A white crystalline solid, NaClO3; cubic; r.d. 2.49; m.p. 250°C. It decomposes above its melting point to give oxygen and sodium chloride. The compound is soluble in water and in ethanol and is prepared by the reaction of chlorine on hot concentrated sodium hydroxide. Sodium chlorate is a powerful oxidizing agent and is used in the manufacture of matches and soft explosives, in calico printing, and as a garden weedkiller.