what is lye used for

After several hours the chamber will contain a liquid with coffee-like appearance,[6][7][8] and the only solids that remain are very fragile bone hulls of mostly calcium phosphate, which can be mechanically crushed to a fine powder with very little force. And it turns out that, just like in the movies, lye is used to make soap. But after reading the possible consequences of working with lye, I’ve decided that the risk just isn’t worth it for my family and me. All are metal hydroxides and are very basic (alkaline), meaning they have a very high pH. It turns out those natural soap bars are okay, after all. [3] In Assam, north east India, extensive use is made of a type of lye called khar in Assamese and karwi in Boro which is obtained by filtering the ashes of various banana stems, roots and skin in their cooking and also for curing, as medicine and as a substitute for soap. Lye is sodium hydroxide. Nothing else will make oil become soap. Lye is a chemical compound known as sodium hydroxide. There are several types of lye, the most known and most commonly used being NaOH, sodium hydroxide, and KOH, potassium hydroxide. It’s a versatile compound! We all know that glycerin is a great soap because it moisturizes the skin so well. Before you could buy lye in a bottle, people used to make it from raw materials. When in proximity to a lye that is dissolving in an open container of water, the use of a vapor-resistant face mask is recommended. Lyes may be harmful or even fatal if swallowed; ingestion can cause esophageal stricture. Lye is used in many different ways, such as: food preparation, biodiesel production, water treatment, and of course in making soaps and detergents. Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, is a highly versatile substance used in a variety of manufacturing processes to make other products like paper or aluminum, for example. But today’s soap makers carefully measure the amount of lye they add to soap so you won’t have to worry about lye drying out your skin. Lye in the form of both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide is used in making soap. Mexican cartel members have also been using it to get rid of victims' bodies. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are not interchangeable in either the proportions required or the properties produced in making soaps. If you came here asking, “What is lye,” you likely have a much better understanding of the chemical. Lye creates a strong alkaline solution when it is dissolved in water. After all, the substance is known for being so caustic that people have to wear safety glasses to use it. There is no substitute for lye. What is lye, and why do natural soap makers use it? When lye mixes with oil, it becomes soap after it saponifies. [9][10] Sodium hydroxide is frequently used in the process of decomposing roadkill dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors. Glass is not a good material to be used for storage as lyes are mildly corrosive to it. After you cure the soap for weeks, no lye remains in the soap. Remember, the saponification process eliminates all traces of it. Solid lyes will deliquesce or dissolve when exposed to open air, absorbing a relatively large amount of water vapour. Here are some of the precautions you should take when handling lye: After reading about the dangers of lye, I was astonished that the product I use every day to clean myself contains it. When working with it, the lye can damage surfaces that it comes into contact with, including your skin. Even though science proves that lye poses no threat to us because it doesn’t exist in the soap bars we use, some people persist in trying to make soap bars without lye. [5][page needed]. The reaction between sodium hydroxide and a few metals is also hazardous. That’s because manufacturers know that glycerin is valuable. When mixed with water, it can cause a fire. Accordingly, lyes are stored in air-tight plastic containers. Lyes are also valued for their cleaning effects. To make lye, they would burn hardwoods at high temperatures to make white ashes. But here’s a word of advice: be cautious when buying natural glycerin soap. That’s why glycerin soap is so moisturizing and healthy for your skin. "Lye" most commonly refers to sodium hydroxide (NaOH), but historically has been used for potassium hydroxide (KOH). Let me repeat that in case you’re as astounded as I was. Lye can corrode lots of things like metal, plastic, paint, cloth, and your skin. That’s where they get nitroglycerin. Once the soap reaches the trace state, glycerin soap makers cook the mixture with sugar and alcohol before pouring it into the mold. It’s a humectant, which is a natural moisturizer that bonds to everything it comes into contact with. [7] Due to its low cost and high availability, it has also been used to dispose of corpses by criminals. So I wanted to find out the truth about this substance. Lye is added to water, cooled for a few minutes and then added to oils and butters. That left them with water that held enough lye to make soap and dissolve the fat from the animal hides. I’d love to hear about your decision in the comment section below! Aluminium reacts with lyes to produce hydrogen gas. Lye is an alkaline chemical that is known for its caustic nature. Not when I can purchase natural soaps at great prices — without all the risks of working with lye. It’s a common misconception that manufacturers don’t use lye in glycerin soap. A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes, or a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. Lye is a pretty serious chemical, and if you plan to use it while making soap, you would be wise to handle it cautiously. Instead, soaps made with this alternative chemical are soft and liquid. And that caused them to add too much lye to the soap. It is supplied in various forms such as flakes, pellets, microbeads, coarse powder or a solution. But then you cure the soap and everything changes. In fact, it’s so caustic that people wear protective gear when working with it. At the beginning of the soap making process, you will mix water, oil, and lye. For those people who like to make their own soap, they have to work with lye. But you may not know that it’s also used to make or process certain types of breads, olives, pretzels, noodles, and many more. The majority of safety concerns with lye are also common with most corrosives, such as their potentially destructive effects on living tissues; examples are the skin, flesh, and the cornea.

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