Anyone know how to dispose lye water?

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lenarenee

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Life has been uncooperative the last several months, and I've had no energy to make soap. But I got rebellious tonight and set out to make 2 4lb batches only to have the scale go completely nuts in the middle of weighing oils. The lye water was the first thing I prepared, but since the scale became so unstable minutes later I don't think I should trust the concentration. How do I dispose of it safely?
 

not_ally

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I would just pour it down the drain if your drain is otherwise clear. Lye is pretty much the main constituent of drain cleaners, I think pouring lye water in is only a problem if there is an existing clog which causes the lye to burp back up. Happy to learn from others if I am wrong though (I hate bad lye and clogs :)).
 

Dorymae

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I just used some lye this afternoon to clear a stubborn clog. Yes, pour it down the drain and follow by flushing with water.
 

galaxyMLP

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Regular lye (Sodium hydroxide) is fine to go down the drain. However, I was informed by one of the chemists at my job the other day that potassium hydroxide (lye for liquid soap) can not just be poured down the drain. It can harm the environment.

I never knew you couldn't put potassium hydroxide (KOH) down the drain but... it kinda makes sense. Potassium chloride (KCl) in high amounts will kill you (and KOH is likely to form KCl once its down the drain [plus, I think its just dissolved potassium thats the bad thing])
 

lenarenee

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Okay - that's done. Thank you all very much. I guess the good thing is that I only lost the lye and part of the oils....no micas, butters or expensive fo's were wasted.

I'm going to go vegetate, go to bed early and hope I get a chance later this weekend to soap!
 
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