Lye Safety...

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So, I've gotten all my materials including safety glasses (to go over my glasses), arm length gloves, a mask, etc. and my lye. I have the correct types of containers for it, etc.

Here is my question: Where do you mix your lye water? I had planned to do mine outside on the porch but we've been having torrential rains and today bad bad winds. I am scared of lye (I must admit) but I know following the proper safety precautions will save from most injuries.

Thanks for your input!
 

soapart

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Personally, I make the lye water in the kitchen where I make the soap and then pop it on the window sill to finish dissolving and fuming (I dont make huge batches and I dont use super concentrated lye water so it doesnt take long to stop fuming).

I know that not everyone uses one but I also use a face mask and I really notice a difference if I forget to put it on (as I did the other day). I find it irritates the back of my throat pretty quickly without the mask.

You dont need to be scared, just make sure you have no distractions and you'll be fine.
 
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Love to do it that way but I have no exhaust fan or window in the kitchen. I do, however, have a mask.
 

three_little_fishes

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I use the laundry room and leave the door that leads to the garage open (there is a door into the house and one that goes out to the garage). I don't mix outside because we have so many bugs here. I don't think there's anything that would ruin a bar of soap quite like finding a missed mosquito!

Don't fear the lye....just respect it. After a few times you'll see that it isn't scary.
 
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thanks so much!

I think I am going to use next door. Has great table space, an open window, and deep deep sink that isn't aluminum based. I live in a trailer ...... so space is limited.. no garage, laundry room, etc. I'm excited :D:p
 

Moody Glenn

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In the sink. Turn on the exhaust fan if you have one. Don't be afraid - you need a healthy respect, not fear; fear causes mistakes.
Good luck!!

Exactly! Find any area with a sink (in case of spills or leaks in a container.) If no exhaust fan is available use a regular portable fan. If you are dressed up like a worker for CSI you will be fine. When working with lye always be sure there are no interruptions otherwise you will lose your train of thought and then the problems and worries begin. When making a solution, pouring, stirring the soap batter and to pouring in the mold everything else in the world has to be put on hold until you are finished. Above all - concentrate and have some fun!
 

chicklet

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I mix in my soap room (doesn't that sound fancy? well it's not, it's just an extra bedroom) :). I don't wear a mask or use a fan. If I am mixing with all the liquid the recipe calls for I just mix it but I'm careful not to put my face close to the mixing pitcher. If I'm mixing a stronger concentration (where I will be adding the rest of the liquid such as milk at trace), then I will pull my shirt up over my nose for a minute and lean back away from the lye when I first pour it into the water. I give it a good stir then leave the room for a few minutes. I always, ALWAYS wear goggles.

I agree with the others - respect the lye, but don't fear it. Concentration is important, but I'm more prone to make mistakes if I'm too tense or uptight about what I'm doing.
 

DeeAnna

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I also like to put a large plastic table cloth in the area where I'm going to work. Sometimes small bits of the solid lye go flying when I measure my solid lye, especially if the air is really dry. The large covering will catch them as well as any drips or spills.

Another tip -- Some use a fabric softener sheet to wipe the top of the scale and the inside of the container they measure the lye into. That helps reduce static electricity and flyaway lye bits. I have not tried this (don't use dryer sheets anymore), but the sheets do reduce static on clothes, so it sounds sensible. Others use a stainless steel (not aluminum) container to measure their lye into, and that also sounds like a sensible idea for reducing static electricity.
 

pamielynn

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I forgot to mention the dryer sheet thing - good call DeeAnna. I actually DO do that and it works great. I rub down the container, scale and around the lye bottle before opening it. And the plastic spoon I use in case I add just a titch too much lye to the container.

And the distractions!! Why is it that nobody wants to call or visit you until you're just about to start soaping, LOL.
 

grayceworks

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I forgot to mention the dryer sheet thing - good call DeeAnna. I actually DO do that and it works great. I rub down the container, scale and around the lye bottle before opening it. And the plastic spoon I use in case I add just a titch too much lye to the container.

And the distractions!! Why is it that nobody wants to call or visit you until you're just about to start soaping, LOL.

I know this thread is a few months old, but my question is directly about this so I didn't want to start a whole new one... I am having trouble with the lye being staticky in the container it came in -- so that it tries to jump out of the container onto everything as soon as I open the container, and it's worse once I try to measure it. We don't have static in the house in general, all hardwood and tile floors, not too dry due to the fishtanks putting humidity in the air, no problem with static in hair or clothing... Not sure what to do? Even if I got some dryer sheets, I couldn't use them inside the lye container, which is where the problem is. Anyone else dealt with this before?

Thanks!

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