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How to make a sodium silicate solution

Sodium silicate, also known as "liquid glass," as a versatile and widely used solution. Sodium silicate is known as liquid glass for good reason: When the water it is dissolved in evaporates away, the sodium silicate bonds into a solid sheet of glass. Heat tempering makes the silicate patch harder, but the solution can still be used for fireproofing wood and stain-proofing concrete if applied and allowed to dry at room temperature.

Bring purified water to a low simmer (approximately 79.4 degrees C) on an electric stove.

Stir sodium silicate powder into hot water with a long-handled metal spoon. Continue stirring until the powder is completely dissolved.

Remove solution from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir solution every five minutes.

Pour solution into a plastic container as soon as the solution cools, and seal it up.

Tip

This recipe is scalable to any amount of sodium silicate solution. The basic proportions are 4 parts sodium silicate powder to 6 parts water. Pour the solution into your plastic container and seal it as soon as possible. Sodium silicate solution degrades rapidly in the presence of oxygen.

Warning

Sodium silicate is extremely dangerous if mishandled, so you should never handle dry or aqueous sodium silicate without protection. Dry sodium silicate is extremely corrosive, and aqueous solutions can easily penetrate the skin. If the solution penetrates your skin, it will dry inside the top layer and "petrify" it.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pint (454gr) sodium silicate powder
  • 709ml purified water
  • Metal spoon
  • Nitrile rubber gloves
  • 1134gr sealable plastic container
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About the Author

Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.