Can of lye corroding, now what? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I went down to the cellar where I have several cans of lye stored for soap making and one of the cans is just disintagrating. It had not been opened and I need to dispose of it, but how and where? Should I put in in some other container first? Will it eat through my latex gloves? Do I put it in with our trash as is? Has anyone else had this happen? I believe I purchased it over a year ago. What do I use to clean off the shelf where it was setting? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks

-- (, January 21, 2002


Wrap it in thick layers of newspaper and throw it away.

-- Patricia Ramsey (WOOLSPIN@AOL.COM), January 21, 2002.

Put it in a glass jar, then put it in the trash.

-- GT (, January 21, 2002.

The remedy of putting it into the trash is what i would suggest...but the problem is where you are storing must be stored in a regulated climate...there is too much humity in the cellar....Lye is naturally a " sponge "...It will soak up any moisture in the air around it...try to find a new place to store it...Maybe a large rubbermaid container inside a closet somewhere in your home or garage ( if it is heated and cooled ) out of harms reach....

-- Kristean Thompson (, January 21, 2002.

instead of throwing it away,,just hurry and make some soap

-- Stan (, January 21, 2002.

It sounds like you are out in the country, do you have a paved driveway or dirt and gravel? I would shake it out on the ground where I didn't want anything to grow, and a dirt/gravel driveway is a good spot, you could then neutralize it with some vinegar if you want to show the kids a science experiment, or let nature do it, which is the safer way to go about it, just make sure none of it will run off into a food or water area, I've used it in rat tunnles, some along the fence line where that little scrub tree is started, a bit on ant hills, a touch where that stubborn thorny vine won't quit growing,

Clean the shelf first with dry old rags, then rinse it with vinegar mixed with cold water, watch the rags for wear they will seem to disolve if the lye is strong [and use more vinegar], it will not hurt your cleaning gloves just rinse them with vinegar after your done cleaning [and any spots that get on you immediately = have the vinegar right at hand] I personally feel it is saver to dispose of it on the property than to wrap and toss it, because some where down the line that lye has to react with something else to break down into safer chemical compounds, and if you toss it you don't know who may pick it up not knowing what it is,or what other chemicals it may mix with at that time.

-- Thumper (, January 21, 2002.

The soap making sites that I have looked at recommend using vinegar to neutralize spills of lye water (sodium hydroxide solution).

So put on your soap making gloves and use vinegar to clean up the lye that has spilled onto your shelf. Place a glass or heavy weight plastic dish pan under the shelf or shelf edge to catch all the vinegar/lye solution that you will be washing off the shelf.

-- BC (, January 21, 2002.

I know your question concerned how to dispose of the lye, the current problem, which has been answered. May I suggest a storage solution for the future? For those of us who have to contend with dampness as a problem in our storage areas, inserting any can into a plastic bag when first storing it makes a great difference. I would get those other cans of lye into plastic bags now so the same thing doesn't happen to them.

-- Dianne Wood (, January 22, 2002.

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