The Presence of Sodium Hydroxide in Some Household Products

This chemical is known as one of the strongest bases in the field of chemistry. While the sodium hydroxide is best seen in industrial factories or chemical laboratories, it is included in so many products that are almost not visible at home. So many ingredients you meet every day contain chemicals during the manufacturing process.

This is usually called Lye or caustic soda and it is one of the most corrosive and one of the most dangerous chemicals on earth. However, it is used in manufacturing detergents, rayons, and paper. It is also an element of many strong cleaning products and used in petroleum purification. You can buy sodium hydroxide in liquid, crystal and powered form.

One method of manufacturing lye is through passing an electric current through a solution of water and sodium chloride – a process called electrolysis which produces the said base and chlorine. The most common household items with lye are drain and oven cleaners, which are known as aggressive cleaning agents. This strong hydroxide is effective in eliminating clogged grease in pipes that make evil mud along the drainage.

It soften and dissolve oil. A strong base property to dissolve fat makes it an effective cleanser. However, being a strong base that it is, it creates great amounts of heat upon dissolution in water. While this heat is effective in speeding up the cleaning process in a clogged pipe, it may be dangerous for people exposed. Sometimes enough heat can be generated that a hot steam of water vapor and alkaline fume is formed.  It is dangerous because it produces eye irritation that can cause several visual disability rates and upper respiratory tract irritation.