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Topic: am I being over-cautious?  (Read 464 times)
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TexasThistle
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« on: March 01, 2009 01:10:51 PM »

Today I made my first batch of CP soap. I was very nervous about using lye and I might have gone a little overboard. I had on big thick goggles, a long sleeve worksshirt,chemical gloves and a respirator. I really didnt want to touch the stuff, because it was my first time working with it and I was not sure what it would do to me if I touched it. I was also nervous about cleaning up afterwards but I read that all you have to do is clean it with hot soapy water. I went ahead and put all the cloths I used to clean up in the laundry hamper and scrubbed my stovetoo good (we have an electric stove).

was I over-doing it? what safety measures do you use when working with lye?
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009 01:47:57 PM »

sounds about right..I do very small batches so the fumes never really get to me..

I clean my areas with some vinegar and water solution and a paper towel..

and I dont know what WILL happen to you but I personally wouldnt want to find out..

and I dont think when handling the lye you can ever really be TOO cautious..

let us know how it turns out..welcome to the addiction..
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009 01:55:03 PM »

Be cautious but try to stay comfortable. If you pack on too many layers you might get stiff and clumsy (like the poor little guy in the snowsuit in A Christmas Story!).

My biggest thing is not having to move the lye around much. I open the window above the sink for the fumes, have my soap pot in the right sink, my lye water in the left sink. I keep the lye on the left counter, and measure the lye and water right there, put the pitcher of water in the sink, pour the lye in, stir and when ready to pour just have to pour into the pot in the right sink.

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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009 02:28:46 PM »

Be cautious but try to stay comfortable. If you pack on too many layers you might get stiff and clumsy (like the poor little guy in the snowsuit in A Christmas Story!).

My biggest thing is not having to move the lye around much. I open the window above the sink for the fumes, have my soap pot in the right sink, my lye water in the left sink. I keep the lye on the left counter, and measure the lye and water right there, put the pitcher of water in the sink, pour the lye in, stir and when ready to pour just have to pour into the pot in the right sink.

QFT.

I wear an old striped dress shirt of my dad's from the 80's (oh yeah, it's rockin') over a t-shirt. That way I'm protected, but in the event I did spill lye on it, I could rip it off in a hurry. I also agree HIGHLY with MareMare that you want to move around as little as possible. I do almost the exact same routine as MareMare with the sink.

Rather than a respirator, I find tying a bandanna around my face (Michael Jackson style, as MareMare describes it) works just fine. Goggles are always a good thing -- *ahem* I'm looking at YOU, Smitten  Wink -- and as far as gloves go, I just use regular yellow dish gloves. Chemical gloves are okay so long as you can move your fingers comfortably.

I clean my areas with some vinegar and water solution and a paper towel ... and I dont think when handling the lye you can ever really be TOO cautious..

I go over with vinegar and water and then soap and water. And Smitten is SO correct: you can never be too cautious with lye. But as MareMare said, stay comfortable, too, otherwise you'll not enjoy making soap. Smiley
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TexasThistle
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009 03:49:29 PM »

I will add a spray bottle of vinegar to my supply list then.

I didnt think of doing it all in the sink. I (carefully) moved the lye bowl to the stove, but you're right, it makes more sense for me to do everything in the sink.

i love looking at it right now.....it is a lovely buttery-gold color. i dont know if it was the honey or the scented oil but it looks awesome.
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009 08:52:52 AM »

Best thing to use to dilute any lye spills is WATER!!  Plain old water.

Reason being is with water, you are making the base weaker the more water you add to it.

If you use vinegar, you are setting up an exothermic (heat producing) chemical reaction that will cause a hotter burn.

Water
Water
Water
and yet still more
Water.

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