baked.

Other uses are it helps in getting rid of chemicals on vegetables and fruits, production of caramel colour, cocoa and chocolate processing, thickening of ice cream and processing of soft drink. To soften olives, they can be soaked in sodium hydroxide.

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This was a brief on sodium hydroxide uses in our daily life. To know more about the uses of sodium hydroxide download the BYJU’S – the learning app.

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