How to Identify Sodium Acetate

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • Heating source
  • Plastic container
  • Ice water


  • Be sure to remove heated sodium acetate from its source just as the crusty film begins forming, or it may not react with solid sodium acetate.


  • Ingesting, inhaling or coming into contact with the solution can cause irritation, nausea and other adverse effects.

Sodium acetate is a common compound that can be identified quickly with your senses. It is rarely harmful and not fatal to come into contact with, but some precaution is necessary to assure that no irritation or other adverse effects occur.

    Inspect the compound; sodium acetate is colorless, crystalline and efflorescent. It looks similar to table salt.

    Smell the compound; sodium acetate smells like acetic acid, which gives vinegar its trademark scent, though sodium acetate is not nearly so pungent.

    Test the compound chemically. Heat the sodium acetate to 137 degrees Fahrenheit until the solid crystals become a liquid and a crusty film begins to appear. Remove the solution and place it in a plastic container. Then place the container into ice-water. Wait 10 minutes and then add more sodium acetate. It will immediately begin to harden and become similar to ice, though it will let off heat.

Related Articles

How to Use Sodium Perborate
How to Make Sodium Silicate From Sodium Hydroxide
How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution
Reduction of Camphor to Isoborneol
How to Neutralize Food Coloring in Water
How to Dissolve EDTA in Water
How to Make Homemade Glow Sticks
How to Extract Iodine From Potassium Iodide
How to Prepare Silver Oxide From Silver Nitrate
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
How to Reset a TI89
How to Dissolve Calcium Oxalate
What Chemicals Are Used in Instant Ice Packs?
How to Detect Potassium Nitrate
Physical Properties of Urea
How to Tell a Synthetic Pink Tourmaline
How to Calculate Molar Solubility From KSP?
Difference Between Hydrogen Peroxide & Benzoyl Peroxide
How to Test for Hydrochloric Acid

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!