A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes; it is also a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. Lye most commonly refers to sodium hydroxide (NaOH), but historically has been used for potassium hydroxide (KOH).
Lye is commercially manufactured using a membrane cell chlorination process. It comes in various forms such as flakes, pellets, micro beads, coarse powder or a solution. Lye has been used as the main ingredient in soap making.
The first step when making cold process soap, is making the lye-water mixture that is needed. Don’t do this until you are ready to proceed with making soap from scratch.
Lye is a caustic, dangerous chemical that can cause serious burns, but you can work with it safely if you take a few precautions and understand basic soap making safety procedures.
Making lye-water is the first step in the soap making process; you need to be ready to proceed with the process after the lye-water is made.
Chose a soap recipe and assemble all its ingredients and tools.