This substance is a solid white, waxy crystal. It is highly soluble in water and can sometimes be shipped and stored in a liquid solution. It is odorless and non-flammable. Sodium hydroxide is also known as either lye or caustic soda, and it is highly toxic to humans. This chemical is produced in large quantities for a broad range of different industries. For manufacturing purposes, it can be used to make soaps, dyes, explosives, and other petroleum products. In the food industry, lye is utilized for chemically peeling fruit, thickening ice cream, and processing cocoa beans. Commercially, sodium hydroxide works well as a cleaning agent and is sold in concentrated doses. Gloves and eye protection must be worn at all times. This substance can be contaminated by absorbing water and carbon dioxide from the air, so it must be stored in airtight containers. If exposed to the skin, it will cause severe chemical burns.