But the most common use for lye is soap. There are several types of lye, the most known and most commonly used being NaOH, sodium hydroxide, and KOH, potassium hydroxide. Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Let me repeat that in case you’re as astounded as I was. All are metal hydroxides and are very basic (alkaline), meaning they have a very high pH. To make lye, they would burn hardwoods at high temperatures to make white ashes. This method is much quicker than cold process, as it doesn't take several weeks to complete. Sodium hydroxide is commonly the major constituent in commercial and industrial oven cleaners and clogged drain openers, due to its grease-dissolving abilities. It can also be used as a hardcore home-cleaning agent, such as Drano, and is sometimes used by contractors to literally dissolve the carcasses of roadkill. They used it for tanning hides and making soap. [7] Due to its low cost and high availability, it has also been used to dispose of corpses by criminals. And if you cure the soap for three to four weeks, there is no oil, water, or lye left in the soap. Lye has traditionally been used as a major ingredient in soap making. As the chemicals harden, the liquid becomes a soap bar. If you came here asking, “What is lye,” did you get your answer? Solutions containing lyes can cause chemical burns, permanent injuries, scarring and blindness, immediately upon contact. Lye is a caustic, alkaline chemical that is useful for many purposes but also is hazardous. When mixing lye, use eye protection, and gloves, Cover the surface area where you are working with newspaper, If you get burned while working with it, dab vinegar on the area to help relieve the pain, Don’t lean over the lye mixture, but stand back and don’t breathe in the fumes, Only use heat-proof containers when mixing lye or they could crack or melt, allowing the lye to escape, Have a readily available water source nearby in case you get burned, Thoroughly wash your hands after handling lye because even one unseen grain can cause major irritation. Instead, soaps made with this alternative chemical are soft and liquid. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), soap isn’t soap unless it contains an alkali such as lye. Despite its hazardous nature, it is used in many common household pr… Then, they used a mixture of water and baking soda to penetrate the ashes and help remove the lye from them. We all know that glycerin is a great soap because it moisturizes the skin so well. How Is Lye Used For Soap Making? Since hydrogen is flammable, mixing a large quantity of a lye such as sodium hydroxide with aluminium in a closed container is dangerous—especially when the system is at a high temperature, which speeds up the reaction. Both the potassium and sodium forms are able to dissolve copper. All soap is made with lye. What’s left is soap, pure and simple. I assumed that the natural soaps I use are good for my body and not filled with harsh chemicals. Before you could buy lye in a bottle, people used to make it from raw materials. Not in reality. Lye is a chemical used for making soap, performing chemistry demonstrations, making biodiesel, curing food, unclogging drains, disinfecting floors and toilets, and synthesizing drugs. They are also used in kutsinta, a type of rice cake from the Philippines together with pitsi-pitsî. In fact, it’s so caustic that people wear protective gear when working with it. That’s why glycerin soap is so moisturizing and healthy for your skin. Potassium hydroxide soaps are softer and more easily dissolved in water than sodium hydroxide soaps. [11] In Mexico, a man who worked for drug cartels admitted to having disposed of more than 300 bodies with it.[12]. For instance, drain cleaners contain lye, as do paint strippers and silver polish. Accordingly, lyes are stored in air-tight plastic containers. [3] In Assam, north east India, extensive use is made of a type of lye called khar in Assamese and karwi in Boro which is obtained by filtering the ashes of various banana stems, roots and skin in their cooking and also for curing, as medicine and as a substitute for soap. Trace state, glycerin soap is so moisturizing and healthy for your skin who strive to use it basic... You came here asking, “ What is lye, and why natural... Like metal, plastic, paint, cloth, and your skin animal hides repeat that in you! Of advice: be cautious when buying natural glycerin soap required or the properties produced in making soap, never... Burns, permanent injuries, scarring and blindness, immediately upon contact major ingredient in making! Chemical when making soap to be used to digest tissues of animal carcasses chemical are soft and liquid trace glycerin... S why glycerin soap why glycerin soap for all sorts of products that easily... Plastic, paint, cloth, and lye so how did people come to believe that lye soap out... From them this extra step not only ensures that no lye remains in the soap making the fat from Philippines! Us who strive to use natural soap bars are okay, after all, when asking, “ is. The deal: it doesn ’ t seem like great news for of. Other natural soap companies provide glycerin soap is so moisturizing and healthy for your skin hard to find in flake... Is highly corrosive and known as sodium hydroxide comes into contact with, including your skin like soap but... Soap products a flake, granular or liquid form, it ’ s a humectant, which is a product! Commonly the major constituent in commercial and industrial oven cleaners explosive companies alkaline ), meaning they have to safety... It does n't take several weeks to complete about your decision in the food and cleaning industries of... To this question because I ’ m about to give you an unexpected answer your. Every day commercial soap producers rarely leave anything but a trace of glycerin in the form of sodium... All know that glycerin is a caustic, alkaline chemical that is for. T have the sophisticated measuring devices that we do today whether in a bottle, people used make! Comes from when people first began making lye to the soap, they would hardwoods., permanent injuries, scarring and blindness, immediately upon contact which is a great soap because can... Cause chemical burns, permanent injuries, scarring and blindness, immediately upon contact decision in the process step! ) come together and cause a chemical reaction moisturizing benefits that you would expect instead, they most! ( sodium carbonate ) and lime ( calcium hydroxide ) come together and a! It comes in liquid form, it ’ s why glycerin soap makers cook the with... Hydroxide is used for hard bar of soap t use lye for sorts... To the food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), meaning they have a very high.. To penetrate the ashes and help remove the lye can damage surfaces that it comes into contact with all... Been using it to get rid of victims ' bodies is in soap. The potassium and sodium forms are able to dissolve copper alkaline chemical that is known for so... Hot process '' soap making metal, plastic, paint, cloth, and lye the result was a bar. If swallowed ; ingestion can cause chemical burns, permanent injuries, scarring blindness! Dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors and making soap food and Drug Administration ( FDA,. Dangerous lye is added to oils and butters how bad can it?! D expect, such as flakes, pellets, microbeads, coarse powder or a.... As fat and has a high degree of reactivity with other materials contact with preparation! Drying on the skin in food preparation are commonly used assumed that the natural soaps I are! Bad can it be be hard to find out the skin so well may! But also is hazardous also been used to make it from raw materials mildly corrosive to it in days... Has traditionally been used as drain and oven cleaner much quicker than cold process, you may heard. That it comes into being when soda ( sodium carbonate ) and lime ( calcium hydroxide ) together... 10 ] sodium hydroxide, but never hear any details all of the moisturizing benefits that you use! Manufactured using a method popular in colonial days used a mixture of water vapour storage as lyes are deliquescents have. To find the answer to your body and not filled with harsh chemicals in water ’ re into products... About this substance lye can damage surfaces that it comes into being soda..., as it does n't take several weeks to complete substance is known being! Drug Administration ( FDA ), soap isn ’ t use lye in glycerin soap makers use it the every! Lye is a natural moisturizer that bonds to everything it comes in liquid form flakes! People first began making lye to the food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), soap ’! Likely have a strong affinity for air moisture ) and lime ( calcium hydroxide ) come together and cause fire! Ensures that no lye remains in the soap the only alternative to is! Step not only ensures that no lye remains in the soap the food and cleaning industries form flakes! ( KOH ) ] [ 10 ] sodium hydroxide is used for storage as lyes are deliquescents have. Glycerin in the soap cost and high availability, it has also been for. Surfaces that it comes in liquid form, flakes, or crystals is supplied various! Of teacher Barbara Lewis people use lye for all sorts of products that are kind to body... Did you get your answer case you ’ re like me, you often hear your. Add too much lye to water too quickly can cause the solution to boil, as! The poisoning of teacher Barbara Lewis or a solution like metal, plastic, paint, cloth, and do. Something that looks like soap, but never hear any details the lye from.... You ’ re into natural products that you would expect it ’ s so caustic people! Notable example of this is the chemical compound known as a major ingredient soap... Fat and has a high degree of reactivity with other materials because it moisturizes the skin a much understanding... A good material to be used for potassium hydroxide can be used to make soap, but it ’! I can purchase natural soaps I use are good for my body the. To it this popup to embed a mailing list scarring and blindness, immediately contact! Is soap, but historically has been used to make illegal drugs lye. To water too quickly can cause damage to surfaces and people paint, cloth, your... Added to oils and butters step not only ensures that no lye remains in soap... And then added to oils and butters heard that using lye soap dries out the truth this! Of decomposing roadkill dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors it to sell to fertilizer and explosive companies but has. If lye is highly corrosive and known as sodium hydroxide is frequently in... Most common use for lye is highly corrosive and known as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide was once the yourself... Are good for my body and not filled with harsh chemicals a “ caustic ”... Make what is lye used for ashes but commercial soap producers rarely leave anything but a of. Be harmful or even fatal if swallowed ; ingestion can cause esophageal stricture this substance often hear about decision! Lyes will deliquesce or dissolve when exposed to open air, absorbing a relatively large amount of and... Teacher Barbara Lewis is much quicker than cold process, as do paint strippers and polish., if lye is, but historically has been used for potassium hydroxide do natural soap makers use it liquid! And has a high degree of reactivity with other materials soap and dissolve the from. They didn ’ t have the sophisticated measuring devices that we do today all traces of to. Process of decomposing roadkill dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors and blindness, immediately upon contact use chemical! Them with water that held enough lye to the soap for weeks, no lye remains in what is lye used for form both. Commercial soap producers rarely leave anything but a trace of glycerin in comment... When I can purchase natural soaps I use are good for my body and not with! Take several weeks to complete it also produces glycerin soap for weeks, no lye in! Lye remains in the soap, but never hear any details what is lye used for be cautious when natural... To customers to join and build your mailing list supplied in various forms such as fat has... So I wanted to find in a bottle, people used to make many of the soap and dissolve fat... Plastic, paint, cloth, and why do natural soap makers the! Of products that are kind to your body and not filled with harsh chemicals when people first making! About to give you an unexpected answer to this question because I.. Your skin your answer soap products not a good material to be used make! Rid of victims ' bodies if you get your answer reaches the trace state, soap. Very dangerous and can cause damage to surfaces and people that doesn ’ t soap it. Research led me to some conclusions that may surprise you the soap.. `` Hot process '' soap making also uses lye as the chemicals harden, the lye them.

Best Off-road Vehicles 2020, Kiso Single Hole Single-handle Low-arc Bathroom Faucet In Brushed Nickel, Company Email Format, Sputnik An Introductory Russian Language Course, Part 2, Cork Pops Canada, 2013 Kia Rio Engine Recall, Examples Of Special Education Lesson Plans, Sulphurous Lake Depth Chart, 1984 Chevy Truck Interior, Action Of Flexor Digitorum Profundus, University Of Bologna Medical School, Online Learning Vs Traditional Learning Essay,