We have a series of videos and blog posts to help you properly handle lye.
Here's our lye safety video.
Blog post about troubleshooting lye heavy soap.
Soap Queen video about lye safety.
To purchase sodium hydroxide for bar soap click here.
To purchase potassium hydroxide for liquid soap click here.
Here are the basics.
Wear Proper Safety Gear: When working with lye, wear proper gear. This includes eye goggles, gloves, long sleeves and long pants. Covering your skin helps protect it from lye burns.
Mix Lye in an Appropriate Place: The area in which you mix your lye solution should have good ventilation to avoid breathing in lye fumes. When indoors, I like to open a few windows or turn on a fan.
Always Add Lye to Water (Never Water to Lye): When mixing water and lye the first step is to weigh the correct amounts into separate containers. Once you have the correct amounts for your recipe, the lye should be slowly added to the water. NEVER add water to your lye! Doing so can cause the lye to expand out of the container. A great way to remember it is “Snow on the water."
Use an Appropriate Mixing Container: It’s important to mix your lye solution in a durable and safe container like heat-resistant plastic or glass. Sodium hydroxide and aluminum produce hydrogen gases, which can be extremely dangerous. Lye also reacts with tin. You can also use Easy Pour and Mixing Containers to mix lye.
Store Lye Appropriately: The jar of lye flakes, pellets or powder should always be kept out of reach of children, properly labeled “POISON,” or “DO NOT TOUCH,” and properly stored in an air/water tight container.