Lye Static?

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mommycarlson

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Okay, so this is a new problem. I opened a new 5 lb jug of lye yesterday. As I was pouring the lye into the same plastic container I have always measured my lye into, the little lye particles started to fly about, seeming to jump out of the plastic bowl as if they had static cling. The new lye is from the same place I have gotten my lye from since I started soaping almost a year ago. What is happening?
 

shunt2011

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I third the dryer sheet. I use one every time I open a new bottle.
 

BattleGnome

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I keep a sheet in the same bag as my lye then rub the bottle before opening.
 

susiefreckleface

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I hate lye static. So Cal in the fall has "Santa Ana winds" that just charge everything up. Dryer sheets work ok here. Not great, but ok.
 

Susie

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I keep a dryer sheet rubber banded to the side of the lye bottle to remind me to use it. It helps.
 

DeeAnna

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The problem is caused by low humidity this time of year (I live in Iowa too.) The lack of water vapor in the air doesn't let static charge dissipate, compared to when the air is more humid. For those like me who adamantly refuse to buy dryer sheets, here are some other ideas --

Wipe down the area with a damp cloth to temporarily increase the humidity around your scale. Wipe the counter, the platform of the scale, even the outside of the container you're measuring lye into.

Before you open the container in which your lye is stored, shake the container for 5-10 seconds. Keep a few fingers on the container's cap while you shake for safety -- sometimes caps loosen unexpectedly.

Measure into a metal container (not aluminum!) I don't do this, but it's an option to consider.
 

earlene

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If you don't use dryer sheets (I detest them), you can purchase a spray bottle of anti-static fabric spray (example: Downy Static Guard) and keep a bottle of that with a paper towel or cloth rag to use instead. That's what I have sitting next to my lye-storage bucket. BEFORE opening the lye container, lightly spray the rag or paper towel with the static guard and wait for any mist to settle. Then open and wipe. I prefer this to buying a box of dryer sheets that I will never in my life put in my dryer (plus I don't like the smell of them.)

The problem is caused by low humidity this time of year (I live in Iowa too.) The lack of water vapor in the air doesn't let static charge dissipate, compared to when the air is more humid. For those like me who adamantly refuse to buy dryer sheets, here are some other ideas --

Wipe down the area with a damp cloth to temporarily increase the humidity around your scale. Wipe the counter, the platform of the scale, even the outside of the container you're measuring lye into.

Before you open the container in which your lye is stored, shake the container for 5-10 seconds. Keep a few fingers on the container's cap while you shake for safety -- sometimes caps loosen unexpectedly.

Measure into a metal container (not aluminum!) I don't do this, but it's an option to consider.
Thank you, DeeAnna. I did not know that! I was wondering why I had not had any lye static in so long.

Glad to know I am not the only one here who refuses to buy dryer sheets. I don't even use fabric softener at all. IMO it's an unnecessary waste of money.
 
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mommycarlson

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Thank you everyone, I don't use dryer sheets OR fabric softener, but just 2 days ago I needed to clean my oven racks, I looked up some easy ways and one was to soak your oven racks in the bathtub with hot water, dawn and dryer sheets. True story! So I actually have a box of them in the closet and boy Earlene, I remebered why I don't like them, I can smell them every time I walk by that closet :( I am going to rubber band a dryer sheet to my lye bottle. I thought I got some faulty lye or something!
 

Scooter

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Wow I had never heard about this before. Thanks for the great tip y'all.

Scooter
 

DeeAnna

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Back in the days when I wore chinos or dress pants (paired with clunky steel toed shoes -- quite the fashion statement!), I used anti-static spray sometimes, and it did work well although I didn't care for the smell very much. Nowadays my attire is jeans and a flannel work shirt, and I don't have a problem with static cling. But I might have an ancient can of the stuff somewhere. <...rummaging in the closet...> If I find it, I'll give it a try.
 

mommycarlson

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I did the dryer sheet thing and it helped tremendously. Almost no static, there was a tiny bit of lye dancing around but not covering the counter like yesterday!
 
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