Bases are less common as foods, but they are nonetheless present in many household products. ‘ Sodium hydroxide released to the atmosphere breaks down readily by reacting with other chemicals. Found in: Oven cleaners and drain openers. Sodium hydroxide is used in cleaning products. 8. Routes of exposure are skin contact and inhalation. Some hair products, such as relaxers, contain small amounts. It is commonly present in commercial drain and oven cleaners. What happens to sodium hydroxide when it enters the environment? It is a versatile product to have around the house as it has so many uses. Sodium Hydroxide, Calcium Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide are white solids which occur in several forms, including powders. Sodium Hydroxide. Health Risks: Otherwise known as lye, sodium hydroxide is extremely corrosive: If it touches your skin or gets in your eyes, it can cause severe burns. When most pipes are clogged it is with a combination of fats and grease. Many cleaners contain ammonia, a base. Sodium hydroxide is approved for use in cosmetics and personal care products in varying concentrations: 5% by weight in nail cuticle solvents, 2% by weight in hair straighteners for general use, 4.5% by weight in hair straighteners for professional use, up to a pH 12.7 in depilatories, and up to pH 11 in other uses as a pH adjuster. Sample of sodium hydroxide as pellets in a watchglass. Caustic Soda or Sodium Hydroxide has many different uses such as unblocking drains and making soap. Caustic soda main uses include being used as a drain pipe cleaner, unblocks drains, removes built up grease from ovens, used to make soap and detergents. Image used with permission (Public Domain; ... Ammonia is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical products and is used in many commercial cleaning products. Summary. bleaching, metal cleaning and processing, oxide coating, electroplating, and electrolytic extracting. 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