How to protect feet from lye accidents

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shunt2011

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Just a closed pair of shoes should be enough to protect your feet. I've never had an incident with lye getting near my feet.
 

alexanderte

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Okay. I guess they will work then.

Some other questions. If I get lye on my pants – do I need to wash them in the washing machine before using again? Or is it enough to let them dry? Do I need to wash them separately to avoid lye bleaching other clothes?

I had a very small lye accident with a few drops splashing on my pants a couple of batches ago. I’ve made some adjustments to my process to prevent the same from happening again.
 

alexanderte

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Thanks! I’m a guy by the way. Will probably buy the Crocs.
 

Susie

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You should wear pants and closed toe shoes. You should wash the pants ASAP if you get lye splashed on them. You can wash them with other clothes if you only get a little bit on there. If you get raw soap batter on them, let it harden up, then wash as usual (it is soap, after all).
 

penelopejane

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Do you use anything more than socks when soaping? Until now I’ve only used socks.

Would a pair of Crocs work?

http://www.crocs.eu/crocs-bistro/10075,en_ES,pd.html?cid=100&cgid=work-crocs#start=8
Crocs are not closed in shoes. They have holes to allow water in and out as they were originally designed as water shoes but I guess you knew that.
Mix you lye in the sink and pour into the oils in the same sink and there shouldn't be a problem with the lye.

Uncured batter is just as corrosive as lye and you need to wash it off skin and clothes straight away or it will burn skin and eat a hole in clothes.
 
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earlene

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I wouldn't let the soap batter harden on the pants. I will do that with an apron, but it's an apron and is meant to collect spatters. But pants, you may want to wear out in public, I'd clean it up as soon as possible. I have an amazingly very very white streak on one of my white aprons that soap batter stayed on until it had finished saponifying and I can see that it will eventually deteriorate the fabric in that area just the same as bleach does, so I wouldn't want my good clothes subjected to the same process.

Better yet, wear an apron when soaping to get the splatters instead of your pants. You can find manly aprons, like they wear for bar-b-ques, etc.
 

Arimara

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Okay. I guess they will work then.
I’ve made some adjustments to my process to prevent the same from happening again.
This craft is one that forces you to be patient and work carefully. Some people don't/won't learn to do even this.

For the record, the closed clogs are fine but do you have an old pair of boots you can use? It would be preferable to buying some new shoes for soaping purposes unless you work in a hospital or a kitchen of something.
 

dixiedragon

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Topofmurrayhill- I love it!

OP - lye is dangerous, but it's not radioactive. It can damage clothes so it's a good idea to wear old clothes to soap. I'll admit it - I've soaped in bare feet and a T-shirt. I don't wear a long-sleeved shirt, because if I get soap batter on my bare arm I notice it immediately and I can wash it off. But if I have it on my sleeve I might not notice it and I might get it on my face or on a child or a pet.

If you splash some lye water on your clothes, rinse well with water. if you get some soap batter on your clothes, wipe it off with a paper towel and then rinse with water. Then throw it in the wash as normal.
 

alexanderte

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This craft is one that forces you to be patient and work carefully. Some people don't/won't learn to do even this.
I’m not sure if I’m a patient person, but I love the attention to detail that is required to make a decent bar of soap (I’m not there yet). Since starting out some week ago I’ve had a detailed list of instructions that I follow every time. I make small adjustments to that list as I learn more.

For the record, the closed clogs are fine but do you have an old pair of boots you can use? It would be preferable to buying some new shoes for soaping purposes unless you work in a hospital or a kitchen of something.
I have an old pair of Stan Smith that I don’t use.
 

Arimara

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I have an old pair of Stan Smith that I don’t use.
Unless they're uncomfortable or have some extreme holes, you may want to save some money and utilize those. the money you save could also be reallocated to soaping what-nots or something else. As for patience, it's a good thing to have. Many of us are not kidding when we have said a 12 week old soap is most times, superior to a 6 week old one. Three months isn't too long a wait anyways :lol:

I never soap, cook, clean, garden, or do most potentially messy things in clothes that I intend to leave the house in. That is just inviting trouble.
I'm guilty of cooking and soaping in the same clothes I go out in. Most of the time, I have had protection on.
 

Steve85569

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OP:
Wear gloves when handling lye. Protect your feet by wearing shoes that will not allow direct contact with any spilled lye / lye water. Remove and wash and clothing that has lye on it as soon as reasonably possible. Protect all skin with reasonable caution. Lye burns are painful but can be prevented using reasonable cautions.

Lye is just lye. It does not care what it turns in to soap. Even if it's you. Don't ask how I know.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I'll admit it - I've soaped in bare feet and a T-shirt. I don't wear a long-sleeved shirt, because if I get soap batter on my bare arm I notice it immediately and I can wash it off. But if I have it on my sleeve I might not notice it and I might get it on my face or on a child or a pet.
Ditto the above for me, only I'll have to change the word 'soaped' to 'soap', since I always soap in short sleeves and with bare feet. [the reason for which I shall explain shortly....]

***Having said the above, it's important that point out that I always, always, always wear goggles, gloves, and an apron, no exceptions whatsoever.***

Continuing on.... in defense of my soaping attire (or rather lack thereof) for my feet and arms, it's also very important that I point out that I do my soaping in the kitchen sink where flowing water from my faucet is at my direct disposal and readily available in an instant should I ever get any lye solution or raw soap batter on my skin.

In all my 10-11 years of soaping, I reckon I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever gotten a few drops of raw soap batter on my bare feet, but because my faucet is right at hand, it was quickly neutralized/cleaned off with water in a matter of seconds without any ensuing damage to myself.

In regards to any occasional splashes I might get on my arms- I used to soap with long sleeves, but I quickly ceased doing that when I learned one day how impractical and potentially more dangerous that really could be: .....some raw soap batter had splashed onto my long sleeve while soaping and soaked through to my arm (which revealed itself by the tell-tale tingling). I had to stop what I was doing and take off my gloves (which had a little soap batter on them), so that I could take off my apron, so that I could take off my shirt, so that I could finally take care of the skin on my arm. Once my skin was taken care of, I had to run to my bedroom to retrieve and put on a different shirt before running back and re-donning my apron and gloves so that I could finally continue soaping. I learned that day that wearing long sleeves may sound very sensible in theory, but in actual practice, splashes are so much easier and quicker to neutralize if certain items of clothing are not in the way/have to be shed first.


IrishLass :)
 

Arimara

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For me, by habit, I always roll up my sleeves when soap. At my old job they always wanted your arms covered around food but when you're actually preparing food to be cooked or for immediate consumption, sleeves posed as a cross-contamination threat. never mind having bits of food stuck on you sleeves and you don't know it.
 

milky

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I've just started soaping but have designated an old flannel dress to function as a smock. It is long-sleeved but has snaps to pin them up if desired. It also snaps all the way down the front for easy removal.
 

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