What is lye

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okay, is this an anglo/american thing. What is lye. Is it caustic soda? On the package it says sodium hydroxide solid>98%. What is Fels Naptha. Is it just a regular soap bar or is it used specifically for laundry. What would be an equivalent. We don't have it here. Please help me. I really want to try soap next. I spend way too much money with Proctor and Gamble (sarcastic laugh).

Many thanks


-- Alison Homa (alisonhoma@aol.com), November 13, 2001


By the way I should have said I am in England, It's not that I'm thick I just don't understand you yanks (said with love and appreciation)



-- Alison Homa (alisonhoma@aol.com), November 13, 2001.

Lye is a name for potassium hydroxide and is dangerous to handle without proper precautions. It is strong enough to be a sink drain cleaner. Fels Naptha is a hard, yellow laundry bar soap available at www.thedialstore.com and can also be used as a bug killer when diluted with water. This info came from a google search and I can not say whether it is correct or not.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), November 13, 2001.


Hello, welcome and good luck in soapmaking. You may want to check out these sources:


http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-one-category.tcl? topic=Countryside&category=Soap%20Making

Let us know how it turns out!

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), November 13, 2001.

Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are called lye. The lye in soap recipies specifically refers to sodium hydroxide, so your caustic soda would be the equivalent. Oils have a different saponification value with potassium hydroxide, so if you use it instead of sodium hydroxide you must adjust the recipe accordingly. There are several on-line calculators that will help you do this. Also, soap made with potassium hydroxide never really gets hard, that's why it's often used in formulas for liquid soap.

-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), November 14, 2001.

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