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Need help with a lye problem

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sudsy_kiwi

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I have a big solid lump of lye and I'm not sure what to do with it. It's been like that since I bought it, and I just used up all the powdered stuff first, but now I'm really down to having to use this up. So my first idea was to seal it up in its plastic tub and shake the living bejesus out of it, hoping it would break up. Sadly, the tub was the only thing that broke, spilling lye across the kitchen.

Next I put it in another container, left a gap between the side and the lid, poked a big fork through the gap and proceeded to poke, stab and scratch it, hoping to break or wear it down. But that rock'o'lye is one tough sucker, and my patience wore out long before the lye did.

So now, I'm thinking I might just drown it :razz: Dump it in a tub of water and let it disappear. I've read recently on here the thread about master-batching lye solution, and think that's probably my only option. Does anyone smarter than me have any possible suggestions before I do this?

If not, I assume I just work on weight for the water:lye ratio? Will there be any problems due to the fact that I'm adding one big lump of lye to the water rather than slowly adding powder? And would the plastic pail my coconut oil came in be ok for the drowning? I'm assuming it's food grade plastic, since it was used for food.

Thanks,
Matt
 

shunt2011

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Generally when it's clumping it means it's absorbed water and clumped and hardened. So, with that being said you don't know how active the lye is due to the water. I would probably dilute it really really well and dispose of it.
 

DeeAnna

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I'm with Shari. Get rid of the lump of lye in a safe way and get fresh lye for your soap. Unless you can actually test the NaOH in the lump o' lye, you could end up wasting your time and other ingredients on a bad batch of soap. Penny wise, pound foolish comes to mind. :)
 

Susie

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Yep, dilute it to oblivion and get rid of it. The good news is that you should have awesomely clean drains!
 

PinkCupcake

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Once the lye hardens like that, there's no practical way to chip it apart. I learned that lesson all on my own! Plus, like the others have said, you wouldn't know the strength of your lye, even if you could somehow chop it up.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Or, you could use it in a small, experimental batch super-fatted at 0. At least that's what I would do before deciding to chuck it, but that's just me.


IrishLass :)
 

sudsy_kiwi

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****, I was really hoping it wouldn't come to that, but had a sinking feeling :cry:
The really frustrating part is that it arrived like that when I bought it, and of course as a newbie I had no idea that it wasn't supposed to be like that. Now it's been too long for me to complain about it, as I can't prove that it arrived that way.

Oh well, I guess this is just one of those learning experiences lol

Thanks for your help
Matt
 

dixiedragon

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I would dissolve it in water and pour a bit down each of my drains. I know we hate wasting things - but lye is pretty cheap stuff and if a piece it were to fly into your eye as you were chipping it...*shudder* eyes are way more expensive than lye!
 

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