Summertime: bee-sting Soap ?

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Parke Co. Grapevine

Active Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
31
Reaction score
18
Location
Parke county, Indiana
Not sure if this is the right category for my Q. but maybe some of you that have studied the chemistry of soap can help here. I have older customers who swear that the 'lye' in a plain, granny-type soap is their secret weapon against bee stings and other insect bites. They carry a bar of granny soap to swab/rub on a bite. Their grandkids come running, they tell me, for a rub of 'lye' soap when they get a sting or bite. They swear the 'lye' in the soap takes away the pain and immediately stops the swelling.

NOW< I know if we are making soap correctly and safely, there is actually no lye left in the soap. It's all just - soap. I know from the experience of my skin touching raw soap or a scattered grain of lye-crystal, that I would not want to ever put lye on my grandchild's skin! My husband and I both believe that the truth in this case is that *any* homemade soap would do the same thing because it is, by chemical definition a 'salt' and that is what contradicts the itching and swelling. Commercial soaps are mostly 'other ingredients' that would have little effect on the sting or bite. We've had older customers get agitated and walk away when we try to explain that all soaps are made with lye, but no lye remains in the final product. I don't really expect to be able to explain the chemistry or change their mind; I'm also not going to be deceptive in our selling and marketing. Just asking . . . does anyone else have input or insight on this?
Moved to CP
 

OliveOil2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
856
Reaction score
350
I have had yellow jackets set up nests near my yard a couple of years in a row, I found that just making a paste out of salt would take the pain away, and the swelling would go down. It's so easy that I don't think using soap would work any better. I agree, you don't want to be making any medical claims. I just saw a bar on the web that was for scrapes and cuts, and my first thought was that this might cause problems for the seller.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,984
Reaction score
21,092
Location
USA
As a beekeeper, I can say that soap, burdock, plantain, or any other folk remedy do not really work on bee stings. Most commercial concoctions don't work either. You are putting a superficial treatment on the skin that is really an internal problem, but if it makes a person feel better, there's no harm in it.

The best remedy for a bee sting is to immediately remove the stinger however you can get it out. Posthaste, do it yesterday, don't hesitate, use your fingers or fingernails, and GET IT OUT! That is your immediate first aid. The common advice to find a credit card to scrape out the stinger is stupid -- by the time you dig out a card, the stinger will have delivered a full dose of venom so you might as well not bother. If you want to minimize the damage, time is of the essence.

Then a little cussing is very helpful to ease the immediate pain. Oral antihistamine (Benadryl) is good. A dab of cortisone cream if the itching gets too much. Ice is good to soothe as needed. The real prescription is time ... about 2-3 days for the swelling to go down.

A dramatic local swelling is normal for most people. Only if the symptoms occur far away from the sting site is there a serious problem -- and if you have issues with breathing, hives, etc., get to the emergency room.
 

Ruthie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Messages
2,012
Reaction score
763
Location
central Oklahoma
I've had such claims come my way, too. And if it makes them feel better then go for it. Just keep a plain bar handy and when a person wants some, sell it to them. The seller does not have to make any claims.
 

meeplesoap

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2013
Messages
95
Reaction score
86
My husband likes using a salt bar on stings, burns, and scrapes... he feels the high salt content dries it out instead of letting it get gooey (gross.) In fact, he scraped a huge chunk of skin off his knee, and for the last week he's been washing it once a day with the salt bar, then a pat of alcohol and it is healing much faster as it's "dry." I have no idea if it really works other than anecdotal evidence, however!

The first day he only foamed it up between his hands and washed it gently that way, and boy it stung! After that, he very gently used the soap itself, which helped exfoliate off any dirt or particles, but left the scab intact.
 

Moody Glenn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
291
Reaction score
292
Location
Northern Ohio USA
Cussing and ice always work for us! :)

Isn't it funny how some people want "lye soap" for every ailment under the sun - and others run away screaming from the mere mention of lye?

So true, so true. I can't add anything to your statement Pamielynn. Thanks for a good laugh! :lol:
 

OliveOil2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
856
Reaction score
350
I think the salt would draw out the toxins, at least that is the theory for the yellow jacket stings, and first hand I can say that I was amazed at how well the salt paste worked. My brother in law insists on shaving with a salt bar, I've told him that one nick and he would be sorry. He says that if he nicks himself the salt helps it to heal, but ouch!
 

Parke Co. Grapevine

Active Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
31
Reaction score
18
Location
Parke county, Indiana
Thanks all, for the input! It's nice to know that others hear the same thing from customers. We do make a batch of just plain lard-n-lye soap once in awhile, just to have on hand for those who want,"Just a bar of old LYE soap ." Lately, we had a customer refuse even our plain bars cause they were not 'rough' enough in appearance. She would not believe that they were 'plain LYE soap.' Just can't please some people, I guess. :)
 

Latest posts

Top