Sodium metal reacts rapidly with water to form a colourless solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen gas (H2). The resulting solution is basic because of the dissolved hydroxide. The reaction is exothermic. During the reaction, the sodium metal may well become so hot that it catches fire and burns with a characteristic orange colour. The reaction is slower than that of potassium (immediately below sodium in the periodic table), but faster than that of lithium (immediately above sodium in the periodic table).