Caustic Soda, also known as lye and Sodium Hydroxide, is an inorganic chemical compound with the chemical formula NaOH. It's a compound that consists of hydroxide anions(OH–) and sodium cations(Na+).

Caustic Soda is readily soluble in water and absorbs carbon dioxide and moisture readily. It is often used in demonstrating the pH scale in chemistry to students alongside hydrochloric acid and water.

1. Molar Mass

The molar mass of a chemical can be defined as the sum of elements or atoms masses present in the molecule. Caustic soda is made up of Sodium hydroxide, sodium represented as Na, which has a valency of +1, while hydroxyl represented as OH- has a valency of -1. The atomic mass of Sodium(Na) is 23, while that of hydroxyl is 17. The molar mass of Caustic Soda is 23+17=40g/mol.

2. Other Names

Caustic soda is also popularly known as Lye. Caustic soda is the general name for Sodium Hydroxide. It's called caustic soda because of the corrosive ability of the alkali salt on plant and animal tissue. It can also be known as Sodium hydrate.

3. Solubility

Caustic soda is a water-soluble chemical with heat liberation. It is also soluble in methanol and ethanol, however, it has a lower solubility in methanol and ethanol than in potassium hydroxide. Caustic soda isn't soluble in ether and several other non-polar solvents.

4. Formula

The formula for caustic soda is NaOH. It consists of both sodium cations(Na+) and Hydroxide anions(OH-).

5. Water Treatment

Caustic soda is often used in the purification of water and in raising the pH of water supplies. Increasing the water's pH makes the water corrosive to plumbing and also reduces the amount of copper, lead, and several other metals that are toxic and can be dissolved into drinking water.

6. Paint Industry Uses

Caustic soda is applied in the paint industry as a paint stripper. Caustic soda was used traditionally to strip paint off wooden objects. However, it has become less common, because it is likely to damage the surface of the wood, staining the wood color and raising the wood grain.

7. Textiles Industry Uses

Caustic soda has several uses in the textile industry. Caustic soda is used in the scouring of yarn. It can also be used in the removal of natural oil from the fibers of textiles. Caustic soda is also used in the bleaching process of fabrics, acting as an oxidizing agent. It can be used again in neutralizing the excess chlorine after the bleaching process.

For caustic soda to be used on textiles, it has to be dissolved in water, then sprayed on the fabric, when it's still moist, the caustic soda will change part of the components making up the fabric. After moistening with caustic soda, sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide are then used to treat the textile, causing a change in some of its chemical components. This opens up the textile protein structure, enabling them to absorb dye easily and giving them a lustrous look.

8. Cleaning Agent

Caustic soda is oftentimes used as a cleaning agent. It would be added to water, then heated, and then used in cleaning storage tanks, process equipment, etc. It can also be used in dissolving oil, grease, protein-based deposits, and oils. It can also be used to clean pipes used in discharging waste from underdrains and sinks in residential homes. Surfactants can serve as an additive to the caustic soda solution to prevent redeposition by stabilizing dissolved substances. Caustic soda also serves as a powerful degreaser on glass bakeware and stainless steel. It can be used in cleaning the oven.

Another common application of caustic soda as a cleaning agent is in the manufacture of parts and washer detergents. One of the most important chemicals  used in detergent making is caustic soda. The caustic soda-based detergents include defoamers, rust inhibitors, and surfactants. A parts washer is used in heating the detergent and water in a cabinet and sprays the heated caustic soda and water for degreasing applications against dirty parts.

9. Food Industry Uses

Caustic soda is applied in the food industry as a means of chemical peeling or washing vegetables and fruits, cocoa and chocolate processing, poultry scalding, ice cream thickening, production of caramel coloring, and processing soft drinks. They can also be used in fastening olives. Caustic acid water is an important ingredient in the traditional baked Chinese moon cake crusts.

Most yellow Chinese noodles are made using caustic soda water but are often mistaken for an egg. A variety of zongzi makes use of lye water in imparting a sweet flavor. During the production of century eggs, caustic soda is used to cause egg gelling.

10. How Can You Buy Caustic Soda

Caustic Soda is available for sale at Camachem. This company is reputable for shipping chemicals to clients across the globe. You can use the get quotation feature to get the price for the quantity if chemical you are willing to buy.