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Thread: Lye

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default Lye

    I was asked to make some cold pressed soap for a few honey customers. Where do I buy the lye?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default

    You can make it with hardwood ashes and water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default

    When I used to boil frames in it, I think I bought it at the supermarket.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Default

    Betterbee sells Red Devil brand lye, but I imagine it has to be shipped HazMat. It's not as common in the stores as it once was. I took Betterbee's basic soapmaking class last March, and the instructor advised against using products like Drano because she thought they contained other ingredients besides lye.

    I found some in Lowe's. It's sold as Roebic brand crystal drain opener. On the back of the container is the statement: "Roebic Crystal Drain Opener is 100% sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)." As I remember, it was located in the household cleaners section of the store.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    google lye an you will get a list of suppliers. Camden grey has one with the lowest prices. I've gotten mine at Betterbee. These are sodium hydroxide. If you make it with wood ash I believe you get potassium hydroxide. From what I've read the thing with making your own is it's hard to control the strength.

    So I checked out camden grey and there were two complaints about them. One was about poor quality of essential oils, and bugs in their herbs. Also complaints about bad service etc. One person said they would only buy containers from them. Anyone ever dealt with them?
    Last edited by berkshire bee; 11-25-2007 at 11:08 PM. Reason: read complaint about camden grey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kingston Springs, Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Lye source

    I've bought from these folks - they're fast, professional, and their prices are competitive. Their shipping rates are quite reasonable - the best deal is to make one order to maximize the cost of shipping since there's a pretty broad range of pounds that ship for the same dollars. Seems like a lot of companies make some of their money on shipping.

    Hollie Mulhaupt CEO
    Texas Herbal Body Solutions
    http://www.texasherbalbodysolutions.com
    Texas Natural Supply
    http://www.texasnaturalsupply.com
    1-866-975-9753 Toll Free
    512-266-8141 (Locally in Austin, TX)
    512- 266-0929 Fax

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    Ace hardware has it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    I'm in the same boat. I'm going to try to make soap this winter, mostly for my farmer's market stand in the summer. Likely make some plain soap (what ignorant people called "lye soap," but technically, it's ALL lye soap), some honey & oatmeal.

    I have been inspired by Susan Miller Cavitch's "The Soapmaker's Companion." I'm shopping for wholesale lots of oils right now.

    My lye source is the local farm supply store. They sell three-pound buckets of 100% lye in the plumbing section for opening sewer tile, along with the conventional 18-ounce can for opening drains (around $3.79). Rumor has it that Red Devil quit selling ley at Wal-mart and the grocery stores SUPPOSEDLY because the drug dealers were buying it to make meth.

    I guess it's a secret that meth dealers don't shop at farm supply stores.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Lazy Bee sells it for a good price. My mom makes soaps with out hive products and faced the same problem when they made it illeagle to sell it in most stores! here's a link to their site: http://www.lazybeestudio.com/ They have the best price we've found yet.

    -Nathanael
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    I just went to the site but when I tried to link to soap making supplies from 2 different places it said page is not here?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Lye

    "Where do I buy the lye?"

    Ebay -- Search for Sodium Hydroxide -- Can't miss it

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lye

    We make a lot of cold process soaps and get all our lye from AAA Chemicals. I have spent a lot of time searching for the cheapest lye (including shipping) and these guys have it, their lye is top notch stuff, and their containers are great (we buy the 2lb bottles, 6-8 at a time, which last all year).

    http://www.aaa-chemicals.com/sodium-hydroxide.html
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

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