raw soap splash in eye

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soapbuddy

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Healinya said:
I always think of that boy when I am lazy/slacking and about to soap without proper coverings, and then go get my goggles... I wonder how he healed.. nature's cauldren (I believe) is the poster who shared the pics I am thinking of... does she still post here? I would love to hear that her boy healed fine and has no memories of the event.
I remember that. I wonder how he's doing now.
 

Myod

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Lye water mixed with the oil and no I juice splashed into my left eye and I mediately washed it with plenty water. How I was afraid I will go blind on one eye. My eye is red and pugs are coming out after applying eye drop. I can't take any chances so am off to the eye clinic.
 

Zany_in_CO

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flushed eyes with water for at least 20 minutes, my eye was very sore and terribly red I could barely open it, didn't know what to do to make it feel better then I remembered my trusted old aloa vera plant, I put so much of the gel into eye it got all glued up, kept gel in for many hours, next day eye was fine
Good to know. I have aloe plants at the ready. Thanks for sharing!
ended up with 3 small lye burns on my face. They were the size of small pimples , but hurt and took about 2 weeks to heal.
TIP: 5% lavender oil in a carrier oil with a long shelf life (jojoba, FCO/MCT, olive) Immediately soothes the burn and heals with no scarring. I keep a 2-oz Brown Boston Round glass bottle with a dropper handy on my kitchen shelf.
 

MickeyRat

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There are a LOT of overconfident old timers on here that think that safety gear is for wimps. It's a gamble you can only lose. My rules for safety.
  • Good eye protection.
  • Gloves
  • No long sleeves long pants or closed toed shoes (flops are preferred). They provide very little protection and hold the lye close to your skin.
  • Nothing you can't get off in a hurry.
  • A rubberized apron.
This thread details the incident that made me form that opinion.
 

earlene

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Lye water mixed with the oil and no I juice splashed into my left eye and I mediately washed it with plenty water. How I was afraid I will go blind on one eye. My eye is red and pugs are coming out after applying eye drop. I can't take any chances so am off to the eye clinic.
Please let us know of your progress!

There are a LOT of overconfident old timers on here that think that safety gear is for wimps. It's a gamble you can only lose. My rules for safety.
  • Good eye protection.
  • Gloves
  • No long sleeves long pants or closed toed shoes (flops are preferred). They provide very little protection and hold the lye close to your skin.
  • Nothing you can't get off in a hurry.
  • A rubberized apron.
This thread details the incident that made me form that opinion.

I am the same, @MickeyRat. It is far easier to put my arm or even my foot under the faucet immediately than it is to take off my apron, then strip so I can do the water rinse. That delay is not worth it IMO. I may wear long pants if it's winter, though, just because the house is cold, but they be loosely fitting elasticized waist ones, usually my flannel pj bottoms. I cannot work in long sleeves, even in the cold (unless I am shoveling snow) and I only wear close-toed shoes if I am walking outdoors in the snow or heavy storms. Flip flops have been my shoe of choice 95% of the time, since retirement. Sometimes with socks if it's cold inside, but even socks while making soap are cumbersome to remove if soap batter falls on my foot.

I have had soap batter splash onto my foot & I can still lift my leg up over the kitchen counter & put my foot into the sink and run water on it, even at my age. So that's what I did. I have had a splatter on long sleeves and I have had a splatter on bare arms. It has always been far easier to rinse off a bare arm quickly than it was to strip off a long sleeve shirt (pulling over my head, another unnecessary risk!) That is my experience and why I do it that way.

The apron protects my front, so I'm fine with if I get a splatter on it, as it's easy to remove quickly and the soap does not soak through to my body.

When I was new I only wore my reading glasses, but later invested in prescription safety glasses from my ophthalmologist, which provide far better protection than my usual readers that I wear when on the computer, etc. I have had soap batter splatter onto my face, and come close to my eye, not in it, so very glad I switched to the prescription safety glasses rather the readers, because there is too much open space under the readers where the splatter could penetrate if the trajectory was just right.

The only thing I dislike about the prescription safety glasses is that when I wear them, walking through a room gives me that dizzy stomache feeling that can happen with bifocals. Normally I keep the walking to a minimum when making soap, and if I have to walk across the room, I try to remember not to focus on distant things, which is what causes that discomfort when walking while wearing them.
 
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I have gotten burned too many times by the vapors from stirring lye to forego long sleeves. Finally, I thought to make old-fashioned accountant/clerk sleeves made that I could just pull over my forearms. Elastic at the elbows and wrists keep them on but are easy enough to take off if I get spattered.
 

earlene

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I have gotten burned too many times by the vapors from stirring lye to forego long sleeves. Finally, I thought to make old-fashioned accountant/clerk sleeves made that I could just pull over my forearms. Elastic at the elbows and wrists keep them on but are easy enough to take off if I get spattered.
There is such a product made for gardeners as well. Amy Warden had a link to one such item in one of her recent Soap Challenge Club events. They are called "Farmer's Defense" and can be viewed here. Because they are rather pricey, I looked for something cheaper and found these at Amazon.
 

TheGecko

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There are a LOT of overconfident old timers on here that think that safety gear is for wimps. It's a gamble you can only lose. My rules for safety.
  • Good eye protection.
  • Gloves
  • No long sleeves long pants or closed toed shoes (flops are preferred). They provide very little protection and hold the lye close to your skin.
  • Nothing you can't get off in a hurry.
  • A rubberized apron.
This thread details the incident that made me form that opinion.
I don't think that it's for wimps, I'm just more of a 'safety third' kind of person (Mike Rowe wrote a really good article about it) because I think we become too comfortable and ultimately less cautious as exemplified by a lot of the stuff I see soap makers do in videos.

I wear glasses and I have yet to find safety glasses/google that fit over them comfortably that don't hurt my ears or nose or don't fog up. With that said, I am aware of the limitations of my regular eyewear so I am more conscience/careful. But if I didn't wear glasses, I would use eye protection because I have splashed a little batter on my glasses so I know the importance of it.

Quite frankly I don't like wearing gloves...my hands get overheated in them, I sweat, my fingers swell. Now I have had a lye burn...almost had to have my wedding rings cut off because of it. I had gotten batter trapped underneath them which is why I always take my rings off now. Even if I could wear gloves, I still wouldn't wear them because, IMHO, they cause more problems than they solve. I tend to be a very tidy soap maker so I am constantly wiping off my hands and equipment with a wet microfiber towel or I'll be washing my hands at the sink less than two steps away. Before I quit wearing gloves, a little bit of oil or batter on my gloves meant that it got spread all over the place.

I used to wear long sleeves, long pants and tennis shoes but was really uncomfortable...especially during the summer. I have though about getting some of the 'gardener sleeves' because my arms get really itchy when I master batch my Lye Solution, but why go to the expense and hassle when I can simply wipe down my arms with a wet towel and then wash with soap and water.

I do have a nice vinyl apron...it has kitties on it; it hangs on the hook with my stick blender. Whether you are cooking, baking or making soap or other bath and body products, always a good idea to have one. Mine all have a pocket that I keep a spare towel in.

With all of the above said...I still encourage new soap makers to wear eye protection (always) and to wear gloves, to wear long sleeves/pants and shoes for the first six months at least. Oh, and to brush your hair really well and wear a cap or scarf. I have long hair and shed like a cat, so I brush it well, put it in a pony tail and then put on a scarf because no one want to find hair in their bath and body products. It won't kill you, it's just the ewwww factor.
 
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Has anyone tried Onion Goggles for their eye safety wear? I use them at work for eye protection and they are perfect for soaping.
Available on Amazon:

I use goggles like that which I received as part of a local soaper’s destash sale. They have a Brambleberry logo on them. Agreed, they are super comfy and easier to wear than any other eye protection that I’ve tried. Best of all, they don’t fog up.
 

paradisi

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As a contrapposto to the short pants, short sleeves, flip flops school of thinking, I present you the mental image of the sweatshirt I was wearing while working on the truck and got battery acid on it. It turned out rather lacy afterwards, burnt through. But my skin underneath was not burned.

Same with the jeans and closed toe footwear, which got spattered and burned but I did not.
And nor are closed toe shoes a slip hazard on wet soap the way flip flops are.

I think the idea that "clothes will absorb [caustic liquid] and hold it onto you" is not a hard and fast rule at all. If you get soaked, and it's a long way to the safety shower, and for some reason you aren't stripping out of the soaked clothing, then sure. But you'd be wildly rinsing raw soap from between your toes instead of off your shoes. I know which I'd rather do.

And if you're handling caustic liquids often, why is the safety shower that far away?

As to not wearing gloves: I wear nitrile gloves from the grocery store and can pick up not only a dime, but a hair off the kitchen counter (I use them to do dishes as well). Sure they get sweaty, but that's better than burning the nailbed on your fingers or under a ring.

OSHA safety guidelines for clothes to be worn while working with caustics aren't just for fun, they're good sense.
 

JoyfulSudz

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My tip on nitrile gloves: I always powder my hands thoroughly before putting them on. It keeps my hands from getting sweaty and also makes the gloves much easier to take off when I'm done.
I keep the gloves on until all my cleanup is finished, then wash and dry my hands with the gloves on. Then I take them off, and they're ready to wear several more times before tossing them. (This was a huge cost-saver during the early Covid times when gloves were scarce and their price skyrocketed.)
 

TheGecko

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As a contrapposto to the short pants, short sleeves, flip flops school of thinking, I present you the mental image of the sweatshirt I was wearing while working on the truck and got battery acid on it. It turned out rather lacy afterwards, burnt through. But my skin underneath was not burned.

Same with the jeans and closed toe footwear, which got spattered and burned but I did not.
And nor are closed toe shoes a slip hazard on wet soap the way flip flops are.

I think the idea that "clothes will absorb [caustic liquid] and hold it onto you" is not a hard and fast rule at all. If you get soaked, and it's a long way to the safety shower, and for some reason you aren't stripping out of the soaked clothing, then sure. But you'd be wildly rinsing raw soap from between your toes instead of off your shoes. I know which I'd rather do.

And if you're handling caustic liquids often, why is the safety shower that far away?

As to not wearing gloves: I wear nitrile gloves from the grocery store and can pick up not only a dime, but a hair off the kitchen counter (I use them to do dishes as well). Sure they get sweaty, but that's better than burning the nailbed on your fingers or under a ring.

OSHA safety guidelines for clothes to be worn while working with caustics aren't just for fun, they're good sense.
I hear what you are saying, but I also think that we each have to find our own way.

Sulfuric Acid...aka battery acid...is not the same as Sodium Hydroxide. I've been using the same microfiber towels for the last two years and there isn't a single hole in them. While I generally rinse them out with soap and water at the end of a soap session, there have been times when I've just tossed them on top of the washing machine in the garage and left them for several days. A 37% concentration of SA will cause burns on contact, on the other hand, the same concentration of SH will cause irritation than an actual burn. The only reason why my finger got burned was because SH remained in contact with my skin for several hours until it saponified, but I have splashed Lye Solution or have gotten soap batter on me and as long as I get it rinsed/washed off within a few minutes, there have been no issues...not even redness.

Shoes aren't going to keep you from slipping on an oily surface anymore than wearing rubber flip flops or going barefoot. Ask my husband who only goes barefoot in the water...all his shoes, sandals and slippers have 'grippy' soles and he still slipped on a bit of batter. Until my daughter bought me a special matt to ease my back, I was using a kitchen rug...the same ones I used in front of the sink or stove.

Loose clothing probably not, but tight clothing, especially jeans or leggings will because it is the prolonged contact with SH that would cause a chemical burn. And why would anyone be "wildly" rinsing anything? I just grab a wet microfiber towel or turn one and half steps to the sink. Even if I was wearing leggings and had a massive spill I'd just strip them off in the kitchen, toss them in the sink and go stand in the shower and rinse off.

As for gloves...it's another person choice. If you get Lye Solution or soap batter...wash your hands. If you're worried about getting soap under your rings, take them off (which is what I do). I also take off my rings when making bread or pasta.

If I didn't wear eyeglasses, I would wear safety glasses because my eyeballs are not the same as my skin.
 

earlene

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The first time & only time I ever fainted in my life was as a nurse in full PPE gear in a hot room with a pregnant mom about to give birth. It was totally embarrassing, I have to say! I was a student nurse at the time, so a very very long time ago! But it was the absence of air conditioning to cool the room and the combination of the added heat created inside the PPE as well as from the others in the room. That heat and lack of oxygen created by my own anxiety and hyperventilating, which cause the faint. My instructor was very understanding and did not kick me out of nursing school as I feared might happen the moment I started to loose consciousness.

This is just to point out that full PPE can be very constricting and can cause problems for some people some of the time, even more than slight discomfort. We each have to make a thorough assessment of what we have available to us, how we can accommodate or adapt to the environment in which we make soap, what changes are necessary to be safe and choose accordingly. And in the presence of those adaptations or changes, be as extremely safe as possible.

Now, of course, I wore full PPE gear many many many times in the course of my nursing career and learned how to do so without getting overheated and suffering from lack of oxygen. That incident was an anomaly in my life, which thankfully has never been repeated. In the course of my career microorganisms were more of a concern than caustic chemicals, although let me tell you, you don't want nitropaste absorbing through your skin through a tear in a glove when preparing it to apply to a cardiac patient (been there, done that, not fun). So I do know the importance of PPE and all that entails, and adhered to it diligently throughout my career.

I agree completely that taking protective injury & accident preventative precautions when preparing lye solution and when making soap is an absolute necessity, and I do believe that I am doing that within the realm of my circumstances, abilities, experience and environment. I have to believe the same for TheGecko and others like us who have explained why we do what we do if and when it does not adhere to the strictest recommendations for PPE.

For example, I don't prepare lye solution or soap batter in glass. Glass breaks; I have broken too many glass containers in my lifetime to take that risk; they would likely not even last long enough to become etched enough to shatter; I'd just plain drop them or knock them against the side of the sink and they'd crack. I know this about myself when it comes to glass. I only make lye solution by seating my container inside the kitchen sink or inside a dishwashing-type tub (plastic) to contain any possible spills, leaks, boil-overs, etc. Yes, I have had a boil-over once when mixing NaOH into a alcohol & sugar containing liquid, so glad to have already created this rule for myself. I wear a particulate mask when working with fine powders to protect my respiratory system. I wear prescription safety goggles.

Incidentally, I do covet the onion googles, but need to be able to read my soap recipe, so they would not work well with my vision limitation.

I always wear gloves and change them as needed; that is something I have no problem with at all and never have. But I worked with a unit clerk for a number of years in hospital who had to have special accommodation for her inability to wear the required gloves against her skin. The infection control nurse found an accommodation for her that worked and she was able to work with gloves over personal gloves; I am sure it was a hassle for her to learn to manage, but she did. I have worn nitrile gloves overtop of my arthritis gloves at times in the winter when making soap because the cold can get to me even though my arthritis medication is really quite effective in preventing pain.

My rinsing station is only steps away from where I make soap, so for me that works quite well. Others may not have that luxury, but they have to make their own decisions based on their specific circumstances.

When I make lye soap with my granddaughter, I make sure we are both fully PPE's up, including hair pulled back, gloves, goggles, aprons. If our soapmaking is not with lye-active soap (such as MP or soap dough that has already saponified), then no googles, just our glasses. The only thing I do not do is wear close-toed shoes with her, because I never wear close toed-shoes unless I am out in a storm or the snow, so rarely even have any with me when I travel, which is usually the only time we make soap together.

Granted, when I say 'flip-flops' the first thing that might come to mind is the lowest quality $1 cheapo pair from a dollar store, but that is NOT what I wear. I wear high quality, well fitting, don't-fall-off-when-I-walk-arch-support-style of zorries that hold up very well as shoes. If they did not, I would not wear them. I go to great lengths to find and purchase only the style that works well for my feet given the problems I have had with my feet over the years, and they are not cheapo $1 dollar store come-apart-when-someone-steps-on-the-back-of-them types.

I have never yet slipped on a soap splatter. Soap has only ever splattered onto the worktable, onto my person (apron, arm with and without long-sleeves, once on my cheek, on my foot), onto the rug upon which I stand when I make soap, but never in sufficient amounts to cause a slip or fall. That is not to say it cannot or will not happen, but I don't walk around with vessels full of soap batter (one of my personal rules). I stand in one spot at my work station and move batter around on that table, not across the room. The only time I'd have the opportunity to spill or drop soap batter onto the bare floor would be after it is in the mold if I move it to the oven for CPOP, in which case, it is only a few steps away and on a tray which I carefully carry. I have yet to drop a mold full of soap, and hopefully will forego that accident.

Incidentally, when the splatter hit my foot, I was not 'wildly rinsing raw soap from between my toes'. I simply put my foot into my sink and turned on the cold water, letting it do the rinsing naturally. I also followed the rinse with a bit of soap and water, because that's sort of a natural follow-up on my part. Nothing wild about my calm and purposeful reaction. I also then rinsed my shoes to be sure they were also free of raw soap & set them out to dry, but all this took a very short time; less time that it would have taken me to remove tennis shoes and clean them off (speaking from experience as I have had to clean off tennis shoes with messy spills on them in the course of my life.)
 
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Another alternative in mixing lye is recommended by Kevin Dunn in his “Scientific Soapmaking” book. I borrowed the book from the library a few years back.

He recommends using a polypropylene plastic bottle with lid to avoid fumes and splashes of the lye. I think the full explanation can be found in chapter 4 of the book.
 
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Jimminy crickets! Glad you are ok. You should have it checked by a doctor, though. Srsly - eyes, you only get the two and you need both.

Googles!!!
I did something similar when I first started making soap. I was wearing my glasses and forgot the goggles - got lye water in my eye. flushed it with water. Fortunately, it was sore but fine the next day. lesson learned there!
 

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