What is the Difference Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water

When it comes to dealing with calcium compounds, the choice between slaked lime and lime water can be a crucial decision, each serving distinct purposes but with its own set of challenges. This is why it’s important to have a good knowledge of the difference between slaked lime and lime water.

What is the difference between slaked lime and lime water? Slaked lime is a solid compound, while lime water is a solution of slaked lime in water.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Slaked Lime  
      – Definition, Features, Applications
2. What is Lime Water
      – Definition, Features, Applications 
3. Similarities Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Slaked Lime and Lime Water
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

Slaked Lime, Lime Water, Hydrated Lime, Calcium Hydroxide, Calcium Hydroxide Solution

Difference Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water  - Comparison Summary

What is Slaked Lime

Slake lime, also known as hydrated lime or calcium hydroxide, is a chemical compound derived from limestone through a process called slaking. It plays a role in various industries and applications due to its properties.

One of the primary uses of slake lime is in construction. It is an essential ingredient in mortar and plaster, where it acts as a binding agent. When mixed with water and sand, slake lime undergoes a chemical reaction, converting into calcium carbonate and releasing heat. This process, known as carbonation, strengthens the structure over time, making it ideal for building durable structures like brick walls and stucco finishes.

Slaked Lime

In agriculture, slake lime helps to adjust soil pH levels. Neutralizing acidic soils creates an environment conducive to plant growth, promoting healthier crops and maximizing yields. Additionally, it helps to enhance the effectiveness of certain herbicides and pesticides, making it a valuable tool in modern farming practices.

Furthermore, slake lime finds applications in the water treatment industry. In fact, its alkaline nature enables it to neutralize acidic wastewater and remove impurities through precipitation. This process, known as lime softening, improves water quality by reducing hardness and removing contaminants such as heavy metals.

In addition to industrial applications, slake lime has been used in traditional practices as well. It has been employed for centuries in the preservation of food, particularly in pickling and curing processes, where its alkalinity inhibits bacterial growth and extends shelf life.

What is Lime Water

Lime water, also known as calcium hydroxide solution, is a versatile liquid with various applications in industries ranging from construction to medicine. It is produced by dissolving calcium oxide (quicklime) in water, resulting in a clear, alkaline solution.

In construction, lime water plays a vital role in the process of carbonation. Lime water is also used in the production of lime putty, which is utilized as a binder in masonry work and as a protective coating for historic buildings.

Lime Water

In agriculture, lime water is useful as a soil amendment to adjust soil pH levels. Neutralizing acidic soils creates a more favorable environment for plant growth and nutrient uptake, ultimately enhancing crop yields. Additionally, lime water is utilized in water treatment facilities to remove impurities and adjust the pH of drinking water, ensuring its safety and potability.

In the culinary world, lime water is useful in the preparation of traditional dishes such as pickles and tortillas, where it helps preserve them and improves texture.

Similarities Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water

  1. Both slaked lime and lime water contain calcium hydroxide.
  2. They are both derived from the reaction of quicklime (calcium oxide) with water.
  3. Both slaked lime and lime water have alkaline properties.
  4. Moreover, they are useful in various applications, including water treatment and laboratory experiments.

Difference Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water


  • Slaked lime, also known as calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), is derived from limestone through slaking, while lime water is a saturated solution of calcium hydroxide in water.


  • Slaked lime is a solid substance, typically in the form of a white powder, while lime water is a liquid solution.


  • Slaked lime reacts readily with acids to form salts and water, while lime water reacts with carbon dioxide to form calcium carbonate, which causes the solution to become cloudy due to the formation of a precipitate.


In conclusion, while slaked lime and lime water both involve calcium hydroxide, they differ in their physical state and how they are used. Slaked lime is a solid compound formed by the reaction of quicklime with water, whereas lime water is a saturated aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide. Understanding the difference between slaked lime and lime water is crucial for selecting the appropriate substance for specific applications, whether in construction, agriculture, water treatment, or other industries.

FAQ: Difference Between Slaked Lime and Lime Water

1. Can we drink slaked lime water?

Slaked lime water should not be consumed directly as it can be harmful to health. While it is used in various applications, such as water treatment and food processing, it must be handled and diluted properly according to safety guidelines.

2. What is slaked lime used for?

Slaked lime is used in the preparation of dry mixes for painting and whitewashing. It is commonly used in construction for mortar and plaster, in agriculture as a soil amendment to adjust pH levels, in water treatment to remove impurities, and in food processing for pickling and preserving.

3. Is slaked lime acidic or basic?

Slacked lime is a basic compound. It is not acidic. When dissolved in water, it forms a solution with a high pH, making it alkaline. Therefore, slaked lime is considered a base.

4. Why is slaked lime added to water?

Slaked lime is added to water to adjust its pH level and to improve its quality for various purposes such as water treatment, agriculture, and industrial processes.

5. What is the difference between calcium hydroxide and Limewater?

Calcium hydroxide is a solid compound formed when quicklime (calcium oxide) reacts with water. Limewater, on the other hand, is a solution made by dissolving calcium hydroxide in water until no more can dissolve, resulting in a saturated solution.


1. “Calcium Hydroxide.” Encyclopedia Britannica.
2. “Limewater.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Calcium Hydroxide” By Picture taken by w:User: Walkerma in June 2005. – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Limewater” By Rick Bradley(CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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