Lye Cleanup

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debbie

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Hi,
I took a soapmaking class and was told not to wash any of the equipment for 24 hours because of the lye. This is quite a chore to clean after the soap has been sitting there all that time. I noticed a site online and they did clean up right away. Any comment or information would really be appreciated. I love making soap!!

Debbie
 

SimplyE

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I have rags that I wipe everything out with, and then I put the rags in a plastic bag and let them set for a week. By then, the "soap" on the rags should be fine to just throw the rags in the washer.

I always have vinegar in a spray bottle and spray everything down as I finish up. I also have a gallon jug of vinegar, and I put a bit in my pyrex bowel. I add water carefully so as not to splash, and then put the rest of the tools in as I use them, as long as they have been wiped free of excess soap residue. The vinegar will neutralize the lye. I always check the pH, though, before I go ahead and stick an ungloved hand in! Wash as usual.

HTH :D
 

MikeInPdx

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I do what SimplyE does with the rags.....I put them in a plastic bag and wait a couple of days. I find that the soap is saponified enough by then to use in the washer. Wouldn't get it on my skin, but it will wash out fine.

For the other stuff, I run a sink full of water and add several good glugs of vinegar to it. Then I drop my stuff in there as I'm done. When I'm ready to wash, I add a little dish liquid and leave my gloves on and wash. I rinse thorough in vinegar water, and let them air dry.

I haven't had a lye burn (from that anyways) in over 40 batches now. :)
 

carebear

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Actually the recommended 24 hour wait is to make cleanup EASIER. See if you do it right away you are dealing with and oily mess and some active lye. If you wait 24 hours you are dealing with... soap!

I personally do most of my cleanup right away - I scrape my bowl out really really well and they are then easy to wash. I rinse my utensils as I use them. The only things I let sit 24 hours (when I can) is the stainless steel cup I use for my swirl portion and my stick blender.

You certainly needn't wait - do what works for you. But wear gloves if you are washing out a bowl or utensils with raw soap in/on them.
 

debbie

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Thanks

Thanks for all your responses, it was very helpful. I knew about the vinegar for your skin but didn't think about it for clean up.
 

Deda

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My soap room is next to the laundry room, I just toss all the soap tools and buckets in the laundry sink. Then I do a load of laundry. I use vinegar in the rinse cycle, so it's a pretty easy clean up. Everything usually just needs a wipe down after that.
 

digit

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I do much the same as Carebear. Sometimes I leave my pot for the next day clean-up.

I rinse utensils as I use them and wipe out bowls with a paper towel. I have a dedicated dishpan that I put dirty items in as I use them. Then I use super hot water and dish soap to wash. I wear my heavy lye gloves for washing up because it protects my hands from the hot water. I use nitrile gloves during the other parts for better tactile sense.

I finish with a spritz of vinegar solution on all surfaces (including the floor) to catch any hot spots that I may not see and wipe it down. All rags go in a bag to await washing.

It really is what works for you and your work space.

Digit
 

MikeInPdx

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I have to post this here as a warning. Just don't put your soaping equipment in the dishwasher without rinsing it first.

I had bubbles like that Brady Bunch episode with the washing machine....you know the one that's on the insurance ad? Wasn't a lot of fun in a carpeted kitchen. :lol:
 

Deda

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MikeInPdx said:
I have to post this here as a warning. Just don't put your soaping equipment in the dishwasher without rinsing it first.

I had bubbles like that Brady Bunch episode with the washing machine....you know the one that's on the insurance ad? Wasn't a lot of fun in a carpeted kitchen. :lol:
Perfect! I can try that next time I need to wash the floor - multitask!
 

cdwinsby

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I always clean up right away. Not enough room around here to leave anyting out!!! :D I wipe up with a couple pieces of paper towel after having used the spatula to get most of the soap out. Then it's just hot water and dish soap for washing up in the sink.
 

Black soap n candle lady

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Hi there! I do the thick yellow rubber gloves, plenty of vinegar and water. Then another wash up with dishwashing liquid. I am burn free so far. I do not wait 24 hours. I can't stand to leave a mess sitting around my kitchen that long. Bye!
 

kwahlne

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cdwinsby said:
I always clean up right away. Not enough room around here to leave anyting out!!! :D I wipe up with a couple pieces of paper towel after having used the spatula to get most of the soap out. Then it's just hot water and dish soap for washing up in the sink.
I do the same. Never heard about the 24 hour deal.
 

chrissysue

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Clean up

Hello there! I have only made about 12 or so batches so far, but here is how I clean up. I have a work area in the garage so I don't have a sink near by. I fill up a large pot part way with hot water (I use the water from the water heater because it is so hot and so close) and set it next to my work area. As I go through my process I shake the tool or cup I am done with in the hot water and drop them in. This works really well and the stick blender I just stick in the pot and run it for a couple of seconds and it is all clean. Then I take everything inside to the dishwasher, because I am anal. I hardly go through any rags though. I use one with the vinegar spray to clean the area and one to do a final wipe. Then throw them in the wash with my other household cleaning rags. :D
 

garland68

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When making my soap I use a silicone spatula and scrape as much as I can out of my pot into the mold. I then take paper towels and give everything a good wipe then toss them. Then, wearing my rubber gloves I wash everything. The reason I wipe everything out is because i am paranoid of the soap building up in my pipes.

The first time I washed I did not wear gloves. That was a BIG mistake. While I did not burn my self I did irritate the hell out of my hands for about three days. This meathod has saved me quite a bit of time while making multiple batches. Clean up is easy now...
 

carebear

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MikeInPdx said:
I have to post this here as a warning. Just don't put your soaping equipment in the dishwasher without rinsing it first.
been there done that. sad to say THREE TIMES. (no carpet though, thank goodness)

eventally I will learn...

AND if I put much soap (raw or 24 hours old) in the dishwasher I get a white "soot" on my dishes - mostly on the plastic stuff really.

So all around it's a bad idea. Not that it stops me.
 

donniej

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I typically make 5 gallon batches so I have a lot of dirty equipment. I immediately throw everything in a shop sink and scrub everything down with a sponge. I wear "fight club" style chemical resistant gloves when I do this.

If I have many scraps of this fresh soap, I mix it with warm water until its liquid and use it to clean the driveway. It's pretty aggressive on grease while its "new".
 
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