Science, Tech, Math › Science Making Sodium Silicate or Water Glass Share Flipboard Email Print Comstock Images / Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated July 25, 2019 You can prepare sodium silicate or water glass from gel beads (silica) and drain cleaner (sodium hydroxide). Sodium silicate can be used to make chemical gardens, like those that result from Magic Rocks, which you can make yourself. Sodium Silicate Materials All you need to make a sodium silicate solution are water, silica, and sodium hydroxide. Silica comes in those little packets labeled "Do not eat" that you find with electronics, shoes, and other products. Sodium hydroxide is readily available in its pure form or can be found as drain cleaner. 6 g silica gel beads (crushed)4-8 g sodium hydroxide (4 g for water glass, used in the Magic Rock project, or 8 g for the stoichiometric ratio for sodium silicate)10 mL water Prepare Sodium Silicate Wear proper safety gear, which includes gloves.Heat 4 to 8 grams of sodium hydroxide in 10 milliliters of water.Once the sodium hydroxide is dissolved, slowly add 6 grams of crushed silica gel beads. Heat the solution between additions. If the crushed beads won't dissolve, add a little more water to the solution.You now have sodium silicate or water glass. NurdRage has a YouTube video of this procedure if you're interested in seeing how it's done.