Stockpiling Canned Lye (Soap Making) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

In the thread on using wood stove ashes one poster noted it is getting harder and harder to find canned lye (such as Red Devil). For those who use it to make soap, perhaps now is the time to stockpile it for the future.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 05, 2001


Hello Ken, We live in Missouri and here in Missouri there is a bill in legislation to make it illegal to buy any of main ingredients to make metaniphedimines (sp). One of the main ingredients is LYE! If this bill comes into affect, we would have to either make it ourselves or buy it in another state. We chose to consider making it, as there is a way to make it economically. You just punch a hole in a strong storage container like a leak proof box or barrel. You put straw in the bottom of the container to act as a filter. You put the ash on top of the straw and then add water. The water will run through the ash and the straw will filter out the sediment. You collect the water in a container that is under the hole that you punched out in the barrel. This is lye water. Sincerely, Ernest

-- (, November 05, 2001.

My understanding is ash-based lye is best when hardwoods are used. Softwoods will produce a lye too weak to be used for soap making.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 05, 2001.

I thought they used baking soda in meth labs. How are they going to prevent people from buying that?? It's practically a necessity!

-- Rebekah (, November 05, 2001.

I buy in 20 pound containers from a company in Tenn. It is not called Red Devil Lye but is Lye. There are Chemical companies on the internet that you can buy from. Some charge a hazard fee and others don't. I haven't figure out why?

-- Debbie (, November 05, 2001.

I bought 3 cans 2 years ago on sale,, made a batch of soap,, still using it,, so I still have about 6 years worth of lye for soap making.

-- stan (, November 05, 2001.

Meth is quite a problem everywhere. In this area it is called Hillbilly heroin. You have to sign out and buy only small amounts of psuedophed and antifreeze. For a long time after moving here I couldn't figure out why the stores were always out of psuedophed and we have allergies. Now we know.

I hadn't heard about lye. My goodness--what horrible things are kids putting in their bodies these days? Surely the ingredients would tip them off to the danger?

-- Ann Markson (, November 05, 2001.

I can get it at a local supermarket. It is harder to find than it used to be, but I guess I am just lucky that it is right there at the store I always shop at. I do keep 4 or 5 extra cans on hand (actually they pack it in plastic screw top jars now...still Red Devil) for making soap...just in case.

-- Jenny (, November 05, 2001.

Ken, you'd be better off to call a nearby chemical company and buy lye (sodium hydroxide) bulk. It's about 10 times cheaper than red devil, and since it is beaded, it flows easier. I'm a soapmaker, so I use lye a lot. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, November 06, 2001.

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