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Bulk KOH & NaOH purchases & storage ideas

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RogueRose

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I've seen a number of people say they get frustrated with the price and shipping of smaller amounts of these chems. Some places sell 8 lbs for the same price as a 50 lb bag, lol!

If you have purchased lye before and kept the bottle, then you are in luck as they are easily re-useable. Both chems can be stored in HDPE.

An option to store ~ 10 lbs per container is to use 1 gallon jars/jugs like those that mayonaise comes in. These could probably be had at a local sub/pizza shop if one asked.?

The biggest issue with this is keeping moisture out until you are ready to use the product. I would find some kind of dessicant that is more hygroscopic than K/NaOH (which may be difficult) and place it on top of the chem in the gallon jug. I have used coffee filters to make dessicant bags for things such as this and simply hot glue around the edges, fill and then glue it shut. I would advise to trimming maybe .125-.25" off the edges of two filters and then fill this with the desiccant then place that inside two other filters and seal, giving added protection to any rips or tears. I would think that fabrics would work well as well.

Another option to storage containers would be milk jugs as most are HDPE although putting in a dessicant bag becomes more difficult with this option. I would think it would seal well enough as it keeps liquid in.

Anyone have any ideas or insight on this?
 

commoncenz

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Why not go to Lowes and buy a 5 gallon food grade bucket and an air tight lid? Less than $7.
 

julieanne

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Oh. That's a tricky concept. Containers would be very, very important should you decide to change from the vendor provided container to an at-home container. I would strongly suggest that you contact the/a NaOH manufacturer and ask what containers are most suited and which are not suited for sodium hydroxide. As you already are aware, it readily accepts moisture from the air this has the potential to reduce its potential to saponify fatty acids. In addition, there is the contact hazard aspect. Should the container tear, break, become brittle over time, you may not realize it until it's picked up and safe spillage clean-up is a touchy thing.

The raw material manufacturer is very knowledgeable regarding the appropriate storage conditions, shelf life stability, and containers for their products. They like to help, too, and are generally more than willing to help out end-use consumers from afar.

Julie
 

Susie

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Someone suggested I get some unscented clay kitty litter, and put it in the bottom of one of those buckets with my bottles of lye in there. Works a charm. None of my lye has gained moisture weight since I started doing that.
 

Deedles

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Question...what does HDPE stand for?

I've printed off the Acronym and Abbreviation Definition list but don't see it.

As you can tell I'm a soap newbie trying to learn the new languages!!! :mrgreen:

TIA

Dee
 

cmzaha

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All my lye is purchased in 50 lb bags which I dump in a five gallon HDPe (#2)bucket. I do refill some 4-5 hdpe bottles which were old lye containers in order to have some dry in smaller containers, but mostly I master batch 3-5 gallons of lye at a time, so I am not constantly re-opening the bucket lid. I go through this in about 3-4 months so not sure how well it would last for a longer time.
 

OliveOil2

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I love my Gamma lids, they keep the moisture out of the buckets, I just finished 50 pounds and it was good till the very end. I had purchased two Camo color buckets from Home Depot, so I would know which buckets had the lye in them. One bucket would have held the 50 lb bag, but I wanted it to be easy for me to move. I have a smaller container that I just ordered from Amazon, in order to have something right near my soaping ingredients. It has a gamma lid, and made for pet food.
 

shunt2011

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I did the same as Carolyn with my 50lb bag. I filled my 2 lb bottles that had lye in them originally and had not issues. Mine was stored for at least 6 months.
 

galaxyMLP

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Question...what does HDPE stand for?

I've printed off the Acronym and Abbreviation Definition list but don't see it.

As you can tell I'm a soap newbie trying to learn the new languages!!! :mrgreen:

TIA

Dee
High Density Polyethylene. Its a type of plastic. It wouldn't be likely that it would be on the description list since its not soapy or forum related (at least not usually)

Susie, I really like the kitty litter idea! When I get more lye in I'll probably do that.
 

RogueRose

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Good idea on the 5 gal buckets. I was thinking about where I would store mine and the gallon jugs fit the bill.

As for the kitty litter, especially at the bottom, I would be worried that any moisture would have to pass down through all the chem and it would absorb the moisture prior to reaching the litter. If you look at a container who's lid is leaking (air) you will notice that the the stuff at the top usually starts to bind together first.

Another issue with litter is that I'm not sure if it is more absorbent than fresh dry lye - meaning if you put equal amounts of each in a container with moisture & allow it to absorb, which substance would absorb the most moisture?

Calcium Chloride (CaCL2 - AKA DampRid) is good for this.

The more I think about this it will come down to any moisture passing though an absorbent material, which still has capacity for absorption, will be absorbed in that material. This means that a layer on top would be ideal for this.

Think of it as dripping water through a filter of sand over top kitty litter. The sand will absorb/hold whatever it can before allowing it to reach the litter on the bottom.
 

Susie

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Question...what does HDPE stand for?
Dee
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. It is sometimes called "alkathene" or "polythene" when used for pipes.
 

Susie

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DampRid will pull the moisture out of the air, but then it drips it out the bottom of the container. So you would still end up with moisture in that bucket.
 

Deedles

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High Density Polyethylene. Its a type of plastic. It wouldn't be likely that it would be on the description list since its not soapy or forum related (at least not usually)

Susie, I really like the kitty litter idea! When I get more lye in I'll probably do that.
Thanks!
 

RogueRose

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DampRid will pull the moisture out of the air, but then it drips it out the bottom of the container. So you would still end up with moisture in that bucket.
yes, once the material is saturated.
"at 90% relative humidity 1KG of CaCl2 is reported to absorb 5KG of water (5 liters) before leaking water. "
Link to page: (Not positive - checked the source and seems possibly dubious or exagerated)
 
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Susie

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I don't know what your climate is, but I can assure you that it would be dripping by the second day here if it were out in the open. I know this from first hand experience. YMMV, especially with it being in a closed container. It might work there.
 

RogueRose

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I don't know what your climate is, but I can assure you that it would be dripping by the second day here if it were out in the open. I know this from first hand experience. YMMV, especially with it being in a closed container. It might work there.
Yes in an open room, there is the potential for a lot of moisture (higher the temp, the more moisture can be held), but once in the sealed container, it would be only able to absorb as much water as was in the air (within the container). In a 5 gal bucket there probably can't be more than maybe 10-50ml's of H2O.

If the bucket were reopened, it would allow moisture to enter and the desiccant would have to start all over. This is one of the reasons I suggested gallon jars.
 

RogueRose

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I don't know what your climate is, but I can assure you that it would be dripping by the second day here if it were out in the open. I know this from first hand experience. YMMV, especially with it being in a closed container. It might work there.
Do you store your lye outside of a sealed container? I only ask b/c I have seen bags which look like they are a plastic fiber weave/mesh like that used in agriculture. I always thought that was asking for problems unless it was used quickly.

Yes in an open room, there is the potential for a lot of moisture (higher the temp, the more moisture can be held), but once in the sealed container, it would be only able to absorb as much water as was in the air (within the container). In a 5 gal bucket there probably can't be more than maybe 10-50ml's of H2O.

If the bucket were reopened, it would allow moisture to enter and the desiccant would have to start all over. This is one of the reasons I suggested gallon jars.
 

shunt2011

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Mine came triple bagged. 3 different type bags. The outside bag was the plastic weaved material.
 

Spice

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When I ran out of a 5 gal coconut oil pale, I washed out real good let it dry for a few days in the sun, check that it was clean and then I poured my 50 lb bay of lye into it. The lid seals tight and it worked out wonderful. I kept my 10 lb bucket of old lye and poured into that, I also kept my 2 pounder bucket so I have the 50, 10, and 2 lb buckets that I use. OCD.:oops:
 

julieanne

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Clumping of the lye granules is the first sign of moisture collection. And, yep, humid locations in the south hold MUCH promise to cause clumping faster than drier locations. And no boiling water for tea while soaping!
 

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