Science, Tech, Math › Science Quick Saponification of Methyl Salicylate Reaction Share Flipboard Email Print Jose A. Bernat Bacete/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 06, 2019 Making your own soap can be a time-consuming process, but you can demonstrate the saponification reaction quickly and easily by reacting oil of wintergreen and sodium hydroxide to make sodium salicylate. This takes mere minutes. Key Takeaways: Saponification of Oil of Wintergreen Saponification is the chemical reaction that produces soap. However, it can be used to form other useful compounds.Oil of wintergreen can be reacted with sodium hydroxide to yield sodium salicylate. The reaction is a saponification.Sodium salicylate is used as an aspirin alternative. Ingredients All you need is the strong base sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and oil of wintergreen. Oil of wintergreen is easiest to find online. Oil of wintergreen2 M sodium hydroxideBeakers or test tubes How to Perform a Quick Saponification of Methyl Salicylate Reaction This demonstration is about as easy as it gets! First, get your materials together.Pour 2M sodium hydroxide into the oil of wintergreen, while stirring.Sodium salicylate will be formed by the saponification reaction. It will appear as a thick white solid.Here is the reaction: HOC6H4COOCH3 + NaOH → HOC6H4COO-Na+ + CH3OH Tips for Success Oil of wintergreen is methyl salicylate. If you have difficulty finding it under one name, then try the other.This demonstration is intended to be performed by persons with training in the handling and use of chemicals. Proper safety precautions must be used, particularly when handling NaOH.