Reusing Glass Soap Making Dishes for Food?

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MellonFriend

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I have these two pyrex dishes that I used three time for my lye and lye solution before learning that glass and lye is a soaping no-no. My mom really likes this type of pryrex dish and she was wondering if instead of throwing them out, would be safe to use these dishes for food now? We could run them through the dishwasher a couple times and/or maybe wash them out with oil to react any residues left. What do you think?
 

kagey

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I reuse items in the kitchen that I used for soaping all the time.

While the whole lye-thing is scary and dangerous, it's not an everlasting demon that lurks on your tools or containers if they've been properly washed.

Think about it: Lye losess its potency the minute you open the container. That's why lye must be kept in a sealed container. Lye cannot linger on containers indefinitely to zap you when you're most vulnerable. It has a shelf life -- and it dissolves in water.

Once you've saponified your oils, lye has been converted to a soap molecule... meaning there is no lye in your ingredients any more (unless you've somehow didn't fully dissolve your lye in wanter and then created lye pockets). So your stuff now has soap on it.

As long as your utensils and containers are thoroughly cleaned and allowed to sit in open air, there's no reason for them not to be safe. After all, you wash them with soap and then cook with them, right? Are you afraid of there being soap in your food?
 

jcandleattic

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Another thing to consider - if you are using food safe lye then it should be okay. After all lye is used to make some types of pretzels.
@IrishLass has a few posts on here about how she makes her pretzels with lye.
Wash them well, and don't use them again for soapmaking and you should be fine.
 

IrishLass

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Besides pretzels, lye is also used in processing hominy, Dutch chocolate, olives, lutefisk (a Nordic dish of fish that's been soaked in lye), Asian noodles, etc.... As a matter of fact, my local Asian market sells prepared lye solution for making noodles.

The true danger of lye stems from it causticity. In other words, it is not a toxic poison like cyanide and the like. It's just that its extremely high alkalinity at full strength has the ability to eat through things like your skin and other body parts. But when diluted down enough with water and/or when mixed with other things that chemically change it into a different substance, such as a sodium soap when mixed with oils, etc.., it's quite tame. For instance, when I bake my lye-soaked pretzel dough in the oven, it chemically changes into harmless calcium carbonate and makes my homemade pretzels taste distinctively like pretzels instead of plain baked, pretzel-shaped bread.


IrishLass :)
 
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The only reason i really dont reuse dishes is because unless its glass…after a while they get kinda gross.

i use my regular spoons for mixing my lye solution.

i have used my sb for soup…ensuring that it was completely clean of soap, oils, and hidden gunk.

i used a pitcher recently for iced tea, and I lived to tell about it lol.
 
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Sodium hydroxide is added to our water supply all the time to balance ph, which is crucial in old water systems with lead. If the water department in Flint, MI, had injected sodium hydroxide to treat acidic water when the water source was switched, the tragedy of lead poisoning so many children would never have happened. So . . . The moral is that lye can be beneficial to our health. 😊
 
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Dutch chocolate
Oh dear, no! Well yes, it's technically true that NaOH is able (and is used industrially) for “Dutching” cocoa, but please, no, don't do this. No cocoa has deserved that lye bath. Compared to the original cocoa (naturally acidic due to fermentation), Dutching ruins the taste, kills many “happiness substances”, and at times even introduces off-tastes with a metallic (!) aftertaste, or reminding soap (!!) or pretzels (!!!). AFAIK they do it to ease separation of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, and the greatest advantages of the final product are a consistently dark colour, and easier to disperse in water/milk (& less clumping). NOT WORTH it. Not even sure if feasible on hobbyist scale at all.

Do yourself a favour, and, if possible, stay with non-Dutched cocoa.
 
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