While you have your Lye open...

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Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2019
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Boise, Idaho
I acquired a lovely vintage Pyrex casserole with an etched top from an estate sale. It had the normal nasty baked on grease in the lovely design, and I wanted to restore it to it's pristine state.

The wonderful people at Corning actually have a museum and museum website, and the conservator recommends using...lye! to remove that old black grease.

This was before my soapmaking adventures, so I ended up getting drain cleaner because I couldn't find "lye" locally.

I added about 1T if lye to a small plastic tub filled with about 3 inches of water and let the dish soak a bit. I used a toothpick and a toothbrush to gently scrub the grease, and it all came off. So my generations-old pie plates were next! Victory is mine.

The lye water went down the drain since it was at a lesser concentration than specified for it's original intent.

If you're into old Pyrex, I recommend the site https://www.cmog.org/collection/exhibitions/pyrex

That handy to know, thanks. I use lye to strip vintage cast iron so it can be restored. A few days soaking and the pans come out looking great.
That's wonderful to know. I have one I thought about using lye on, but was afraid I would make a mess of it.
As long as its pure cast its perfectly fine. I mix a pound of lye with 4 gallons of water in a plastic tote and sit it out in the sun.

Put the pan in for a day then check it, wear those long yellow dish washing gloves when you do. Keep the tote tightly closed.

You can soak the pan for months with no damage but usually a couple days is enough. Use a stainless steel scrubby to get any stubborn gunk off.
I immediately wash, dry and season my pans once they come out of the lye bath.