The chemical formula for sodium hydroxide is NaOH. Na is the symbol for sodium and OH is the chemical formula for hydroxide, which is made up of one atom of oxygen, represented by O, and one atom of hydrogen, represented by H.
Sodium hydroxide is formed when a negatively charged hydroxide ion reacts with a positively charged sodium ion. Other names for sodium hydroxide include sodium oxidanide, lye, caustic soda and ascarite. It is used in the production of paper and is a common component of cleaning products, such as detergents and degreasers. In food production, it may be used for making ice cream, soft drinks and cocoa products.