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Soap Making Safety: The DO's and DON'Ts for Handling Lye

I put off making my first batch of soap because I was scared to death of lye. When I finally built up the courage, I covered the entire kitchen in newspaper and opened every window because I heard lye gives off deadly fumes. I wore a long, heavy duty lab coat over my long-sleeved shirt and pants, rubber gloves that went up to my elbows and goggles I had snatched from the garage.

I was so certain that a cloud of noxious fumes was going to engulf the house, or that the lye water was going to melt my containers and quite possibly burst into flames, that I sent my husband and children out for the day.

The fear of lye is common among beginning soapers. By the time I finished that first soap batch, I realized that working with lye isn't all that scary

Of course, lye is caustic and has to be handled carefully.  But as long as you use common sense, and follow a few safety rules, you'll be just fine. Pinky promise.

Use only 100% lye
The lye you use for making your soap must say 100% l…

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