My first lye burn

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by MickeyRat, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. Jun 24, 2019 #21

    Aleja

    Aleja

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    I actually forgot to wear my goggles yesterday, I was in such a rush to make the soap because I had somewhere to go!! and some soap batter actually splashed really really r e a l l y close to my eyes. Thankfully nothing happened, I washed my face really fast, poured the soap in a mold and then washed my face for like 20mins straight. It was a reminder to always wear eye protection. I was in school 2 years for chemical engineering so I should know better. But I'm happy nothing happened.
     
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  2. Jun 24, 2019 #22

    cerelife

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    Goggles are the one thing I won't soap without! I don't wear them constantly, but anytime I'm handling lye or soap batter, I have them on. Even just texturing the tops of my soap or carrying the finished loaves to my curing room to insulate and gel - goggle are on.
    Let me tell y'all why...I've had soap land on my goggles 3 times over the past 10 years of soaping!! And it's not like I'm particularly clumsy or not paying attention to safety, sometimes things just happen. Once it was when I was dividing my batter into cups for a swirl and was working fast. Apparently too fast since the batter hit the bottom of one cup and a splash hit me in the face. The second time I was pouring lye into my oils over my stick blender and the bottom of the stick blender fell off (it was old and has since been replaced!) and again - a splash to the face. The last time was when I was texturing the top of a loaf and got startled by the doorbell. I was deep into the zen of soaping and when the doorbell rang, I jumped and dropped the spoon I was using. The spoon hit the counter and flung a dollop of thick soap batter at the perfect trajectory to land directly over the left lens of my goggles. Freak accident? Sure. But like DeeAnna said: "I'm not willing to play Russian Roulette with my eyesight."
    Also, I never used to wear goggles while carrying my finished loaves to another room. But a member here shared her story a few years ago about how she ended up in the ER because she tripped while doing the same and the fresh soap hit her in the face/eyes.
    It's just not worth the risk. No matter how careful or experienced you are, accidents can still happen.
    Be safe, my friends.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  3. Jun 24, 2019 #23

    Fiona Robertson

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    I've found that I'm most at risk of being splashed when doing the washing up so I keep my goggles on for the cleaning up operation. I printed off DeeAnnas safety tips and have made my husband read them too...in case he finds me in a heap on the floor covered in soap batter one day:eek:
     
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  4. Jun 24, 2019 #24

    plantiest

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    Those are just the types of things I can imagine happening to me. The freak accident stuff. Thanks for sharing this! Since I have no access to medical care at all right now, prevention is all I have. I'll put in the order today for my safety goggles for the extra protection. Googles, mask, and face shield should have it covered!

    Since this is a new thing to me, can anyone link me up to their preferred safety glasses/goggles?
     
  5. Jun 24, 2019 #25

    DeeAnna

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    Here are the other two safety equipment articles I've written:
    https://classicbells.com/soap/respirator.asp
    https://classicbells.com/soap/eyeProtection.asp

    Unless you are sensitive to fragrance, a respirator is useful mostly for making lye solution -- right when the solution is really hot and steamy. If you have good ventilation (like working under the hood of your stove), a respirator might not be needed even then if you don't hang your nose over the lye container and keep the container lightly covered as much as possible to keep the vapors where they belong -- IN the container rather than floating around the open air.

    If you're sensitive to fragrances, you should probably be wearing a respirator the entire time you're making soap or handling the freshly made soap -- any time when the scent is detectable. The type of respirator for protecting against fragrance is different than that for dust and vapors -- read my article about respirators for more. A quote from that article --

    Respirators are not the only solution nor are they always the best solution for controlling your exposure to dusts, mists, and volatile chemicals. It is a much better approach to first reduce how much of these pollutants get into the air in your home or workshop and then use a respirator as insurance. Ways to reduce air pollution in your home or workshop when soaping or making B&B products --

    Work with lye, fragrances, and dusty ingredients outdoors in good weather
    Using effective ventilation in your work area (such as a running stove hood that vents outdoors)
    Keeping your lye container lightly covered at all times, but especially while the solution is hot
    Wearing an effective respirator as a final bit of insurance​

    ***

    There is no one safety goggle or glasses that is best for everyone -- fit and comfort are so individual. Problem with buying safety gear at the local "big box" store is most of the safety products in these stores are chosen for men with their larger physiques.

    For example, I keep a large box of disposable foam ear plugs in my shop for everyone to use when operating machinery. I didn't realize until I shopped at a safety equipment store that these plugs come in small and medium sizes. Us girls really appreciate the smaller ones -- they go easily into the ear canal and stay put.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  6. Jun 24, 2019 #26

    earlene

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    As a hospital nurse, we had plastic aprons that were very lightweight. They were worn in certain situations in isolation rooms. Those would work and not be too hot, but I don't know where to purchase; I retired 20 years ago. The heavy duty ones worn by dishwashers in restaurants can be obtained at restaurant supply stores.

    Here you go! You can get several kinds from Restaurant supply stores, including the exact same style we used to wear when I was a hospital nurse:

    Plastic aprons link.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. Jun 24, 2019 #27

    plantiest

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    There is a lot here to unpack!

    I don't buy at big box stores, because they are all scented now and contaminate the products. I would have to buy online. I use 3M masks literally daily and am a M or L in those. I usually just have to buy online and do trial and error for fit. Annoying, but it is my reality.

    I am freakishly reactive to fragrance, but that also means that I will never use FO or EO fragrances in my soaps. Literally never, so that is not a consideration at all. Those products aren't even allowed in my house.

    I've been adding my lye to frozen liquids to reduce the fumes substantially.

    I have the window open and use a fan. I called 3M directly, and their recommendation for masks was the pink P100 filter. I have a lot of these here already, so I used it. I'll go back later today and read up more about respirators in your write-up.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  8. Jun 24, 2019 #28

    plantiest

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    I'll check...thanks!
     
  9. Jun 25, 2019 #29

    MickeyRat

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    After this experience, here's my 2 cents on safety gear. Wearing long sleeves and long pants won't help you and they could delay you because you have to yank them off to rinse. I think they are a bad idea now. After what that stuff felt like on my legs, I never want to experience it in my eye. So, I've ordered and received a really good pair of safety goggles as well as a rubberized apron. If you're wearing short sleeves and shorts, the rubberized apron isn't uncomfortable and it reaches nearly to my ankles. I had been using eye protection previously but, I wanted something better.

    Gloves are a must as well. I was using them when this happened.

    As for cleaning up, cheap plastic table clothes from the dollar store lower the chances of getting splashed. You can even dump gooey stuff on them to get rid of it. Cut them in half to save a few cents. I've been using them for the last few batches.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  10. Jun 25, 2019 #30

    earlene

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    Thank you for sharing what you have learned from this experience, Mickey.

    I agree with you about long sleeves and long pants. It is far easier to run water over bare skin than it is to remove them. I even wear zorries on my feet. It's easier to put my foot in the sink than it is to untie shoes. I know; I've done it. And it's really easier to take an apron off than a long sleeved shirt, especially when raw soap is on either. I know; I've done both.
     

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