What is sodium acetate used for?

Written by jennifer bioche
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What is sodium acetate used for?
(Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sodium acetate is a common chemical that has a wide variety of uses in several industries, including medical, food, textile, and health and beauty. It is the derivative of sodium from acetic acid.

Medical use

Sodium acetate can serve as a form of sodium for intravenous use, when doctors need to prevent or manage hyponatremia, the condition of having low sodium in the blood. It is also used in certain combinations for use with renal dialysis.

What is sodium acetate used for?
Sodium acetate is used for IVs to restore sodium to the blood. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber)

Food preparation use

Sodium acetate can give salt and vinegar chips their flavour, while also acting as a preservative. The food industry also uses it to improve the flavour of meat and poultry. During food processing, sodium acetate also helps regulate some of the pH levels in certain food products. It has even been said to reduce the risk of hangover when added to alcoholic products.

What is sodium acetate used for?
Sodium acetate is found in many food products for flavour. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Wonderlane)

Cosmetic use

In the health and beauty industry, sodium acetate is used to make soap and a variety of cosmetic products. This is due to its good buffering and neutralising components.

It's in the water

More recently, sodium acetate is being used for water treatment, as opposed to the less environmentally-friendly methanol.

What is sodium acetate used for?
Sodium acetate is now being used for water treatment. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Kyle May)

Textile use

The textile industry has a lot of use for sodium acetate as it is able to remove calcium salts, which then lengthens the life of the finished fabric.

What is sodium acetate used for?
Sodium acetate removes calcium from fabric, lengthening its life. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm)

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