How to Make Sodium Silicate From Sodium Hydroxide

Water glass is made from silica, which can take the form of crystals.
••• améthyste image by chantal cecchetti from

Sodium silicate, also known as "water glass" or "liquid glass," is a compound used in many facets in industry, including automobile manufacturing, ceramics and even pigmenation of paints and cloths. Thanks to its very adhesive properties, it is often used to mend cracks or bind objects together strongly. This transparent, water-soluable compound can be created from products that can be found in the home (silica gel beads and bleach) or in a chemistry lab (using sodium hydroxide).

    Warm 10 ml of water in a test tube over a bunsen burner.

    Add 8 grams of sodium hydroxide to the test tube. Cap and shake until fully dissolved.

    Crush the silica gel beads to form 6 grams of fine silica powder. Silica gel beads can be found in the little packets that come in newly bought shoes. They are in little paper packets that read "Silica gel: Do not eat."

    Add the silica powder to the test tube. Warm over the Bunsen burner, and shake until dissolved. If the powder is not fully dissolved after ten minutes, add a little more water to the test tube and shake until fully dissolved.

    Things You'll Need

    • Silica gel beads
    • Water
    • Sodium hydroxide
    • Bunsen Burner
    • Test Tube
    • Test Tube Cap
    • Gloves
    • Safety goggles


    • The mass ratios in this experiment (6 and 8 grams) have been set up to match the stoichiometric ratios of the chemicals. If you wish to make more water glass, simply multiply both these numbers by the same constant.

      Sodium hydroxide is a common ingredient in most basic household liquid cleaners.


    • Always wear safety goggles and gloves when performing scientific experiments. Parental supervision of children is required!

Related Articles

How to Make Flubber Without Borox or Liquid Starch
How to Make Homemade Glow Sticks
How to Make a Bromothymol Blue Solution
How to Grow Penicillin for a Science Project
How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
How to Remove Bee Propolis Stains
How to Regenerate Activated Charcoal
How to Make a Vitamin C Indicator
How to Make Slime Without Borax or Liquid Starch
How to Mix Calcium Chloride and Water
How to Make Crystals with Epsom Salt
How to Make Skim Milk Agar Plates
How to Make Water Clear After Adding Food Coloring
How to Dissolve Magnesium Chloride
How to Do Titration Calculations
How to Make Your Own Styrofoam Formula
How to Use Propylene Glycol