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This is 1 lb of Sodium Hydroxide from Photographers' Formulary. It is commonly used as an accelerator or alkali to activate low-energy developing agents, such as hydroquinone. It also is added to increase overall contrast with developers.
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Caustic alkali Caustic soda Hydrate of soda Soda lye Sodic hydrate Lye Sodium hydroxide solid Sodium hydrate Red Devil Lye Mineral alkali
White, deliquescent pellets or flakes Odorless
High-energy accelerator or alkali sometimes used to activate low-energy developing agents (e.g. hydroquinone). Caustic alkalis are most often used where a powerful and quick-acting developer is required. Developers compounded with caustic alkali have poor keeping properties and are soon exhausted.
Store in a well-sealed bottle. Weigh it rapidly as it can pick up moisture from the air and change its weight.
Cautions: Of all the chemicals commonly used in the black & white darkroom, this is perhaps the most caustic. It is the same chemical used in many commercial drain cleaners.