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Teach Soap • View topic - Lye Safety for New Soapers

Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Irena - I actually did not know about that! I've been keeping vinegar on hand because all the books/etc say to do this. But makes total sense if it's in fact an exothermic rx. Yikes! I don't think very many people know this...

Karri

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:14 am 

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I'll keep that in mind, but as the burns were minor, no damage was caused. The red patch on my forehead lasted maybe an hour, and it's gone... I've definitely learned my lesson to tie my hair back though. Not all of it will go in, but the less that can fall in my face, the better. Never know when I may get a small glob on my glove again!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:07 am 

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One thing I must point out, though, is that it's not just books saying use the vinegar. On a container of lye, it says to flood with water and then something about vinegar. So... clearly vinegar isn't bad, but it's not what you want to use FIRST. I assume you want to flood with water to wash as much lye away as you can so that when neutralized with vinegar, there's minimal possible damage.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:35 am 
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militmom01 forgive my frenzied post about lye. I have seen photos of some of the damage and it is frightening.

Anyway here is a good read for lye safety. A video and such. We all need refreshers once in a while if we get slack.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Dilution dilution dilution. Yes, water is a much safer bet than using vinegar. Anyone familiar with the burns in ones mouth from over consumption of seasalt and vinegar chips has come in contact with what sodium hydroxide and acetic acid combine to form, sodium acetate. Sure it has a lower pH than the sodium hydroxide but it's still kinda caustic. That scene from Fight Club was all a lie about how to treat a chemical burn.

That said, having worked in a lab there's so much fun stuff you can do with lye other than making soap, but I probably shouldn't list them here least someone else try it at home and hurt themselves.

As for the issue with static grains of lye flying all over the place, Fischer Scientific, which provided the lab I worked for with lye, sold it in a heavy pellet form for that very reason. I miss those big pellets, and I miss having a fume hood, eye wash station, and emergency shower station on hand, but oh well.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:16 am 

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Apo, since you worked in a lab perhaps you wouldn't mind answering a lye question. There's food grade lye and there's tech grade lye. What is the difference and can CP soap safely be made with tech grade lye? There's a huge difference in price . . . anyway, thank you for sharing.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:11 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:25 pm 

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Thanks for the info. Tech grade costs alot less. Essential Depot has it on sale for $1.99. Other soapmaking supply shops offer it for $2.50/lb. That is just so big a difference in price. Have you ever used Tech grade?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:03 pm 
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I'm using it now. I buy whatever is least expensive. Essential Depot has great prices, but sometimes tech grade will cost more because of shipping than the food grade if they are running a special.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:34 pm 

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I found a product at ACE Hardware and I'm hoping this is the lye I need. On the front label it says "household 100% Lye drain opener". On the back label it says "contains sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, lye)." It doesn't say "100% sodium hydroxide" and I don't want to buy something that has other ingredients in addition to the sodium hydroxide, but there is no official "ingredients" list. I've watched the video and a lot of other videos and I believe I have the safety knowledge and equipment lined up, I just want to make sure I'm not using something that will ruin the soap. Is this the right stuff?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:19 pm 
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If it's the Rooto brand from Ace, you're good to go. I used it when I first began soapmaking and was trying not to invest too much $ before I knew if I'd like making soap. It made good soap. In fact, many of the Rooto reviews on the Ace website are from soapmakers. HTH

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:45 am 

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It's Rooto! Thank you so much! $2.50 for 16 oz, yay! Yes the wording "contains" seemed very ambiguous to me too. I really don't want to waste ingredients. Sunday is soap day, can't wait. I'll let you know how it goes.


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