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Video:How to Safely Make Lye Solution for Soap

with David Fisher

Many people fear making soap from scratch because of lye. While lye can cause burns, like any chemical, it can be dealt with safely and properly. Learn how to safely make lye solution, and you'll be on your way to homemade soap in no time!See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Safely Make Lye Solution for Soap

Hi, I'm David Fisher with About.com. One of the biggest reasons I have heard of people not trying to make their own soap from scratch is their fear of dealing with lye. While lye is a dangerous chemical and can cause sever burns, or worse, like any chemical in your house, it can be dealt with safely and properly.

Today, I am going to walk you through the steps of making a lye solution to make your own soap from scratch. And give you tips on how to do it safely and properly.

Supplies Needed to Make Lye

The first thing we are going to do is step out all of our ingredients and our equipment so that we are ready to go. To make a lye solution, you will need:
  • accurate scale
  • pitcher with a lid
  • large measuring cup or another pitcher
  • stainless steel spoon or a plastic spoon
  • thermometer
  • rubber gloves,
  • eye goggles
  • lye
  • distilled water

Lye Safety

Once that is done, put on your rubber gloves and long sleeves are a good idea too. And put on your safety goggles.

Measure Out the Lye

The first thing we are going to do is measure out our lye on your scale. Zero out your scale. For this recipe it uses just over 3 oz of lye. Slowly measure out the lye into the cup.

Measure the Water

The next thing to do is to measure out your water. And with soap making you need to measure out everything, even your water. Zero out your scale. This recipe uses about 6.5 oz of water.

Mix the Water and Lye

Once you have got your water and your lye ready, you are ready to mix. When this is mixed, it is going to get hot, very quickly. It will get about 200 degrees in about 30 seconds. Making sure you get as much out of the measuring cup as possible.

Here is a tip: There is a little bit of lye still left in this measuring cup, make sure you put this aside in a safe place.

With your stainless steel or plastic spoon, go ahead and stir the lye and the water together. There is going to be a little bit of fumes for this, so make sure you stand back and are in a well-ventilated area. Just like the measuring cup, there is a little bit of lye left on this spoon, so make sure it gets placed in a safe place or run it over in the sink with water. If you take the temperature now you will see this is about 180 degrees.

To make your soap you need the lye to cool down to just over 100 degrees. So set this aside in a safe place. And by safe place I mean, make sure that there are no children, or pets, or spouses that are going to come in and are going to upset this.

See, that was not that hard or that scary, now was it? And now you are ready to make some soap. Thanks for watching. For more information, visit us on the Web at About.com.
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