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Cleaning & Organizing Tips » Blog Archive » Pique the Geek 20111211: Would I Lye To You?

Pique the Geek 20111211: Would I Lye To You?

Pique the Geek 20111211: Would I Lye To You?
News from DAILY KOS:

The formula for sodium hydroxide is NaOH, giving it a formula weight of 40 grams per mole.  It is indispensable in the chemical laboratory, being used for everything from a glassware cleaner to an important reagent for many chemical reactions.  Sometimes the more expensive potassium hydroxide is used instead because it is more soluble in alcohols than the sodium one.

In graduate school I had to do quite a bit of organic synthesis and used a base bath for cleaning difficult glassware.  A base bath is a big glass jar (the one I used was was about 20 L, or five gallons) filled with either ethanol or isopropanol with a lot of potassium hydroxide dissolved in it.  To use it, you just prerinse the glassware and then soak it overnight in the base bath.  The next day, glassware rinses clean with no scrubbing.  I also used a detergent bath for less heavily soiled glassware, which was just a similar container filled with distilled water and Alconox, a c…………… continues on DAILY KOS

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