This chemical is a white, waxy solid that forms opaque crystals. It is odorless, but it can absorb water from the air relatively quickly. It is highly corrosive to human skin and can dissolve completely in water. Sodium hydroxide can either be found as a solid or in a water solution. Another name for this substance is lye. Sodium hydroxide is excellent for neutralizing acids and creating sodium salts. One of the primary applications for this material is in the production of paper products, where it can help turn wood fibers into pulp. Because it is so corrosive to tissue, it can be utilized as a means of cleaning up roadkill and other fleshy parts. Finally, it can be used to clean and polish aluminum surfaces and may be found commercially as an effective cleaning agent. Gloves, goggles, and a breathing mask should be worn at all times when handling this substance. Even when diluted with water it can cause painful burns when exposed to the skin. It should also be kept in dry environments so that it will not absorb water from the air.