In terms of storage, I thought that glass was the safest bet for chemicals: No leeching, no real degradation (neglecting it's an amorphous solid), affordable, etc...

However, I recently heard that NaOH will actually react with glass. What is this reaction? What is the preferred way to store sodium hydroxide, if not glass?


1 Answer 1


Reactions are:

$$\ce{2NaOH + SiO2 -> Na2SiO3 + H2O}$$ $$\ce{4NaOH + SiO2 -> Na4SiO4 + 2H2O}$$ At room temperature, these reactions are quite slow but happen. The real solution is to store alkali hydroxides as solids, not as aqueous solutions. As dry solids, they can be stored in glass virtually forever.

However, if you need to store aqueous $\ce{NaOH}$ like that, the best bet is plastic jugs that chlorine bleach comes in. They are exactly purposed for storing corrosive alkaline solutions.


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