Lye

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DeeAnna

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Can you use any 100% lye?
If you mean sodium hydroxide (NaOH) when you say "lye" then, yes, you can use any product that is sodium hydroxide with no other additives.

Some drain cleaners for example are just sodium hydroxide and others contain a mixture of sodium hydroxide, aluminum, and other chemicals. You would want to use only the first product to make soap.

That said, no chemical is ever 100% pure, so understand that just plain sodium hydroxide always contains some inevitable impurities due to its nature and how it is made. Sodium hydroxide will contain some amount of water and sodium carbonate simply from being exposed to air. It will also contain trace amounts of metals due to how it's made.

Impurities are not the same as intentionally added ingredients, such as my example of the drain cleaner with added aluminum.

The generic word "lye" can mean any strongly alkaline chemical that can be used to make soap, not just sodium hydroxide. It's best to use specific chemical names if there is any chance of confusion.

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I hope it's a start....
 
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toxikon

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I buy my 100% sodium hydroxide from the plumbing section of Home Hardware. Works great!
 

Gerry

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I buy my 100% sodium hydroxide from the plumbing section of Home Hardware. Works great!
Me too. I get my freezer paper there also. They recently changed their label on their 3kg lye jugs, and I had trouble finding/recognizing it the last time I was in Home Hardware.

Funny that Home Depot, Rona, Lowes, and Canadian Tire doesn't sell it, but little Home Hardware does. Go figure!
 

toxikon

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Me too. I get my freezer paper there also. They recently changed their label on their 3kg lye jugs, and I had trouble finding/recognizing it the last time I was in Home Hardware.

Funny that Home Depot, Rona, Lowes, and Canadian Tire doesn't sell it, but little Home Hardware does. Go figure!
When I first got into soap-making, I did a lot of driving to find that **** lye! The 3kg container lasted me a few years of occasional soapmaking and I finally had to go buy a new one last month. It also took me a while to find with the new label! It didn't help that it was also tucked far back on the lowest shelf.
 

Susie

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Lowe's here has lye...for $16.95/2lb! Do you know how much lye I can order for that amount??
 

Gerry

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Lowe's here has lye...for $16.95/2lb! Do you know how much lye I can order for that amount??
Is that American dollars? :crazy:

The local Home Hardware price here is $27 Canadian for 3 kg (just over 6.5 pounds). Sadly shipping costs would kill me if I ordered only small amounts online. I have ordered online before and I didn't like the product or the packaging. It was the flake kind inside a plastic bag stuffed in a little bucket. It was a killer to get out and measure.

Getting small amounts (3 kg) locally when needed is good for me. If I started to sell and make huge batches I'd order a 20 kg drum online.
 

SheLion

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Lowe's here has lye...for $16.95/2lb! Do you know how much lye I can order for that amount??
:shock:

Yeah, when I needed lye recently I decided to check Lowe's price online to see if I could just get it locally. Needless to say, I ordered some. Even factoring in shipping, the cost came out to way less per pound than buying it at Lowe's.
 

earlene

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The cheapest I have purchased NaOH online was about $2.00 per pound (American $), but still had to pay shipping which all told was about 15% of the total bill (everything included.) So the price was pretty good. But when I travel, I just buy it Tractor Supply Company because it's not convenient to order things online when traveling.

Gerry, your price is about $3.00 per pound American (using today's exchange rate) and that sounds like a pretty good price for lye you don't have to pay shipping on. I'd jump at a chance to get it for that price locally.
 
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