Strong Base: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Tertiary Structure of Protein: Definition & Overview

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Definition of a Strong Base
  • 1:22 Examples
  • 2:48 Testing for Bases
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth (Nikki) Wyman

Nikki has a master's degree in teaching chemistry and has taught high school chemistry, biology and astronomy.

Next time you open your medicine cupboard or pick up some cleaning supplies, beware you might be handling some strong bases! In this lesson, learn the definition of a strong base and where you can find them, then test your new knowledge with a quiz.

Definition of a Strong Base

You may not realize it, but strong bases are everywhere! For one thing, they are incredibly effective cleaning agents; in fact, most of the cleaning agents in your home likely contain some kind of base in them. If a cleaning agent seems to work like magic, it's likely due to the strong base within. For these cleaning solutions with super strength, make sure to always protect skin and sensitive tissues because what makes them good cleaners also makes them quite dangerous!

According to the Arrhenius definition of a base, a base is a compound that breaks apart to make hydroxide ions (OH-) in solution. Bases have high pH values that are greater than seven but less than or equal to 14. Bases feel slippery and taste soapy.

A strong base is a base that breaks apart 100% in solution. For example, if solid sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is placed in water, the solids will completely break apart into equal amounts of sodium ions (Na+) and hydroxide ions (OH-). Strong bases have high pHs that are close to 14 and can be very corrosive and dangerous in high concentrations. Like all bases, strong bases feel slippery and taste soapy. However, because of their damaging nature, it's never a good idea to taste a strong base.


Some of the most common strong bases are sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH). These bases can be manufactured cheaply and are frequently used in laboratories. Sodium hydroxide is often the main ingredient in solutions used to unclog drains. Next time you grab a bottle of chemical drain cleaner, check out the list of active ingredients for sodium hydroxide.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account

We use cookies on our site.

To learn more about the information we collect, how we use it and your choices visit our Privacy Policy .