How to Make Lye
Lye is a strong alkaline solution that is used in a variety of home recipes, including soaps and detergents. It is also used industrially in biodiesel fuel production, food processing, and the manufacture of paper. With a few simple ingredients and supplies, it is possible to make lye at home.
- 1 part sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or lye)
- 2 parts distilled water
- Rubber gloves
- Tongs or a wooden spoon
- Glass jar or container
- Container for the hot water
- Put on rubber gloves, goggles and old clothes before starting the lye-making process.
- Pour 1 part sodium hydroxide into a glass jar or container.
- Bring 2 parts distilled water to a boil in a separate container.
- Slowly and carefully pour the hot water into the container with the sodium hydroxide.
- Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or tongs. Be careful not to splash or inhale the fumes.
- Leave the mixture undisturbed for several minutes. The sodium hydroxide will dissolve in the hot water and create lye.
- Carefully pour the lye into a sterile jar or container and store it in a cool, dry place.
Caution must be used when making and storing lye. The process should only be done outdoors or with proper ventilation. Lye is an extremely caustic substance and can cause serious burns when in contact with the skin. Wear protective clothing and safety equipment, such as goggles and rubber gloves, at all times.
When storing lye, make sure the container is properly labeled and stored safely away from other household chemicals. Lye can also be disposed of by pouring it down the drain with a large amount of water.
With a few simple ingredients and supplies, it is possible to make lye safely at home. Following the instructions and safety precautions above will help ensure a successful lye-making process.