Interactive Chemistry Worksheets for Students
Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda has the chemical formula of NaOH.
Na is the symbol for sodium after its Latin name 'natrium'. OH is the symbol for hydroxide. The word caustic means 'burns'
Sodium hydroxide is a white solid and is available in pellet of powder forms. It is extremely caustic and should be handled with caution. When dissolved in water it produces heat as the reaction is exothermic (produces heat). If sodium hydroxide comes in contact with the skin or clothing wash immediately off with water as NaOH is soluble in water.
Sodium hydroxide is a strong base or alkali (soluble base). It is commercially available and is used to dissolve fats and to make soap. Many oven cleaner and drain cleaner products contain sodium hydroxide.
Solid sodium hydroxide ionizes in water to produce sodium and hydroxide ions. Ions are charged particles.
NaOH(s) ==> Na+(aq) + OH-(aq) + heat
where the symbol (aq) is short for aqueous and (s) is short for solid