Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Safe Lye Handling, Precautions!!

Safe Lye Handling, Precautions!!

Lye is a caustic material and must be handled with care. Please follow the safe handling precautions when working with and handling lye.
 The following safty precautions apply when using both Sodium Hydroxide (for making bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide (for Liquid soap making).

1.) Always wear your protective gear when handling or working with Lye.
gogles or face shield, gloves (Nitrile,Latex or rubber), long sleeves, long pants, shoes (No open toes). An apron is also nice to wear. I like ones with big pockets. A soap makers hat is a nice addition as well.

2.) Mix lye solution in a heavy duty plastic #6 container or in stainless steel (NEVER use glass and NEVER use aluminum when soap making) Stir your  lye solution with a rubber heat resistant spatula or a stainless steel utensil. The container used to mix lye solution in should always be maked with an "X" and read "Caustic" to prevent other from touching the container/lye solution and hopefully prevent accidents.

3.) DO NOT breath in lye fumes!!
Always work in a ventilated area when working with any type of lye or when mixing  your lye solution. Mixing lye solution under a running exhaust fan on your stove is a good idea. Leaving a window open works as well.
You could also mix your lye solution outdoors, then bring it in and set it in the sink or in a safe place until ready to use.

4.) Always add Lye to the water.
NEVER EVER add water to the lye, because this can create a volcano effect and burn you.
When i first started out making soap, my soap teacher helded us to remember by telling us to remember that "Snow falls on the Lake"..  Meaning you add your lye to your water and never the other way around.
(Use cold water or room temperture water, NEVER use hot water)

5.) Keep a spray bottle of White Vinegar beside you when your using lye.
Vinegar neutralizes lye.
If you have a spill (and I certainly hope you do not) spray some vinegar on the spill to neutralize it before you clean it up.
DO NOT, Neutralize lye on your skin!!! I
If you get a splash of lye on your skin rinse immediately under cold running water for 15-20 minutes. After that wash area well with warm soapy water and rinse well. Then you can spray the vinegar on your skin if you feel the need.
 If lye splashes you in the eye (hopefully this will not happen and you are wearing gogles) flush eye out immediately with cold water for 20 minutes.

* If you want to be on the safe side please call poison control and/or go see your medical Care provider.

6.) Keep out of reach of children & pets.
Please make sure children and pets are in another room out of the way when you are handling and working with lye. They could get under your feet and cause serious injury to themself or to you...

7.) Obtain and print out a (MSDS) Material Safty Data Sheet from your supplier for the type of lye that you are using in case of emergency. Keep a copy of this print out and the number to Poison Control by your telephone.

8.) Storing Lye:
Always store your lye in a cool, dark, SAFE place away from children & pets.

9.) Always run your soap recipe through a lye calculator to make sure it is accurate, No matter where the recipe came from.

10.) Always use a good working scale (make sure it is calerbrated right) to weight your ingredients.

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