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Thread: Soap making question

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Soap making question

    I have been looking at soap recipes and I am wondering about the safety of using lye. Reading that lye is destructive to living tissues, can cause burns, scars or blindness, etc. is rather scary. But the lye-free recipes call for commercially made soaps like fels-naphta that contain ingredients I would not want to use. And what is the point of making your own soap if you are making it with store bought soap? Does the lye change when combined with the fat that it is no longer harmful to skin?

    I have never attempted to make soap before so I am completely ignorant on the subject. I would appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Lye is a strong base - usually sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (POH). You use it for saponification. As long as you follow the directions, the lye should be fully consumed in the reaction that converts the fat into soap.

    But yes, you need to wear gloves when handling any solid NaOH or POH or strongly concentrated solutions of either.
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  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    ^^that. We make our own bars and the big thing that many people skip or don't do long enough is letting the soap sit afterward. Three weeks is the minimum before I will use our soap. Any sooner and it has left my skin irritated and burned. But if we wait it's a beautiful result.

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  4. #4
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    Jan 2007
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    Great - thank you for your advice.

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