Caustic soda is one of the common names for NaOH, also known as lye. Its common name is derived from its chemical identity as sodium hydrate and because it is caustic or corrosive. In pure form, caustic soda is waxy white solid. It absorbs water easily and forms aqueous solutions. Commercially available caustic soda or sodium hydroxide is generally sodium hydroxide monohydrate, NaOHH2O.
Lye is used for making soap, candles, homemade biodiesel, frosted glass, making various foods and for chemistry experiments.
Getting to bleach is more difficult than in the past. The main source of caustic soda was Red Devil Lye, but this product is no longer on the market. Why is it difficult to bleach? The reason is that it can be used to control pH while producing methamphetamine. There are still a few ways to obtain the chemical. Ensure that the product contains 100% sodium or bleached hydroxide or caustic soda. This is especially important if you are preparing food, because an impure product can contain dangerous contaminants. Bleaching sources include:
Please note that when purchasing caustic or bleached soda, you may need to sign a statement that you are not using it for illegal activities. Or, you may not need to sign anything, as a credit card provides almost all the details needed to find you if the authorities believe you are a growing drug trafficker.
Depending on the purpose, you can replace a strong, chemically similar base, potassium hydroxide (KOH). This is a chemical that, if you are very loyal, you can prepare by dipping the wood ash in water. To do this, soak a large amount of ash in a small amount of water. Wait about a week for the water to wash off. Filter liquid containing potassium hydroxide, filter and boil to alkali concentration. Be careful and wear gloves when handling liquid. The project should be carried out only in the open air or in a well-ventilated place.
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