Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent) - is an inorganic compound. Sodium hydroxide can be used for the base-driven hydrolysis of esters, amides and alkyl halides. However, the limited solubility of sodium hydroxide in organic solvents means that the more soluble potassium hydroxide (KOH) is often preferred. Touching sodium hydroxide solution with the bare hands, while not recommended, produces a slippery feeling. This happens because the oils of the hand are converted to soap.