A white solid, Al(OOCCH3)3, which decomposes on heating, is very slightly soluble in cold water, and decomposes in warm water. The normal salt, Al(OOCCH3)3, can only be made in the absence of water (e.g. ethanoic anhydride and aluminium chloride at 180°C); in water it forms the basic salts Al(OH)(OOCCH3)2 and Al2(OH)2(OOCCH3)4. The reaction of aluminium hydroxide with ethanoic acid gives these basic salts directly. The compound is used extensively in dyeing as a mordant, particularly in combination with aluminium sulphate (known as red liquor); in the paper and board industry for sizing and hardening; and in tanning. It was previously used as an antiseptic and astringent.