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How To Prepare a Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH Solution

How to Prepare a Sodium Hydroxide Solution or NaOH Solution


Space-filling model of sodium hydroxide.

Sodium hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. Its molecular formula is NaOH. It undergoes and exothermic reaction when mixed with water, which may cause the solution to splash or boil.

Ben Mills
Special care is required to prepare a solution of sodium hydroxide or NaOH in water because considerable heat is liberated by the exothermic reaction. The solution may splatter or boil. Here is how to make a sodium hydroxide solution safely, along with recipes for several common concentrations of NaOH solution.

Amount of NaOH to Make Sodium Hydroxide Solution

Prepare solutions of sodium hydroxide using this handy reference table which lists the amount of solute (solid NaOH) that is used to make 1 L of base solution. Stir the sodium hydroxide, a little at a time, into a large volume of water and then dilute the solution to make one liter. Be sure to use borosilicate glass and consider immersing the container in a bucket of ice to keep the heat down. Inspect the glassware prior to use to make sure it is free from any cracks, scratches or chips that would indicate a weakness in the glass. Wear safety goggles and gloves since there is a chance the sodium hydroxide solution could splash up.

NaOH Solution Recipes

Sodium Hydroxide 6 M 240 g
NaOH 3 M 120
F.W. 40.00 1 M 40
  0.5 M 20
  0.1 M 4.0

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