Sodium hydroxide, or more commonly lye, is a solid that is commonly used in industrial production in everything from metal processing to food processing. It is a caustic base and reacts strongly to corrode most solids and animal tissues. It dissolves readily in most liquids, including water and alcohol. It neutralizes acids, the combination leading to water and a salt. It is an ingredient in most natural soaps, along with fat and ashes.

Lye at Wikipedia

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