What Is NaOH?

NaOH is the chemical formula for sodium hydroxide. It is also called caustic soda or lye. At room temperature, pure sodium hydroxide is a white, odorless solid. It is an extremely caustic metallic base and an alkaline corrosive.

Sodium hydroxide is a main ingredient in some household cleaners including liquid drain cleaners. It is available in granules, pellets and flakes; it is also available in prepared solutions at various concentrations. Sodium hydroxide is readily soluble in many solvents including water, ethanol and methanol. It can react violently with water and strong acids. Caustic soda can absorb moisture from the environment as it dissolves. Industrial uses of sodium hydroxide include the manufacture of pulp and paper, soaps and detergents.