Lye for Soap Making (Sodium Hydroxide) | Wholesale Supplies Plus
 
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Lye

Our Potassium Hydroxide and Sodium Hydroxide, sometimes called lye, is food grade. It is commonly used to made high quality, handmade soap.

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Sodium Hydroxide Flakes
Crafter's Choice™

Sodium Hydroxide Flakes
From $16.46+
($2.83 / lb)
Our Sodium Hydroxide, sometimes called lye, is food grade. It is commonly used to make high quality, handmade soap. Highest quality produced which makes top quality soap. Many People choose to use these flakes because they claim they produce less static!
Our Sodium Hydroxide, sometimes called lye, is food grade. It is commonly used to make high quality, handmade soap. Highest quality produced which makes top quality soap. Many People choose to use these flakes because they claim they produce less static!
* Ships UPS Ground Only
See Full Details
Pay in 4 interest-free payments on purchases of $30-$1,500 Learn more
Heart - Add to Wishlist
Potassium Hydroxide Flakes
Crafter's Choice™

Potassium Hydroxide Flakes
From $13.09+
($4.06 / lb)
Our Potassium Hydroxide, sometimes called potash or lye, is food grade. It is commonly used to made high quality, handmade liquid soap.
Our Potassium Hydroxide, sometimes called potash or lye, is food grade. It is commonly used to made high quality, handmade liquid soap.
* Ships UPS Ground Only
See Full Details
Pay in 4 interest-free payments on purchases of $30-$1,500 Learn more

Discover the Essentials of Lye for Soap Making

Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a cornerstone ingredient in the soap-making process, transforming oils and fats into beautiful, functional bars of soap. Understanding what lye is used for, particularly in crafting high-quality handmade soap, is fundamental for both beginners and seasoned soap artisans. This guide delves into the world of lye soap making, providing essential insights and answers to frequently asked questions.

What is Lye Used For?

Lye for soap making is the key agent in the saponification process, where it reacts with fats and oils to create soap. This transformation is what gives soap its ability to clean and moisturize. Sodium hydroxide lye is specially formulated for making solid bar soaps, ensuring a perfect balance between cleansing and conditioning properties.

The Role of Sodium Hydroxide Lye in Soap Making

Sodium hydroxide lye is essential for producing high-quality lye soap with a luxurious lather and moisturizing benefits. Its precise formulation ensures that when used correctly, it yields soap that is gentle on the skin yet effective in cleaning. Making soap with lye allows for a wide range of creativity in soap making, from adjusting the hardness of the soap to incorporating various scents and colors.

Lye for Soap: Safety and Handling

Safety is paramount when handling lye for soap making. Always wear protective gear , including long sleeve shirt and pants, close-toed shoes, gloves and goggles, and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes. By respecting lye's powerful properties and following proper safety protocols, soap makers can craft beautiful, skin-nourishing bars safely and effectively. We strongly advise verifying the compatibility of any metal tools you use. Lye can react with certain metals, including aluminum and zinc. For safety, we recommend using stainless steel tools.

Choosing the Right Lye for Your Soap Making Projects

When it comes to making soap with lye, choosing the right type is crucial for achieving the desired outcome. Our food-grade sodium hydroxide lye is perfect for creating luxurious, handmade soaps. Whether you're embarking on your first soap making project or are an experienced artisan, our lye products ensure the highest quality and performance. Discover essential soap making supplies for your custom soap journey. 

FAQs

What does lye do to soap?

Lye is essential for the soap-making process, acting as a catalyst in saponification, which is the chemical reaction that transforms fats and oils into soap and glycerin. Without lye, this transformation cannot occur, meaning lye is fundamental in creating the cleansing and lathering properties we associate with soap. The role of lye in soap making is critical, as it directly influences the texture, clarity, and quality of the final product, making it indispensable for producing traditional lye soap.

What happens if you don’t add enough lye to soap?

For soap making, it is important to use 100% pure sodium hydroxide lye. Sodium hydroxide lye is specifically used for making solid bar soaps, due to its ability to saponify fats and oils effectively. Insufficient lye can result in unsaponified oils, leading to a soap bar that is overly soft at best. While rebatching is an option to fix this issue, it can be quite tedious and time-consuming.

Is lye and sodium hydroxide the same?

Yes, lye and sodium hydroxide refer to the same chemical substance, with the chemical formula NaOH. Lye is the common name for sodium hydroxide when it is used in soap making and other cleaning products. It is a highly caustic base and alkali that is crucial for the saponification process in making solid soap bars, indicating its essential role in the transformation of oils into soap.

What are the side effects of sodium hydroxide in soap?

When sodium hydroxide lye is used correctly and fully reacts with the oils in soap making, it does not leave harmful residues in the finished product. However, if soap contains unreacted lye due to incorrect formulation, it can be harsh and potentially irritating to the skin, causing dryness or burns. It is paramount to follow precise recipes and saponification charts to ensure all the lye is consumed in the process, mitigating any potential side effects in the final lye soap.