Message Number: YG2362 | New FHL Archives Search
From: ferret
Date: 2001-04-08 17:22:00 UTC
Subject: Lye

Not quite sure why people were discussing lye, but I thought I'd chip in
my two cents' worth since I make soap (and teach soapmaking) as a hobby:

Lye is a very alkaline substance that is used as a drain unclogger, and
also to make soap. It works (in both instances) by converting fats to
salt, a process known as "saponification". (Soap is a form of salt, by
the way ... sodium oleate if it's made from olive oil, sodium tallowate if
it's made from tallow, sodium cocoate if from cocoa butter, etc.)

Lye will burn the skin if it gets on it .. particularly in the presence of
water. It is very, very caustic. It also gives off fumes when added to
water .. and gets very, very hot (above boiling ... about 215 degrees

- Ela

(000)___(000) Ela Heyn
/ @ @ \ ferret@p...
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