You can’t make soap without lye, so finding lye for soap making is your first challenge. Unfortunately because lye is used in the making of methamphetamines. With a bit of research online you will find places that will ship to you as long as you are ordering from the country you live in.
You can also check out local hardware stores and if they don’t carry it, they can usually refer you to a chemical supplier. Once you have found some, keep a good relationship with your supplier and you should have no problems in the future. If you have to buy in large quantities consider contacting other soap makers and see if they are interested in dividing up the order.
The common chemical name for lye is sodium hydroxide. This is simply a chemical that can dissolve fat which is why it’s the main ingredient for soapmaking. When making liquid soap you will most often be using potassium hydroxide and when making hard soap you will use sodium hydroxide. This lye can be found in different solid forms and may be a powder or granules. If you find it in liquid form it will have been mixed with water and this must be taken into account when using it in a recipe. When using it for hard soap, there is no substitute for sodium hydroxide. It’s the one ingredient that makes everything work and turns out perfect soap for you.
Lye soap has been around for hundreds of years. It’s makes soap making easy and it works well in your recipes. Despite rumors to the contrary, lye soap is very gentle. The soap you make at home, using lye, if far superior to what you buy in the store and has a lot less harmful chemicals. On top of that, it saves you a considerable amount of money.
So, you’re going to use lye for soapmaking, and one of the first things you need to know after you have purchased your lye, is how to use it safely. First, the one most important rule is to keep it in a safe place, high up and out of the reach of children or pets. When making your soap you should always wear eye protection, long sleeves and rubber gloves.
Never pour your water into the lye. You are at great risk of it splashing up and injuring you as well as it can cause a violent reaction in the mixture itself. When putting lye into water you should always add it very slowly and stir gently while doing it.
If you have your mixture of lye/water completed, make sure you label it well in big black bold letters. If you store it somewhere or even leave it on a counter for a few minutes, you risk someone else thinking it’s some sort of beverage and they may drink it.
Thanks to the internet you can easily find online lye calculators that will be of great help to you when using lye in your recipes. Many of the online lye calculators will also help you in determining whether the essential oils you are going to use will produce a good lather. When using online calculators it is wise to use at least two different sites, to make sure you are getting the correct calculations. This simple step can save you a lot of money and heartbreak. Since using lye in soap making is one of the most crucial steps, don’t take chances. Check and double check. Another consideration is that some of the world uses metric measurements and by using lye calculators you take out all the guesswork.
If you’re ready to start making soap, remember when it comes to lye for soap making, lye is going to be your best friend. It’s the one ingredient that makes it all come together and is safe enough to be used in soap for newborn babies. You’ll find more information on our site specifically about lye for soap making as well as much more information on all the different soaps at Soap Making Made Easy.
Suzy Sutherland is a Soap Making Guru, has written her own book on “Soap Making Made Easy”, and has been making her own soap products for years. For more information and great tips on learning how easy soap making is visit her site at: http://www.soapmakingguru.com
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