How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution

Liquid glass leaves a thin sheet of real glass behind.
••• deep-red glass pot and glass blue balls image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

Sodium silicate, also known as "liquid glass," as a versatile and widely used solution. Sodium silicate is known as liquid glass for good reason: When the water it is dissolved in evaporates away, the sodium silicate bonds into a solid sheet of glass. Heat tempering makes the silicate patch harder, but the solution can still be used for fireproofing wood and stain-proofing concrete if applied and allowed to dry at room temperature.

    Bring purified water to a low simmer (approximately 175 degrees) on an electric stove.

    Stir sodium silicate powder into hot water with a long-handled metal spoon. Continue stirring until the powder is completely dissolved.

    Remove solution from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir solution every five minutes.

    Pour solution into a plastic container as soon as the solution cools, and seal it up.

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 pint (16 oz.) sodium silicate powder
    • 24 oz. purified water
    • Metal spoon
    • Nitrile rubber gloves
    • 40-oz. sealable plastic container

    Tips

    • This recipe is scalable to any amount of sodium silicate solution. The basic proportions are 4 parts sodium silicate powder to 6 parts water.

      Pour the solution into your plastic container and seal it as soon as possible. Sodium silicate solution degrades rapidly in the presence of oxygen.

    Warnings

    • Sodium silicate is extremely dangerous if mishandled, so you should never handle dry or aqueous sodium silicate without protection. Dry sodium silicate is extremely corrosive, and aqueous solutions can easily penetrate the skin. If the solution penetrates your skin, it will dry inside the top layer and "petrify" it.

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