Sodium hydroxide is typically colorless with no odor in liquid form. However, the chemical is white at room temperature, but still remains odorless as a solid.
The chemical makeup is NaOH and is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is an alkaline corrosive, which means that it generates heat by reacting with moisture from the air as it dissolves. This can be dangerous near flammable materials by causing a fire through the process of generating heat.
This chemical is usually the primary ingredient in several household cleaners including drain cleaners and oven cleaners. It is used in the manufacturing of chemicals, fabric, plastic wrap, paper, and soap. Other uses include oil refining, hydraulic fracturing, water treatment, and metal processing. The chemical can be potentially dangerous and she be kept out of reach of children at all times. The poison control center should be contacted immediately if it is ingested, inhaled, or directly touches the skin.