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A good source for lye

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UVsaturated

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I am about to make my first batch of soap, and have been doing some shopping. I gave it a 50/50 chance of finding lye at my grocery store and was dissapointed to find that they did not carry it.

I know you can buy lye (sodium hydroxide) off the internet, but I thought if you could find it in regular stores it would probably be cheaper.

I found this product, which I have seen a time or two that is a drain cleaner and not sold as lye for making soap, but is exactly the same thing.

It is called Red Devil drain cleaner.

Here is a link to what the product looks like:

http://www.kitchen-biodiesel.com/naoh.htm

If this drain cleaner is lye then it is a sure bet that other ones are as well, but always read the ingredients to see if it actually is lye, chemical name (NaOH), with no other ingredients.

Hopefully this may help some of you find a cheaper source at the hardware store or wherever they sell cleaning agents like this, which a lot of supermarkets wont sell for just soap making.[/url]
 

michelleB

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Yep, the Red Devil brand of lye is what I'd always used for soap...up til about a year ago when they stopped making it due to the "meth lab issues". You can still find the odd little back-roads convenience store/gas station with a few canisters of it on their shelves, but once it's gone, there will be no more. I live out in the middle of nowhere, so our little gas stations aren't "shopped out" like the larger ones, and there's about 4-5 canisters of Red Devil left for me to go through if I get in a pinch.

The only brand that you'll stand a chance of finding locally after the Red Devil sell-out will be the Roebic brand (also shown in the pic you posted). I've already bought this one a few times and it's 100% sodium hydroxide. I get mine from Lowe's in the plumbing section and it's a little over $7 for approx 2 pounds or so (I forget how much is actually in there).

I've thought about ordering it online because I'd prolly save a lot of money that way, but I worry about having to store lye that arrives in baggies or whatever, especially if it's HUGE quantities of it, when I've got two kids and a houseful of pets. I worry enough just with the 1 container of it at a time, put safely (I hope) away in the back of my soaping cabinet.

As for getting ready to make your first batch of soap....GO FOR IT! You're gonna have a blast! And you'll be hooked from that moment on, I guarantee it. Funny thing is...it doesn't even matter if it turns out right the first time or two (or twelve!), it's JUST as addictive either way!! LOL

Be sure to keep us posted on how it goes. And with pictures too! :D
 

UVsaturated

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michelleB said:
The only brand that you'll stand a chance of finding locally after the Red Devil sell-out will be the Roebic brand (also shown in the pic you posted). I've already bought this one a few times and it's 100% sodium hydroxide. I get mine from Lowe's in the plumbing section and it's a little over $7 for approx 2 pounds or so (I forget how much is actually in there).
Thanks for the info. I will check out Lowes.....maybe see if a Wal Mart has anything as well. I will certainly take some photos of my first time (that sounded dirty huh?)

I intend on making the easy crisco soap.

Do you recommend a blender for mixing? How much time does it take to mix and stir the batch?
 

michelleB

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You're so very welcome!

As far as I know in my area...the Wal-mart doesn't carry any 100% lye at all. It's extremely frustrating because they sure carry everything else under the moon except that. But you may luck up, so by all means check them out. It'd be more convenient for ya if it turns out that yours does, to save you from making a special trip to Lowe's for just one thing (I hate doing that).

As for the blender, don't use a regular hand-mixer like you'd use on a cake. You don't want raw soap and lye splashing all over you (don't ask me how I learned that!), plus it whips air into your soap, giving you air pockets in the finished bars. Get yourself a stick-blender like used for mixed drinks/smoothies & such. They stay submerged into the soap mix, so they don't splash or incorporate air. They're a real life-saver & it'll speed up the mixing process for you dramatically. Otherwise you'll wear your arms out hand-stirring for up to an hour or two.

You'll really enjoy your Crisco soap! Some people say "Ewwww!" but I absolutely LOVE crisco in a soap. Some of my favorite recipes have crisco in them anywhere from 40-60% and it makes a creamy sudsy LOVELY soap! Have a great time soaping!
 

Emily Klesick

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I get my lye from the local hardware store 5 minutes from our home. They haev a whole rack of that kind of product, soif you haev n't checked your local hardware store you can check there. At mine it is like four dollars for sixteen ounces.
 

PSW

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I second the no blender method. I know a while back there was a whole bandwagon for blender soap. Maybe good for making whipped soap to float, but I'll stick with my stick blender.

As for lye - no store in our area has carried it for over a year. I buy 50# at a time from Boyer Corp., but I go through 100# a year or better. For smaller amounts online (I know, still online, but that's what it's coming to)

Try:
http://www.missashtynssupplies.citymax.com Melissa is a very nice person and has lots of supplies at great prices. She is in Michigan.

http://www.thesoapdish.com/caustics.htm Rebekka is also very nice. She has a lot of different items. She is in Indiana.

http://www.snowdriftfarm.com/dry.html


I do receive lye in bags. All I do is empty the bag into a bucket. I save all of my 1 gallon buckets with lids and I just use that. I fill it when necessary. I also printed a big sticker with skull and crossbones on it that says Danger: LYE or something of the sort on it. I think I still have the file if anyone needs a copy.

Also - I love Crisco in soap also.

HTH
 

Spettatore Luna

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I use the Rooto brand lye. My Lowe's doesn't carry it, or any other brand (meth lab thing) but our mom and pop harware store does. Rooto used to add aluminum to it but don't anymore. Some old bottles of it still have the white lye flakes and silver pellets (don't use that, write to them or call and they'll replace it with the 100% sodium hydroxide they currently carry). Another great site I got off of Kathy Miller's page (wonderful site beginer through experienced) is The Boyer Corporation http://www.boyercorporation.com
Also, Brambleberry is now carrying lye. www.brambleberry.com
 
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