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This is 5 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.
Table of Contents
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.