setting up a work area

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Wyndham Dennison, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. Jan 20, 2020 #1

    Wyndham Dennison

    Wyndham Dennison

    Wyndham Dennison

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    I have several places that could work as a soap make and pour area, but since I have not poured a cp batch, I'm wondering about ventilation. How strong do the fumes from the lye reaction get. From the videos I've seen, it does not seem to be a problem but I don't know how much , if any , ventilation is going on.
    I'd rather do it right than to have to redo a work area.
    How large a batch might cause the ventilation to change. Thanks Wyndham
     
  2. Jan 20, 2020 #2

    KiwiMoose

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    I make 2 pound batches mostly. I use ice and water in my lye mixture and mix in front of an open window next to the stove with an extractor fan. I have not smelt any fumes yet!
     
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  3. Jan 20, 2020 #3

    Nona'sFarm

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    Some ventilation is good when dissolving the lye into the liquid. I usually do it near the stove fan and have that going as I am mixing. Hope that helps answer your question.
     
  4. Jan 20, 2020 #4

    TheGecko

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    You really only need ventilation when you are mixing the lye. Most of the time it’s not an issue for me as I use frozen distilled water, when when I’m in the mood for use the HTM (heat transfer method) I just turn aroun and open my kitchen window (I have a rolling kitchen island that I use for soaping).
     
  5. Jan 20, 2020 #5

    bookreader451

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    I use my basement and I just mix my lye and walk away until it cools. Even when I masterbatch I have never had issues with ventilation. When I first began I was mixing it outside but, then I set up my work station in the basement. I found that it is such an open area I didn't have issues, even without direct ventilation.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2020 #6

    shunt2011

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    I mix my lye in the kitchen sink. I just add my lye and slowly stir it with my head turned and arm out. Then just walk away until it's cooled. If it's nice outside I'll open the window but not usually. Even when masterbatching I do the same.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2020 #7

    Carly B

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    I make 1 or 2 pound batches, and now I masterbatch the lye. It's not that bad. I work on a counter peninsula that divides the living room and the dining room. I
    measure and mix (generally stir at arms length) then leave it alone for a little while. Fumes are gone in less than a minute. I generally masterbatch approximately a cup of lye with 2 cups water (it's measured precisely when I do it, just giving an approximation of how much I do at a time), and it generally lasts me for several batches.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2020 #8

    ShirleyHailstock

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    Since I'm new to the process, I follow the rules, long sleeves (and shoes), gloves, open windows (regardless of weather conditions). I find I need to move the mixture away from the window or it cools before my oils are ready. So far, I have mixed the water-lye with the oils at the 110 degrees suggested.
     
  9. Jan 21, 2020 #9

    shunt2011

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    They don't have to be the same temperature. Many of us use room temp lye mixture and oils that have just been warmed to about 90 degrees or less.
     
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  10. Jan 21, 2020 #10

    Kathymzr

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    Don’t stick your nose over to test the fumes. Stove fan, open window or room fan are fine. I too just walk away for a little while.

    However, if you have birds, they are extra sensitive to all fumes and smells, so they should not be in the same area at all.
     
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  11. Jan 21, 2020 #11

    Martha

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    I always mix my water and lye outside. I've caught a whiff of the fumes and they are nasty.
     
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  12. Jan 22, 2020 #12

    Claire Huddle

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    Genius! Why didn't I think of that? The extractor fan I mean. I need to go beat my head against a wall now. :beatinghead:
     
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  13. Jan 22, 2020 #13

    KiwiMoose

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    Yep, I’m pretty clever me. ;)
     
  14. Jan 22, 2020 #14

    CatahoulaBubble

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    I just do it all in my kitchen and turn on the fan over the stove. I've never really even noticed fumes.
     
  15. Jan 22, 2020 #15

    Kcryss

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    I do it all in the kitchen as well. I turn on the exhaust fan for the stove and mix it there.
     
  16. Jan 24, 2020 #16

    EllieMae

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    I second (third, fourth...) doing it in the kitchen, under the stove fan. I usually mix enough lye water to make a few 2 pound batches at once and as long as the fan is on high (and I'm not deliberately trying to smell the fumes or something silly like that) it's never been a problem.
     
  17. Jan 24, 2020 #17

    cmzaha

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    The sink is the safest place in case of an accident. I mix 2 gallons at a time and just turn my head when initially stirring it, then walk away. I do stir it often while it is cooling because I am mixing 50/50 but the fumes are gone by then. If you mix outside that means you are carrying the container back inside, unless soaping outside, now you risk tripping and spilling lye. When I first started soaping I would put the lye container on my deck rail, well I tripped carrying it back inside once, although I did not spill any I never put it outside to cool again. It goes in the sink where it is contained and water is immediately available.

    There are really no set in stone rules other than common sense and protecting your eyes. You did not mention the most critical eye protection. I do not wear closed shoes or long sleeves. If I have a spill I do not want the lye soaking through shoes or long sleeves. I want to get to that water fast.
     
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  18. Jan 24, 2020 #18

    dibbles

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    My soaping space is in the basement. I wear a respirator while mixing the lye, as there is no window or fan. There is also no sink so I place my pitcher inside a large stainless bowl to be on the safe side. The fumes dissipate quickly and I cover the pitcher loosely with a paper towel once they do.
     
  19. Jan 24, 2020 #19

    Millie

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    Sink right next to the window with a fan blowing out for me. Can actually see the vapor heading for the window.
     
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  20. Jan 25, 2020 #20

    Iluminameluna

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    I'm an apt dweller without a properly vented kitchen stove (I'm in TX) so I mix my small batch of lye outside on my stoop. Then I do my mixing inside. The first few hours of the saponification takes place on my stoop as well. All of this because my entire son's family, as well as myself, suffer from allergic rhinitis, so ANY kind of fumes set us off.
    Just putting this out there for those that don't have the space, and letting them know there's alternatives.
     

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