Posts Tagged ‘lye soap’

What Homemade Lye Soap Really Means

Friday, April 9th, 2010

When someone refers to homemade lye soap, it can be hard to know what they mean if you have never heard it before. Lye is a chemical used to turn ingredients in to soap. This soap making process is often referred to as homemade lye soap.

Lye is used in all soaps at one point. To differentiate between soap makers who are using fresh lye and those who are not, the term “homemade lye soap” came about. This is to help those who are trying to explain their soap making process with lye, and help the rest of us out there who also know that lye is a normal ingredient in all soap.

People make lye soap in a few different soap making processes. There is the heated way, where everything is heated together. The other way is called the cool version, where no heat is required.

The reason why some people choose not to deal with lye is because it is a dangerous chemical. Lye can cause a harmful chemical reaction to your skin if it comes in contact with it. Because of this some soap makers like to use base soap that has already been mixed with lye instead of dealing with lye in its raw form.
soap making process
The chemical lye can actually be made by people who would like to make soap. Homemade lye is often thought of as the only natural way of making soap. Homemade lye has been made by hand for hundreds of years from people around the world, and many people feel it should remain that way.

Others feel that commercial lye, or buying a block of the chemical, works just as well. Commercial lye is usually viewed as less natural. However, since both the commercial lye and homemade lye cause the same result when it causes a catalyst with the soap, it is up to the user which one they would rather use.

Commercial lie takes less time and effort than handmade lye. Commercial lye requires no extra waiting time, while homemade lye does. If you are planning on making your own lye plan on also adding a few extra days to your soap making process.

It can be a long process, but making your own soap can be very fulfilling. If you decide to try it out and want to buy commercial lye instead of making it on your own, look for online vendors. Most local stores do not have lye because of the danger it presents, but it is pretty easy to find online.

Supplies You Need When Making Your Own Soap

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

It can be very rewarding to make your own soap. However, there are different soap supplies that you need to have handy when making your own soap. Having the proper soap supplies is essential if you want to have a good experience.

Making lye soap can be fun. It also is a dangerous hobby since lye can burn like an acid if it touches your bare skin. Having the proper soap supplies can prepare you in case of any spills.

Vinegar works great to neutralize spills. Vinegar also stops lye from harming your table or other surfaces it comes in contact with if you use it quickly. Keep vinegar on hand as an added safety measure.
soap supplies
Use newspaper or other protective coverings to keep your table or work area safe. Do your work in a well ventilated area. The best way to make soap is to do it outside so you do not have to worry about toxic fumes if water and lye come in contact with one another.

Use plastic, wood or glass containers when making the soap. Lye does not work well with aluminum or copper pans. Keep safe supplies on hand to mix the soap mixture with as well. It is best to avoid using metal utensils as a precaution.

Try to keep the stirring spoons separate. Use sturdy plastic stirring spoons to do your stirring. Be sure to not mix the spoons up, but keep one for the oil and the other for the lye mixture.

Have your soap molds handy before you start working on the soap. You can use any type of molds you would like for the soap. Find a mold that suits your style. My favorites are plastic candy molds that fit the different seasons of the year.

Remember to keep other safety soap supplies on hand. Always wear gloves and protective eye wear. Oven mitts are important when making soap the heated way.

Safety Precautions You Should Take When Making Lye Soap On Your Own

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Lye soap has been around for thousands of years. However, lye is a very harmful substance and proper precautions and safeguards should be taken before trying to make soap on your own. Here are a few safety precautions to be aware of when taking on homemade lye soap.

Protect your eyes. Wear protective eye gear or goggle to keep your eyes from harm. Goggles will shield your eyes from coming in contact with lye. Be sure the goggle completely cover the eyes.

Protect your hands. Never try to make lye soap with out wearing gloves. Sturdy rubber gloves work best, though latex gloves can also provide protection.

lye soap

Wash out all pans that were used to make the lye soap thoroughly. If you touch the pans that are simply washed out and have any remnants of lye you can burn your hands. If you are making lye soap consider designating certain pots and pans for soap making and do not mix them with the rest of your kitchen items to prevent accidents.

Use the right utensils and tools when making lye soap. Use products that have less chance of causing a dangerous reaction when coming in contact with lye. Try using enamel, plastic, glass, or wood when mixing the water with the lye.

Always add lye to the water and not the other way around. If you pour the water in to the lye mixture there is a chance of a dangerous reaction where the lye may explode. This is dangerous because the explosion would cause the chemical to get all over you and anyone else around.

Keep your children out of harms way. Children have a habit of getting in the way when we least expect it. Make preparations to do your lye soap projects while children are asleep or out of the home to prevent unnecessary harm coming to them.

Store all unused lye out of reach of children. Be sure to properly label the lye and put it out of reach of pets or children. Lye can be very harmful to them if they find it, so it is important to take precautions when storing lye.