Both potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide are used to make soaps. Sodium hydroxide is also known as lye. But each of these chemicals has different properties and uses. Lye is usually used to make bar soaps which is solid in form. These soaps tend to be opaque whereas soaps made with potash are translucent and liquid in form. It does not crystallize the soaps.
Today both potash and lye are obtainable in pure forms which include both strength and consistency. It can even be bought from various online stores at affordable prices.
There are different uses of potash apart from the purpose of making soaps. It helps to neutralize acid and therefore it is mainly used as a thickening agent or stabilizer. It is considered to be one of the best cleaning agents and therefore it is widely used in soaps, shampoos, denture cleaners, hairsprays and so forth.
Potash can also be widely found in industrial compounds such as driveway and concrete cleaners, oven cleaners, drain and pipe cleaners and many more. Sodium hydroxide is more commonly used in soap manufacturing process but potash is considered to be eco-friendly and easily soluble in water. It is known as the soft soap. Potash soaps are less commonly used than the sodium soaps. However, it is used in shaving products and various other items.
Potassium hydroxide has various other medicinal benefits too. It is widely in various types of veterinary medicines. In humans, it can be used to diagnose different types of fungal infections.
Potash is an excellent PH regulator and therefore it is used in agricultural fields too to regulate the PH balance of the acidic soil. It is often found in most of the commercially processed food items as an additive. It is also added to processed food items to stabilize it and increase its shelf life. Potash is often added to chocolates, ice-creams and soft drinks as a thickener. It can also be used to soften and glaze food items before it is baked in the oven.
Most of the household items also include potash as it is used largely in alkaline batteries. It offers better productivity and conductivity than the ordinary batteries.
Potash is mainly available for the use of liquid soap making process. But it is also used for the purpose of manufacturing fertilizers, bio-diesel fuels, chemical manufacturing processes and so forth. It is available in flake forms too which is quite easy to handle for various manufacturing processes.
It is important to use potash with care while manufacturing process as it can cause burns and damages. This chemical is highly toxic and can prove to be fatal if it is swallowed accidentally. It is also important to wear gloves and safety goggles while working with these types of chemicals. It should be used in heat proof containers as it tends to react with zinc, aluminum and tin. It is also important to add potash to water slowly as it tends to release a huge amount of heat.